No need to get up from the armchair

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3):575-590 (2020)
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Abstract

Several authors believe that metaethicists ought to leave their comfortable armchairs and engage with serious empirical research. This paper provides partial support for the opposing view, that metaethics is rightly conducted from the armchair. It does so by focusing on debunking arguments against robust moral realism. Specifically, the article discusses arguments based on the possibility that if robust realism is correct, then our beliefs are most likely insensitive to the relevant truths. These arguments seem at first glance to be dependent on empirical research to learn what our moral beliefs are sensitive to. It is argued, however, that this is not so. The paper then examines two thought experiments that have been thought to demonstrate that debunking arguments might depend on empirical details and argues that the conclusion is not supported.

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Dan Baras
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

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References found in this work

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Principia ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Thomas Baldwin.
Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism.David Enoch - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

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