Naturalistic Moral Realism and Moral Disagreement: David Copp’s Account
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To enhance the plausibility of naturalistic moral realism, David Copp develops an argument from epistemic defeaters aiming to show that strongly a priori synthetic moral truths do not exist. In making a case for the non-naturalistic position, I locate Copp’s account within the wider literature on peer disagreement; I identify key points of divergence between Copp’s doctrine and conciliatorist doctrines; I introduce the notion of ‘minimal moral competence’; I contend that some plausible benchmarks for minimal moral competence are grounded in substantive moral considerations; and I discuss two forms of spinelessness that Copp’s moral naturalism could result in.
KeywordsMoral naturalism Moral non-naturalism Moral disagreement David Copp Naturalizing ethics Minimal moral competence Conciliatorism Ethical anti-Archimedeanism
I am grateful to Robert Audi, David Christensen, Frank Jackson, Matthew Kramer, Gerald Lang, Hallvard Lillehammer, and an anonymous referee for Res Publica for helpful comments.
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