Moral Rationalism, Realism, and the Emotions

Christopher Peacocke

in The Realm of Reason

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780199270729
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600944 | DOI:
Moral Rationalism, Realism, and the Emotions

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The penultimate chapter of The Realm of Reason discusses the relation between the author's moral rationalism and a thorough moral realism and the question of whether a moral rationalist can hold that moral properties are sometimes involved in causal explanations. In reply, The author introduces what he calls the Eirenic Combination, which holds that (i) causal explanation of a priori moral beliefs by moral facts is excluded by the a priori status of those beliefs; but (ii) this is compatible with the moral properties mentioned in the a priori principles playing a significant part in empirical explanations, which they sometimes do. He then defends his moral rationalism against the charge that it is incompatible with the extensive role moral emotions play in our ordinary first‐level moral thought.

Keywords: a priori; causal explanations; Eirenic Combination; emotions; facts; moral rationalism; properties; realism

Chapter.  13520 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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