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Moral facts and suitably informed subjects

McGonigal, A. (2005) Moral facts and suitably informed subjects. Ratio, 18 (1). pp. 82-92.

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Article
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.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Leeds Philosophy Department
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2007 09:30
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:07
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9329.2005.00272.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2005.00272.x
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3251

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