What is at Stake in Debates among Normative Realists?

Noûs 49 (1):123-146 (2015)

Tristram McPherson
Ohio State University
One class of central debates between normative realists appears to concern whether we should be naturalists or reductionists about the normative. However, metaethical discussion of naturalism and reduction is often inconsistent, murky, or uninformative. This can make it hard to see why commitments relative to these metaphysical categories should matter to normative realists. This paper aims to clarify the nature of these categories, and their significance in debates between normative realists. I develop and defend what I call the joint-carving taxonomy, which builds on David Lewis’ notion of elite properties. I argue that this taxonomy is clear and metaphysically interesting, and answers to distinctive taxonomic interests of normative realists. I also suggest that it has important implications for the project of adjudicating debates among normative realists.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/nous.12055
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,938
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

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.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

View all 49 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Intelligibility of Metaphysical Structure.Peter Finocchiaro - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):581-606.
A Dilemma for Non‐Analytic Naturalism.Andrew T. Forcehimes - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Normative Appeals to the Natural.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):279 - 314.
Darwin and Moral Realism: Survival of the Iffiest.Knut Olav Skarsaune - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):229-243.
Science Policy From a Naturalistic Sociological Epistemology.Donald T. Campbell - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:14 - 29.
A Functional Taxonomy of Normative Conflict.H. Hamner Hill - 1987 - Law and Philosophy 6 (2):227-247.
Unifying Moral Methodology.Tristram McPherson - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):523-549.
Justice, Legitimacy, and (Normative) Authority for Political Realists.Enzo Rossi - 2012 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (2):149-164.
Reasons and Motivation.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 71 (1):99–130.
Ontological Infidelity.Patrick Dieveney - 2008 - Synthese 165 (1):1 - 12.
Mathematical Explanations Of Empirical Facts, And Mathematical Realism.Aidan Lyon - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):559-578.
Moral Realism and Metaphysical Anti-Realism.Joel J. Kupperman - 1987 - Metaphilosophy 18 (2):95–107.


Added to PP index

Total views
133 ( #50,271 of 2,319,330 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
23 ( #25,215 of 2,319,330 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature