Moral twin-earth and semantic moral realism

Erkenntnis 62 (3):353-378 (2005)

Authors
Heimir Geirsson
Iowa State University
Abstract
Mark Timmons and Terry Horgan have argued that the new moral realism, which rests on the causal theory of reference, is untenable. While I do agree that the new moral realism is untenable, I do not think that Timmons and Horgan have succeeded in showing that it is. I will lay out the case for new moral realism and Horgan and Timmons’ argument against it, and then argue that their argument fails. Further, I will discuss Boyd’s semantic theory as well as attempts to improve upon it, raise serious problems for these semantic accounts, and suggest an alternative view that accounts for our use of moral terms.
Keywords Philosophy   Epistemology  Reference  Moral Twin-Earth  Meta ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-004-2006-0
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