Critical Rationalism and Ethics

  • Jeremy Shearmur
Part of the Boston Studies in The Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 272)

This paper examines Popper's views about ethics and metaethics, drawing on a wide variety of sources. It notes the presence of Kantian and utilitarian themes, and discusses some ideas about how they might be interpreted and inter-related. It argues that there are various problems about Popper's views — notably that his Kantian-influenced ideas about the significance of the individual conscience would appear to conflict with the emphasis on inter-subjectivity in his more general epistemology. The author suggests that it is not likely that a resolution to the issues which he raises will be found in Popper's own work, and advocates, as a research programme for critical rationalism, the adoption of a strong form of ethical realism, and argues that Popper's own treatment of reduction suggests the legitimacy of exploration of these matters in a non-reductionistic manner, prior to the attempting of reductions.


Open Society Moral Realism Reflective Equilibrium Moral Sentiment Moral Truth 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy Shearmur
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HumanitiesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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