Four Faces of Moral Realism

Philosophy Compass 2 (6):820-849 (2007)
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Abstract

This essay explains for a general philosophical audience the central issues and strategies in the contemporary moral realism debate. It critically surveys the contribution of some recent scholarship, representing expressivist and pragmatist nondescriptivism, subjectivist and nonsubjectivist naturalism, nonnaturalism and error theory. Four different faces of ‘ moral realism ’ are distinguished: semantic, ontological, metaphysical, and normative. The debate is presented as taking shape under dialectical pressure from the demands of capturing the moral appearances and reconciling morality with our understanding of the mind and world.

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Stephen Finlay
Australian Catholic University

Citations of this work

Against quietist normative realism.Tristram McPherson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):223-240.
Why It's OK to Speak Your Mind.Hrishikesh Joshi - 2021 - New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
Recent work on normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Analysis 70 (2):331-346.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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