The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism

Hardcover | September 6, 2007

byTerence Cuneo

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Antirealist views about morality claim that moral facts or truths do not exist. Does this imply that other types of normative facts, such as epistemic facts, do not exist? The Normative Web develops a positive answer to this question. Terence Cuneo argues that moral and epistemic facts aresufficiently similar so that, if moral facts do not exist, then epistemic facts do not exist. But epistemic facts do exist: to deny their existence would commit us to an extreme version of epistemological scepticism. Therefore, Cuneo concludes, moral facts do exist. And if moral facts exist, thenmoral realism is true.It is sometimes said that moral realists rarely offer arguments for their position, settling instead for mere defenses of a view they find intuitively plausible. By contrast, The Normative Web provides not merely a defense of robust realism in ethics, but a positive argument for this position. Inso doing, it engages with a range of antirealist positions in epistemology such as error theories, expressivist views, and reductionist views of epistemic reasons. These positions, Cuneo claims, come at a prohibitively high theoretical cost. Given this cost, it follows that realism about bothepistemic and moral facts is a position that we should find highly attractive.

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Antirealist views about morality claim that moral facts or truths do not exist. Does this imply that other types of normative facts, such as epistemic facts, do not exist? The Normative Web develops a positive answer to this question. Terence Cuneo argues that moral and epistemic facts aresufficiently similar so that, if moral facts...

Terence Cuneo is at Calvin College, Michigan.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:260 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:September 6, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199218838

ISBN - 13:9780199218837

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Moral Realism of a Paradigmatic Sort2. Defending the Parallel3. The Parity Premise4. Epistemic Nihilism5. Epistemic Expressivism: Traditional Views6. Epistemic Expressivism: Nontraditional Views7. Epistemic Reductionism8. Three Objections to the Core Argument Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Terence Cuneo, someone already identified by those who have been paying attention as a young moral philosopher to watch, has written a splendid book. The core idea is not a novel one and has received the occasional airing, a sentence here, a paragraph there, in the literature. But Cuneo is the first that I've noticed to really pick this particular ball up and have a real shot at running with it over some distance."--James Lenman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews