Moral Ambivalence, Relativism, and Pluralism

Acta Analytica 31 (2):207-223 (2016)
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David Wong has introduced the notion of moral ambivalence in the philosophical debate. In this paper, we focus on the nature of moral ambivalence and on its interpretation. We hold that moral ambivalence is not a phenomenon that provides evidence for relativism, as Wong claims, and as relativism is usually understood. Rather, ambivalence denotes a pluralist attitude, an attitude characterized by the thought that two different, even incompatible, courses of action can both be permissible when considered from a single perspective. We distinguish pluralism from relativism and argue that it is more appropriate to consider Wong’s position as an objectivist pluralism. We also highlight the similarity between Wong and Hume’s accounts.



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Author Profiles

Agustin Arrieta Urtizberea
University of the Basque Country
Agustin Vicente
University of the Basque Country

Citations of this work

Moral relativism.Christopher Gowans - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Moral Ambivalence: Relativism or Pluralism?Yong Li - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):473-491.
Epistemic ambivalence in law.Amalia Amaya - 2021 - Philosophical Issues 31 (1):7-23.
Moral plurality, moral relativism and accommodation.Yong Li - 2019 - Asian Philosophy 29 (4):306-321.

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References found in this work

Ethics and the limits of philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Doing without concepts.Edouard Machery - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The emotional construction of morals.Jesse J. Prinz - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Cambridge, Mass.: Routledge.

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