Choosing normative properties: a reply to Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts


ABSTRACT The literature surrounding Horgan and Timmons’s Moral Twin Earth scenarios has focused on whether such scenarios present a metasemantic problem for naturalist realists. But in Choosing Normative Concepts, Eklund uses a similar scenario to illuminate a novel, distinctly metaphysical problem for normative realists of both naturalist and non-naturalist stripes. The problem is that it is not clear what would suffice for the sort of ardent realist view that normative realists have in mind – the view that reality itself favors certain ways of acting and valuing. Eklund then offers a metasemantic view that he thinks can provide the best solution to this problem. In this reply to Eklund, I argue that Eklund’s treatment of the problem and his solution re-entangle metaphysical and metasemantic issues that ought to be kept separate. I also argue that there is a purely metaphysical solution to the problem at hand, which Eklund’s own solution seems to implicitly rely upon. While these criticisms do not suggest that Eklund’s positive view is false, they do undermine some of the broader lessons that Eklund hopes to draw from the view.

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Stephanie Leary
McGill University

References found in this work

Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
“How to Be a Moral Realist.Richard Boyd - 1988 - In G. Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press. pp. 181-228.
Choosing Normative Concepts.Matti Eklund - 2017 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work

Normative concepts and the return to Eden.Preston J. Werner - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (7):2259-2283.
What Makes Normative Concepts Normative.Shawn Hernandez & N. G. Laskowski - forthcoming - Southwest Philosophy Review 37 (1).

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