Analysis 45 (1):40-44 (1985)

Charles Sayward
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Let C1 and C2 be distinct moral codes formulated in English. Let C1 contain a norm N and C2 its negation. The paper construes the moral relativist as saying that if both codes are consistent, then, in the strongest sense of correctness applicable to moral norms, they are also both correct in the sense that they contain only correct moral norms. If we believe that the physical statements of English are true (false) in English, we will reject an analogous statement made of physical theories. We will hold that the strongest sense of correctness applicable to physical statements is not system-relative. The moral relativist denies that there is any corresponding sense of correctness applicable to moral norms. That is, there is no notion of moral correctness that is not system-dependent. It is argued that, while the position may not be true, there is not a strictly logical basis for refuting it.
Keywords moral relativism  consistency
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DOI 10.1093/analys/45.1.40
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