Can Moral Anti-Realists Theorize?

Australasian Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Call "radical moral theorizing" the project of developing a moral theory that not only tries to conform to our existing moral intuitions, but also manifests various theoretical virtues: consistency, simplicity, explanatory depth, and so on. Many moral philosophers assume that radical moral theorizing does not require any particular metaethical commitments. In this paper, I argue against this assumption. The most natural justification for radical moral theorizing presupposes moral realism, broadly construed; in contrast, there may be no justification for radical moral theorizing if moral anti-realism is true.


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Michael Zhao
University of Notre Dame

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References found in this work

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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.
Why We Should Reject S.Derek Parfit - 1984 - In Reasons and Persons. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1983 - Religious Studies 19 (1):96-99.

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