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Is there a Metaethical Argument Against Non-natural Moral Realism?

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Is there a Metaethical Argument Against Non-natural Moral Realism?

Walters, Jordan (2020) Is there a Metaethical Argument Against Non-natural Moral Realism? [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that Daniel Korman and Dustin Locke’s debunking argument against non-natural moral realism overgeneralizes to non-moral domains, and as a consequence, entails an implausible epistemic principle. I call this principle NOMO: No Modal Connection without an Explanatory Connection. I argue that NOMO is implausible for three reasons: (1) NOMO entails an implausible constraint on empirical knowledge; (2) NOMO entails rejecting any view that doesn’t equate “explanatory connections” with “causal connections” (which entails debunking non-causal realism across the board), and finally (3) NOMO is self- undermining. I then consider two replies and argue that they both fail. As a last step, I argue that, even if NOMO were independently plausible, it would be dialectically inefficacious against its primary addressee, the non-natural moral realist, because the latter must regard it as question-begging. I conclude by elaborating the shared root of all discussed problems: Korman and Locke’s debunking argument isn’t about morality. That is, it is not a metaethical argument against non-natural moral realism—it is a more general epistemic argument against non-causal realism (under which non-natural moral realism falls).

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Walters, Jordan
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Philosophy
Date:8 April 2020
ID Code:986754
Deposited By: Jordan Walters
Deposited On:04 May 2020 21:05
Last Modified:04 May 2020 21:05
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