On Moral Objections to Moral Realism
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In a recent survey of professional philosophers in English-speaking countries, a majority of respondents identified as moral realists.1 While the term “moral realism” is used to denote a variety of philosophical positions, one very common conception of realism involves the conjunction of three commitments:
1) Moral judgments are beliefs.2
2) Some (non-trivial) moral beliefs are true.
3) The truth of moral claims is stance-independent—that is, their truth does not constitutively depend on the attitudes that any actual or hypothetical agents take toward their content.3
Each of these commitments is contested by some prominent rival view in contemporary metaethics: generally speaking, expressivists reject 1, error theorists reject 2, and constructivists reject 3.4
While moral realism has been challenged on a number of different fronts—including metaphysics, epistemology, moral psychology, and semantics—there is one sort of consideration has been widely thought to count in favorof moral...