Reflections on Moral Disagreement, Relativism, and Skepticism about Rules

Philosophical Topics 38 (2):131-156 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Part 1 of this paper discusses some uses of arguments from radical moral disagreement—in particular, as directed against absolutist cognitivism—and surveys some semantic issues thus made salient. It may be argued that parties to such a disagreement cannot be using the relevant moral claims with exactly the same absolutist cognitive content. That challenges the absolutist element of absolutist cognitivism, which, combined with the intractable nature of radical moral disagreement, in turn challenges the viability of a purely cognitivist account of moral judgments. Such a conclusion could be staved off if it could be held that a sufficient condition for commonality of cognitive content in moral judgments could consist, despite the presence of radical moral disagreement, in the parties’acceptance of a common set of fundamental moral principles. Part 1 begins, and Part 2 further develops, a destructive critique of that idea, leading thereby to a skeptical appraisal of the important role sometimes assigned, in metaethical theorizing, to moral rules. Inter alia the paper is intended to suggest the possibility of overlap between relativist and particularist agendas.


Added to PP

1,094 (#12,376)

6 months
118 (#38,804)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Denis Robinson
University of Auckland

Citations of this work

Contextualism, Moral Disagreement, and Proposition Clouds.Jussi Suikkanen - 2019 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics 14. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 47-69.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references