Moral Steadfastness and Meta-ethics

American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):43-56 (2019)
Authors
Tristram McPherson
Ohio State University
James Fritz
Ohio State University
Abstract
Call the following claim Asymmetry: rationality often requires a more steadfast response to pure moral disagreement than it does to otherwise analogous non-moral disagreement. This paper briefly motivates Asymmetry and explores its implications for meta-ethics. Some philosophers have thought that anti-realists are better-placed than realists to explain Asymmetry because, if anti-realism is true, disagreement cannot provide evidence against the reliability of one's thinking about objective moral facts. This paper argues that this simple diagnosis fails to support otherwise plausible anti-realisms. It closes by discussing an alternative explanation for Asymmetry, which appeals to the moral importance of steadfastness.
Keywords Moral disagreement  Epistemology of disagreement  Moral realism  Moral anti-realism  Steadfastness
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