Metaphilosophy 37 (1):92–111 (2006)

John Hacker-Wright
University of Guelph
In the face of pluralism, moral constructivists attempt to salvage cognitivism by separating moral and ethical issues. Divergence over ethical issues, which concern the good life, would not threaten moral cognitivism, which is based on identifying generalizable interests as worthy of defending, using reason. Yet this approach falters given the inability of the constructivist to provide us a sure path by which to discern generalizable interests in difficult cases. Still, even if this approach to constructivism fails, cognitivist aspirations may not be defeated if we can continue discursively in a project of identifying and appreciating the interests of others. Grasping the interests of others may require a transformation of moral sensibility such that agents recognize values they have not acknowledged before. This view calls for external moral discourse—that is, moral discourse that makes no appeal to an agent's present interests or desires but rather engages in description of the moral situation in hopes of bringing about a change in moral sensibility.
Keywords Habermas  moral cognitivism  moral discourse  relativism  McDowell  interests  constructivism  moral pluralism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2006.00417.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,873
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Harvard University Press.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Fugitive Thought.Richard Joyce - 2000 - Journal of Value Inquiry 34 (4):463-478.
Non-Cognitivism and Inconsistency.Folke Tersman - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):361-372.
Warring Tautologies: Moral Dissent From a Cognitivist Perspective.Matthias Kiesselbach - 2009 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 8 (1):125-145.
Empathy, Shared Intentionality, and Motivation by Moral Reasons.Marion Hourdequin - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):403 - 419.
Moral Cognitivism.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2002 - Philosophical Papers 31 (1):1-25.
Moral Motivation Pluralism.Ragnar Francén - 2010 - The Journal of Ethics 14 (2):117-148.


Added to PP index

Total views
67 ( #147,067 of 2,401,869 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #552,092 of 2,401,869 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes