Moral and Metaethical Pluralism: Unity in Variation

Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):583-601 (2012)

Ragnar Francén
University of Gothenburg
The most basic argument for moral relativism is that different people are (fundamentally) disposed to apply moral terms, such as ‘morally right’ and ‘morally wrong’, and the corresponding concepts, to different (types of) acts. In this paper, I argue that the standard forms of moral relativism fail to account for certain instances of fundamental variation, namely, variation in metaethical intuitions, and I develop a form of relativism—pluralism—that does account for them. I identify two challenges that pluralism faces. To answer the challenges, I first argue that, due to fundamental conceptual variations in ordinary descriptive (nonmoral) discourse, a form of pluralism holds there as well and that this pluralism can answer the corresponding challenges. I then argue that the answers transfer to moral discourse, since the phenomenon of moral variation is structurally identical to that of descrip- tive variation.
Keywords relativism  moral relativism  pluralism  disagreement  contextualism
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DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2012.00138.x
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References found in this work BETA

Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.

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Citations of this work BETA

Some Varieties of Metaethical Relativism.Ragnar Francén Olinder - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (10):529-540.
Not Just Errors: A New Interpretation of Mackie’s Error Theory.Victor Moberger - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (3).

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