From Morality to Metaphysics: The Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments

Hardcover | December 22, 2012

byAngus Ritchie

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From Morality to Metaphysics offers an argument for the existence of God, based on our most fundamental moral beliefs. Angus Ritchie engages with a range of the most significant religious moral philosophers of our time, and argues that they all face a common difficulty which only theism canovercome. The book begins with a defence of the 'deliberative indispensability' of moral realism, arguing that the practical deliberation human beings engage in on a daily basis only makes sense if they take themselves to be aiming at an objective truth. Furthermore, when humans engage in practicaldeliberation, they necessarily take their processes of reasoning to have some ability to track the truth. Ritchie's central argument builds on this claim, to assert that only theism can adequately explain our capacity for knowledge of objective moral truths. He demonstrates that we need anexplanation as well as a justification of these cognitive capacities. Evolutionary biology is not able to generate the kind of explanation which is required - and, in consequence, all secular philosophical accounts are forced either to abandon moral objectivism or to render the human capacity formoral knowledge inexplicable. This case is illustrated with discussions of a wide range of moral philosophers including Simon Blackburn, Thomas Scanlon, Philippa Foot, and John McDowell.Ritchie concludes by arguing that only purposive accounts of the universe (such as theism and Platonism) can account for human moral knowledge. Among such purposive accounts, From Morality to Metaphysics makes the case for theism as the most satisfying, intelligible explanation of our cognitivecapacities.

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From Morality to Metaphysics offers an argument for the existence of God, based on our most fundamental moral beliefs. Angus Ritchie engages with a range of the most significant religious moral philosophers of our time, and argues that they all face a common difficulty which only theism canovercome. The book begins with a defence of th...

Angus Ritchie studied Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford, both as an undergraduate and a doctoral student. In between, he served as an Anglican priest in east London, where he now directs the Contextual Theology Centre. He is involved in research for the University of Notre Dame on the role of religious communities, and religious r...

other books by Angus Ritchie

Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:December 22, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199652511

ISBN - 13:9780199652518

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I: The 'Explanatory Gap'1. Why Take Morality to be Objective?2. The Gap Opens: Evolution and our Capacity for Moral KnowledgePart II: Secular Responses3. Moral Quasi-Realism: Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard4. Procedures and Reasons: Tim Scanlon and Christine Korsgaard5. Natural Goodness: Philippa Foot6. Natural Goodness and 'Second Nature': John McDowell and David WigginsPart III: Theism7. From Goodness to God: Closing the Explanatory Gap8. Purpose without Theism? Axiarchism and NeoplatonismConclusionBibliography