How is Moral Disagreement a Problem for Realism?

Journal of Ethics 13 (1):15-50 (2009)

Authors
David Enoch
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Abstract
Moral disagreement is widely held to pose a threat for metaethical realism and objectivity. In this paper I attempt to understand how it is that moral disagreement is supposed to present a problem for metaethical realism. I do this by going through several distinct (though often related) arguments from disagreement, carefully distinguishing between them, and critically evaluating their merits. My conclusions are rather skeptical: Some of the arguments I discuss fail rather clearly. Others supply with a challenge to realism, but not one we have any reason to believe realism cannot address successfully. Others beg the question against the moral realist, and yet others raise serious objections to realism, but ones that—when carefully stated—can be seen not to be essentially related to moral disagreement. Arguments based on moral disagreement itself have almost no weight, I conclude, against moral realism.
Keywords The argument from relativity  Disagreement  Objectivity  Moral realism
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DOI 10.1007/s10892-008-9041-z
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Mathematical and Moral Disagreement.Silvia Jonas - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
Reflective Equilibrium.Yuri Cath - 2016 - In H. Cappelen, T. Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press. pp. 213-230.

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