On the Alleged Laziness of Moral Realists

Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (3):511-518 (2020)
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Melis Erdur has argued that there is something morally wrong with moral realism. Moral realism promotes morally objectionable lethargy by recommending that we accept moral knowledge that could be acquired effortlessly. This is morally objectionable, because morality requires us to be reflective about moral truths. I argue that the moral realist need not be worried, because if reflection about morality is a genuine value, the realist can accept this: moral realism entails no prescriptions about how one morally ought to acquire moral knowledge. It is merely a metaphysical thesis about the ontological status of moral truthmakers. If we ought to be reflective, moral realism can accept this. Moreover, Erdur’s argument generalizes to moral anti-realism, so the moral realist in particular has nothing to worry about.



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Daniel Weltman
Ashoka University

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References found in this work

Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics.David Owen Brink - 1989 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
“How to Be a Moral Realist.Richard Boyd - 1988 - In G. Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press. pp. 181-228.
A Defense of Moral Deference.David Enoch - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (5):229-258.

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