McGonigal, A. (2005) Moral facts and suitably informed subjects. Ratio, 18 (1). pp. 82-92.
The nature of moral facts, and their relationship to rationality, imagination and sentiment, have been central and pressing issues in recent moral philosophy. In this paper, I discuss and criticise a meta-ethical theory put forward by Alison Denham, which views moral facts as being constituted by the responses of ideal, empathetic agents. I argue that Denham's account is radically unstable, in that she has given us an account of the nature of such agents which is inconsistent with an independently plausible principle relating to concept acquisition. I go on to discuss one line of defence that Denham might employ, but argue that taking such a line entails abandoning what she takes to be an important advantage of her account over rival ideal-observer theories such as Michael Smith's.
|Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information:||© 2005 Blackwell Publishing. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Ratio. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.|
|Institution:||The University of Leeds|
|Academic Units:||The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds)|
|Depositing User:||Leeds Philosophy Department|
|Date Deposited:||05 Oct 2007 09:30|
|Last Modified:||16 Sep 2016 13:52|