Hoping for Metanormative Realism
Debates in metaethics about metanormative realism, quasi-realism, anti-realism, and nihilism mostly focus on epistemic reasons for beliefs about values. Very little has been said about our practical reasons for metaethical beliefs, and even less is said about practical reasons for other attitudes we might take toward metaethical views. This paper shows why a recent argument bucking that trend fails to show that we have practical reasons to believe realism over nihilism, but that for many of us, we do have practical reason to hope that what I call Optimistic Realism is true.
I am grateful to Ted Poston, Kevin McCain, participants of the Hope and Optimism Midpoint Collaboratory Workshop, and the Alabama Philosophical Society Meeting for discussion and helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.
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