Moral and theological realism: The explanatory argument

Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3):311-329 (2007)
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Abstract

There are striking parallels, largely unexplored in the literature, between skeptical arguments against theism and against moral realism. After sketching four arguments meant to do this double duty, I restrict my attention to an explanatory argument that claims that we have most reason to deny the existence of moral facts (and so, by extrapolation, theistic ones), because such putative facts have no causal-explanatory power. I reject the proposed parity, and offer reasons to think that the potential vulnerabilities of moral realism on this front are quite different from those of the theist. Key Words: causal power • explanatory power • Gilbert Harman • moral facts • moral realism • theism.

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Russ Shafer-Landau
University of Wisconsin, Madison

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References found in this work

Multiple realization and the metaphysics of reduction.Jaegwon Kim - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1):1-26.
Moral explanation.Brad Majors - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):1–15.
Contents and Causes: A Reply to Blackburn.Nicholas L. Sturgeon - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 61 (1/2):19 - 37.

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