moral realism

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Realism as applied to the judgements of ethics, and to the values, obligations, rights, etc. that are referred to in ethical theory. The leading idea is to see moral truth as grounded in the nature of things rather than in subjective and variable human reactions to things. Like realism in other areas, this is capable of many different formulations. Generally speaking moral realism aspires to protecting the objectivity of ethical judgement (opposing relativism and subjectivism); it may assimilate moral truths to those of mathematics, hope that they have some divine sanction (but see Euthyphro dilemma), or see them as guaranteed by human nature. See also ethical naturalism, projectivism, quasi-realism.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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