C.D. Broad on Moral Sense Theories in Ethics

Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Virtual Issue: Methods of Ethics (3):168-183 (2015)
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Abstract

C.D. Broad’s Reflections stands out as one of the few serious examinations of Moral Sense Theory in twentieth century analytic philosophy. It also constitutes an excellent discussion of the interconnections that allegedly exist between questions concerning what Broad calls the ‘logical analysis’ of moral judgments and questions about their epistemology. In this paper I make three points concerning the interconnectedness of the analytical and epistemological elements of versions of Moral Sense Theory. First, I make a general point about Broad’s association between the Naïve Realist Moral Sense Theory (an epistemological view) and Objectivist Moral Sense Theory (a ‘logical analysis’). Second, I raise doubts about one of Broad’s arguments that Trans-Subjectivist Moral Sense Theory (logical analysis) can account for the apparent synthetic necessity of general moral propositions (epistemological). Third, I briefly discuss a view about logical analysis that should be of interest to contemporary Moral Sense Theorists – Neo-Sentimentalism – and respond to an argument whose conclusion is that this analysis is incompatible with a particular kind of epistemological view.

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Author's Profile

Robert Cowan
University of Glasgow

Citations of this work

Charlie Dunbar Broad.Kent Gustavsson - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Wise Choices, Apt Feelings.Allan Gibbard - 1990 - Ethics 102 (2):342-356.
Moral Sentimentalism.Michael Slote - 2009 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
Ethical absolutism and the ideal observer.Roderick Firth - 1951 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 12 (3):317-345.
Moral Sentimentalism.Michael Slote - 2004 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (1):3-14.

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