Against quietist normative realism

Philosophical Studies 154 (2):223-240 (2011)
Authors
Tristram McPherson
Ohio State University
Abstract
Recently, some philosophers have suggested that a form of robust realism about ethics, or normativity more generally, does not face a significant explanatory burden in metaphysics. I call this view metaphysically quietist normative realism . This paper argues that while this view can appear to constitute an attractive alternative to more traditional forms of normative realism, it cannot deliver on this promise. I examine Scanlon’s attempt to defend such a quietist realism, and argue that rather than silencing metaphysical questions about normative reasons, his defense at best succeeds only in shifting the focus of metaphysical enquiry. I then set aside the details of Scanlon’s view, and argue on general grounds that that the quietist realist cannot finesse a crucial metanormative task: to explain the contrast between the correct normative system and alternative putatively normative standards.
Keywords Metaethics  Metanormative quietism  Metanormative realism  Normativity  Reasons  Scanlon
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9535-y
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking How to Live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Being Realistic About Motivation.Charlie Kurth - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-15.
Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
Why Realists Must Reject Normative Quietism.Daniel Wodak - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2795-2817.
What Do You Mean “This Isn’T the Question”?David Enoch & Tristram McPherson - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):820-840.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

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