Moral and Epistemic Error Theory : The Parity Premise Reconsidered

In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Metaepistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 107-121 (2018)

Jonas Olson
Stockholm University
Many moral error theorists hold that moral facts are irreducibly normative. They also hold that irreducible normativity is metaphysically queer and conclude that there are no irreducibly normative reasons and consequently no moral facts. A popular response to moral error theory utilizes the so-called ‘companions in guilt’ strategy and argues that if moral reasons are irreducibly normative, then epistemic reasons are too. This is the Parity Premise, on the basis of which critics of moral error theory draw the Parity Conclusion that if there are no irreducibly normative reasons, there are no moral reasons and no epistemic reasons. From the Parity Conclusion and Epistemic Realism, it follows that it is false that there are no irreducibly normative reasons. In this paper, I argue that the Parity Premise and the Parity Conclusion can both plausibly be rejected.
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