Topoi 37 (4):621-630 (2018)

Authors
Tristram McPherson
Ohio State University
Abstract
Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a naturalistic realist about practical normativity will ultimately be able to explain the distinctive normativity of practical norms. I then show that radical pluralism or particularism about the structure of normative ethics would complicate the naturalistic strategy that I defend. This suggests a perhaps surprising way in which the resolution of the debate between ethical naturalists and non-naturalists may rest in part on the answers to substantive normative questions.
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-016-9442-8
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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.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
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Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):574-576.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ethics and the Question of What to Do.Olle Risberg - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
An Ecumenical Account of Categorical Moral Reasons.Caj Strandberg - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (2):160-188.

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