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Title: Realism without Objectivity Can One Be Both Realist and Quietist in Ethics?
Authors: Costa, Paolo
Keywords: Moralityrealismneo-Darwinismsense for reality
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Paolo Costa, “Realism without Objectivity Can One Be Both Realist and Quietist in Ethics?”, in "Etica & Politica / Ethics and Politics, (2017) XIX/2", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017, pp. 87-104
If there is a substantial stake in the philosophical discussion about moral realism, then this concerns the viable answers to questions like the following: Does our concept of reality allow for “stuff” like goods, values or obligations which seem at first sight abstruse? Can room be made for a subset of “facts” united by the property of somehow belonging to the (admittedly vague) field of morality? Is there an accessible theoretical space wherein a form of impersonal or at any rate non-special knowledge of these facts can be developed? In the essay, I take a stand and argue for a variety of moral realism that is disconnected from any sense of moral anxiety. Simply put, I assume not only that, as a rule, the quality of a society’s moral life does not depend on the meta-ethics prevailing in the (notoriously thin) community of moral philosophers, but that there are non-realist moral theories that, ideally, can be regarded as effective bulwarks against immorality or amorality. Nor I think that there is an a priori incompatibility between a realist stance in ethics and a non-panadaptationist view of biological evolution, which does not purport to explain all that exists and matters in people’s lives exclusively in the light of its reproductive fitness. As a result, I see the relevant dispute as revolving around the (comparatively) higher or lower plausibility of the reconstruction of the conditions of intelligibility of moral experience, as it manifests itself in the human life-form or, more modestly, in the societies or cultures inhabited by the philosophers contributing to the debate of interest here.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2017) XIX/2

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