Moral Realism without Values

Journal of Philosophical Research 31:81-102 (2006)
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Abstract

In this paper I draw on some of the work of John McDowell in order to develop a realist account of normative reasons for action. On the view defended here, there can be correct moral judgments that capture the reasons there are for acting in certain ways; and the reasons themselves are just some of the morally relevant facts of the situation about which the judgment is made. Establishing this account relies crucially, I argue, on an appeal to substantive ethical theory, to a theory that allows for the attribution of truth to the judgments in question. The account defended here can in fact be equally well supported by ethical theories as otherwise diverse as those of Aristotle and Kant. The resulting account is a version of moral realism, but one that is not committed to defending a realist account of the nature of moral value.

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Noell Birondo
University of Texas at El Paso

Citations of this work

Whose Metaethical Minimalism?Noell Birondo - 2018 - Southwest Philosophy Review 34 (2):37-43.

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References found in this work

Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Internal and External Reasons.Bernard Williams - 1979 - In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational action: studies in philosophy and social science. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-113.
Moral realism.Peter Railton - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):163-207.
Values and Secondary Qualities.John McDowell - 1985 - In Ted Honderich (ed.), Morality and objectivity: a tribute to J.L. Mackie. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul. pp. 110-129.

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