Moral Rationalism

Christopher Peacocke

in The Realm of Reason

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780199270729
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600944 | DOI:
Moral Rationalism

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Argues for the thesis that basic moral principles are known to us a priori. The author argues that such moral principles have epistemic characteristics that are incompatible with all recent mind‐dependent, expressivist, and subjectivist treatments of moral thought. He elucidates these characteristics and argues for their incompatibility with many recent treatments in moral philosophy. The author further proposes a better theory, a moderate moral rationalism, which can explain the epistemic characteristics in question, and discusses what he calls the Subjectivist Fallacy, which is, according to the author, largely responsible for making mind‐dependent views of morality seem more attractive than they really are, and to which consequently much recent writing in the area has succumbed.

Keywords: a priori; moral principles; morality; rationalism; Subjectivist Fallacy

Chapter.  13664 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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