There’s Nothing Quasi About Quasi-Realism: Moral Realism as a Moral Doctrine

The Journal of Ethics 21 (2):185-212 (2017)
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Abstract

This paper seeks to clarify and defend the proposition that moral realism is best elaborated as a moral doctrine. I begin by upholding Ronald Dworkin’s anti-Archimedean critique of the error theory against some strictures by Michael Smith, and I then briefly suggest how a proponent of moral realism as a moral doctrine would respond to Smith’s defense of the Archimedeanism of expressivism. Thereafter, this paper moves to its chief endeavor. By differentiating clearly between expressivism and quasi-realism, the paper highlights both their distinctness and their compatibility. In so doing, it underscores the affinities between Blackburnian quasi-realism and moral realism as a moral doctrine. Finally, this paper contends—in line with my earlier work on these matters—that moral realism as a moral doctrine points to the need for some reorienting of meta-ethical enquiries rather than for the abandoning of them.

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Matthew Henry Kramer
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

The real and the quasi-real: problems of distinction.Jamie Dreier - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):532-547.
Cognitivism and Metaphysical Weight: A Dilemma for Relaxed Realism.Annika Böddeling - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):546-559.
Deflationism and truthmaking.Matthew Simpson - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3157-3181.
How to Have Your Quasi-Cake and Quasi-Eat It Too.Sebastian Köhler - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):204-220.

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References found in this work

The concept of law.Hla Hart - 1961 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism.David Enoch - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
The Nature of Normativity.Ralph Wedgwood - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Justice for hedgehogs.Ronald Dworkin - 2011 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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