Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):469-484 (2007)

Don Loeb
University of Vermont
It is often said that our moral experience, broadly construed to include our ways of thinking and talking about morality, has a certain objective-seeming character to it, and that this supports a presumption in favor of objectivist theories and against anti-objectivist theories like Mackie’s error theory. In this paper, I argue that our experience of morality does not support objectivist moral theories in this way. I begin by arguing that our moral experience does not have the uniformly objective-seeming character it is typically claimed to have. I go on to argue that even if moral experience were to presuppose or display morality as a realm of fact, we would still need a reason for taking that to support theories according to which it is such a realm. I consider what I take to be the four most promising ways of attempting to supply such a reason: inference to the best explanation, epistemic conservatism, the Principle of Credulity, and the method of wide reflective equilibrium. In each case, I argue, the strategy in question does not support a presumption in favor of objectivist moral theories
Keywords Philosophy   Ontology   Political Philosophy   Ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-007-9081-7
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References found in this work BETA

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

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