Moral Realism: A Defence

Paperback | May 17, 2005

byRuss Shafer-Landau

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Moral Realism is a systematic defence of the idea that there are objective moral standards. In the tradition of Plato and G. E. Moore, Russ Shafer-Landau argues that there are moral principles that are true independently of what anyone, anywhere, happens to think of them. These principles area fundamental aspect of reality, just as much as those that govern mathematics or the natural world. They may be true regardless of our ability to grasp them, and their truth is not a matter of their being ratified from any ideal standpoint, nor of being the object of actual or hypotheticalconsensus, nor of being an expression of our rational nature. Shafer-Landau accepts Plato's and Moore's contention that moral truths are sui generis. He rejects the currently popular efforts to conceive of ethics as a kind of science, and insists that moral truths and properties occupy a distinctive area in our ontology. Unlike scientific truths, thefundamental moral principles are knowable a priori. And unlike mathematical truths, they are essentially normative: intrinsically action-guiding, and supplying a justification for all who follow their counsel. Moral Realism is the first comprehensive treatise defending non-naturalistic moral realism in over a generation. It ranges over all of the central issues in contemporary metaethics, and will be an important source of discussion for philosophers and their students interested in issues concerning thefoundations of ethics.

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Moral Realism is a systematic defence of the idea that there are objective moral standards. In the tradition of Plato and G. E. Moore, Russ Shafer-Landau argues that there are moral principles that are true independently of what anyone, anywhere, happens to think of them. These principles area fundamental aspect of reality, just as muc...

Russ Shafer-Landau is at Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.74 inPublished:May 17, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199280207

ISBN - 13:9780199280209

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Table of Contents

I. REALISM AND ITS CRITICS1. The Non-cognitivist Challenge2. The Constructivist ChallengeII. MORAL METAPHYSICS3. Ethical Non-naturalism4. Supervenience and CausationIII. MORAL MOTIVATION5. Motivational Humeanism6. Motivational Judgement InternalismIV. MORAL REASONS7. Reasons Internalism8. Moral Rationalism9. Rationality and DisagreementV. MORAL KNOWLEDGE10. Moral Scepticism11. The Justification of Moral Principles12. The Justification of Verdictive BeliefsReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition Analytical metaethics is an area where a great deal of ingenuity is currently required in order to find a distinctive yet plausible position to defend at any length. In this book, Russ Shafer-Landau demonstrates that the task remains possible. Over 300 pages orso, he defends an unorthodox combination of claims, including anti-Humeanism about reasons for action, mind-independent moral realism, moral non-naturalism, moral rationalism, and reliabilist moral epistemology. Shafer-Landau's book will be useful to any student of philosophy who wants to gain asynoptic view of contemporary metaethics, and also to professionals with a stake in the many ongoing debates to which the book makes valuable contributions. . . . among the most comprehensive, judicious, and well written to appear in recent years.'Hallvard Lillehammer, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews