Moral Realism: A Defence by Russ Shafer-Landau

By Russ Shafer-Landau

Moral Realism is a scientific defence of the concept there are goal ethical criteria. Russ Shafer-Landau argues that there are ethical ideas which are precise independently of what somebody, at any place, occurs to think about them. His vital thesis, in addition to the numerous novel assisting arguments used to guard it, will spark a lot controversy between these inquisitive about the rules of ethics.


"A conscientiously constructed protection of a non-naturalistic ethical realism. Shafer-Landau covers a variety of fabric, proposing a magnificent array of arguments either in delivering confident help for his place and undermining opposing views...this publication stands out as the concentration of a lot consciousness in metaethical discussion." -- The assessment of Metaphysics

"A publication of exceptional scope and ambition...clear and interesting throughout...[Shafer-Landau] develops a few novel arguments for what's bound to be a debatable set of collectively assisting and philosophically fascinating positions...very a lot worthy analyzing. it's also available and fascinating adequate to be helpful for instructing complicated undergraduates."--Michael Ridge, Australasian magazine of Philosophy

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The views of each incompatible outlook are equally (un)true. This is relativism. Blackburn and Timmons see relativists as making a first-order ethical claim that identifies the right-making feature of actions as their conformity to existing social norms. They don't themselves find much to recommend in such a view. But relativism's failure as an ethical recommendation must be measured by norms, and the non-cognitivists' settled view is that any such norms have no greater authority than the individual commitments that underwrite them.

Presumably that attitude which conflicts with the relevant highest-order attitude that I hold. But what if there is conflict within my highest-order attitudes? What if they are incomplete, or specified at such a level of generality as to fail to arbitrate in particular cases? Then all we can say is that there is a mistake, but we will lack the resources for identifying the culprit. This isn't merely an epistemological problem. In the absence of a determinate highest-order attitude that can adjudicate attitudinal conflict, the non-cognitivist must say that there is no particular mistaken attitude.

There is no relevant world that a moral judgement might fit—a world of moral facts—that could match our description of it, that could make our moral judgements true or false. But if that is so, then we shouldn't conceptualize moral judgement as belief. e. attitudes that are essentially motivating, that essentially dispose us to do something. But these attitudes can be understood only by invoking normative notions. They are essentially attitudes defined by means of a normative function—that of being such that they ought to (or oughtn't necessarily to) extinguish under certain conditions.

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