The Explanatory Challenge: Moral Realism Is No Better Than Theism

European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):368-389 (2018)
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Abstract

Many of the arguments for and against robust moral realism parallel arguments for and against theism. In this article, I consider one of the shared challenges: the explanatory challenge. The article begins with a presentation of Harman's formulation of the explanatory challenge as applied to moral realism and theism. I then examine two responses offered by robust moral realists to the explanatory challenge, one by Russ Shafer-Landau and another by David Enoch. Shafer-Landau argues that the moral realist can plausibly respond to the challenge in a way unavailable to theists. I argue that Shafer-Landau's response is implausible as it stands and that once revised, it will apply to theism just as well. I then argue that Enoch's response, to the extent that it is plausible, can be used to defend theism as well.

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Dan Baras
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Citations of this work

Theism and Explanationist Defenses of Moral Realism.Andrew Brenner - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (4):447-463.

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References found in this work

A Darwinian dilemma for realist theories of value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
Compassionate phenomenal conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Behaviorism 15 (1):73-82.
Warrant for nothing (and foundations for free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
The inference to the best explanation.Gilbert H. Harman - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):88-95.

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