The Argument from the Deliberative Indispensability of Irreducibly Normative Truths

David Enoch

in Taking Morality Seriously

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199579969
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729010 | DOI:
The Argument from the Deliberative Indispensability of Irreducibly Normative Truths

Show Summary Details


This chapter develops a positive argument for Robust Metanormative Realism that is modeled after indispensability arguments in the philosophy of mathematics or inferences to the best explanation more generally. It is noted that such arguments are arguments from explanatory indispensability, and then argued that if this indispensability suffices to confer respectability on ontological commitments, so does indispensability for deliberation, or deliberative indispensability. It is also emphasized that this observation is consistent with a plausible ontological parsimony requirement. A long epistemological detour then justifies the use of indispensability arguments in general — explanatory and deliberative alike. A phenomenological discussion of deliberation follows, one that supports both the claim that deliberation is the kind of project indispensability to which can ground ontological commitment, and the claim that irreducibly normative truths are indispensable for deliberation.

Keywords: Robust Realism; indispensability arguments; inference to the best explanation; deliberation; ontological commitment; parsimony

Chapter.  19670 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.