Procedures and Reasons

Angus Ritchie

in From Morality to Metaphysics

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652518
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745850 | DOI:
Procedures and Reasons

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This chapter considers the changing account of moral ontology offered by Timothy Scanlon, arguing it exemplifies the dilemma which the book has argued all secular theories will face. It begins by arguing that Scanlon's early position avoids the metaphysical commitments which generate the ‘explanatory gap’ at the price of being unable to vindicate the ‘deliberatively indispensable’ ethical commitments defended in Chapter 1. Because Scanlon draws heavily on Christine Korsgaard for his meta-ethical account, the chapter will considers of her ‘procedural moral realism’, arguing it shares the fundamental flaws of quasi-realism. It then evaluates the more objectivist position developed in Scanlon's 2009 John Locke Lectures. While this position avoids the problems faced by Blackburn, Gibbard, and Korsgaard, the chapter argues that it does so at the price of generating the explanatory gap.

Keywords: constructivism; Scanlon; Korsgaard; procedural moral realism; moral objectivism

Chapter.  8272 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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