The Significance of Significant Fundamental Moral Disagreement1

Noûs 51 (4):802-831 (2017)
Authors
Richard Rowland
Australian Catholic University
Abstract
This paper has four parts. In the first part I argue that moral facts are subject to a certain epistemic accessibility requirement. Namely, moral facts must be accessible to some possible agent. In the second part I show that because this accessibility requirement on moral facts holds, there is a route from facts about the moral disagreements of agents in idealized conditions to conclusions about what moral facts there are. In the third part I build on this route to show that if there is significant moral disagreement in idealized conditions, then our understanding of morality is fatally flawed and we should accept relativism over non-naturalism and quasi-realism. So, if, like many, you think that there would be significant moral disagreement in idealized conditions, you should hold that our understanding of morality is fatally flawed and reject non-naturalism and quasi-realism. In the fourth part of this paper I show that undermines the plausibility of non-naturalism, quasi-realism, and the view that our understanding of morality is not fatally flawed even if we do not have sufficient reason to believe that there would be significant moral disagreement in idealized conditions.
Keywords Moral Disagreement  Moral Realism  Error Theory  Normativity  Meta-ethics  Peer Disagreement
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1111/nous.12170
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References found in this work BETA

Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2000 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Epistemology of Moral Disagreement.Richard Rowland - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (2):1-16.

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