Pragmatist Quietism: A Metaethical System

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

Andrew Sepielli
University of Toronto, Mississauga
Some philosophers argue that nothing can be morally right or wrong because there are no moral values in the world, just as there are no ghosts or goblins. Others argue that nothing can be right or wrong because the moral "ought" can't be defined in non-moral terms, or otherwise lacks "content" or "sense". Some philosophers reply to these charges via moral metaphysics -- trying to show that there are moral values in the world after all -- or via moral semantics -- trying to show how the moral "ought" can be defined in non-moral terms or otherwise have sense or content. ​ I reject all of this. I contend that there are objective moral truths that are utterly immune to being undermined, or for that matter, vindicated, by arguments in metaphysics, semantics, epistemology, and so forth. Ethics is an entirely autonomous domain of inquiry, which neither requires nor admits of a "foundation". The purpose of this book is to explain why this jarring view of ethics is true.
Keywords meta-ethics  pragmatism  quietism  nihilism  moral realism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy this book Find it on
ISBN(s)   0192856502
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,078
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Quietism and Counter-Normativity.Andrew Sepielli - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
Quietism Now?Anonymous Envoi - 2010 - Common Knowledge 16 (2):276-284.
Why Realists Must Reject Normative Quietism.Daniel Wodak - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2795-2817.
Meta-Illusionism and Qualia Quietism.Pete Mandik - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):140-148.
(META)ETYKA A FILOZOFIA PRAWA.Monika Zalewska - 2014 - Hybris, Revista de Filosofí­A (26):067-086.
Significance Testing – Does It Need This Defence?Günther Palm - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):214-215.
Facts About Natural Values.Robert Elliot - 1996 - Environmental Values 5 (3):221 - 234.
John Brown, Quietist.W. Caleb McDaniel - 2010 - Common Knowledge 16 (1):31-47.


Added to PP index

Total views
307 ( #33,693 of 2,498,948 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
78 ( #9,714 of 2,498,948 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes