The price of non-reductive moral realism

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):199-215 (1999)
Abstract
Non-reductive moral realism is the view that there are moral properties which cannot be reduced to natural properties. If moral properties exist, it is plausible that they strongly supervene on non-moral properties- more specifically, on mental, social, and biological properties. There may also be good reasons for thinking that moral properties are irreducible. However, strong supervenience and irreducibility seem incompatible. Strong supervenience entails that there is an enormous number of modal truths (specifically, truths about exactly which non-moral properties necessitate which moral properties); and all these modal truths must be explained. If these modal truths can all be explained, then it must be a fundamental truth about the essence of each moral property that the moral property is necessarily equivalent to some property that can be specified purely in mental, social and biological terms; and this fundamental truth appears to be a reduction of the moral property in question. The best way to resist this argument is by resorting to the claim that mental and social properties are not, strictly speaking, natural properties, but are instead properties that can only be analysed in partly normative terms. Acceptance of that claim is the price of non-reductive moral realism.
Keywords meta-ethics  metaphysics  realism  reduction  supervenience
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009994827047
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,150
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Normative Force of Reasoning.Ralph Wedgwood - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):660–686.
Moral Mistakes.Zed Adams - 2011 - Philosophical Investigations 34 (1):1-21.
An Argument Against Reduction in Morality and Epistemology.Jeremy Randel Koons - 2006 - Philosophical Investigations 29 (3):250–274.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Causally Inefficacious Moral Properties.David Slutsky - 2001 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):595-610.
Blackburn's Problem: On its Not Insignificant Residue.Jordan Howard Sobel - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):361-383.
Moral Dependence.Nick Zangwill - 2008 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-27.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

86 ( #58,603 of 2,152,019 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #75,022 of 2,152,019 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums