Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):763-780 (2017)

Authors
Jeroen Hopster
Utrecht University
Abstract
How should we understand the notion of moral objectivity? Metaethical positions that vindicate morality’s objective appearance are often associated with moral realism. On a realist construal, moral objectivity is understood in terms of mind-, stance-, or attitude-independence. But realism is not the only game in town for moral objectivists. On an antirealist construal, morality’s objective features are understood in virtue of our attitudes. In this paper I aim to develop this antirealist construal of moral objectivity in further detail, and to make its metaphysical commitments explicit. I do so by building on Sharon Street’s version of “Humean Constructivism”. Instead of the realist notion of attitude-independence, the antirealist account of moral objectivity that I articulate centres on the notion of standpoint-invariance. While constructivists have been criticized for compromising on the issue of moral objectivity, I make a preliminary case for the thesis that, armed with the notion of standpoint-invariance, constructivists have resources to vindicate an account of objectivity with just the right strength, given the commitments of ordinary moral thought and practice. In support of this thesis I highlight recent experimental findings about folk moral objectivism. Empirical observations about the nature of moral discourse have traditionally been taken to give prima facie support to moral realism. I argue, by contrast, that from what we can tell from our current experimental understanding, antirealists can capture the commitments of ordinary discourse at least as well as realists can.
Keywords Objectivity  Mind-independence  Human Constructivism  Relativism  Moral Realism  Ideally coherent eccentrics .  Folk Objectivism  Invariance  Metaphysics  Street
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-017-9796-z
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.

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