Title

An explanatory challenge to moral reductionism

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Theoria

Publication Date

12-1-2012

Volume

78

Issue

4

First Page

309

Last Page

325

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Keywords

depth, moral explanation, moral reductionism, unification

Abstract

It is generally believed that moral reductionism is immune from notorious problems in moral metaphysics and epistemology, such as the problem of moral explanation - it is at least on this dimension that moral reductionism scores better than moral anti-reductionism. However, in this article I reject this popular view. First, I argue that moral reductionism fails to help vindicate the explanatory efficacy of moral properties because the reductionist solution is either circular or otiose. Second, I attempt to show that a successful vindication, if any, of moral explanation requires moral-descriptive irreducibility. My discussion thus raises an explanatory challenge to moral reductionism.

DOI

10.1111/j.1755-2567.2012.01147.x

Print ISSN

00405825

E-ISSN

17552567

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2012 Stiftelsen Theoria. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Zhong, L. (2012). An explanatory challenge to moral reductionism. Theoria, 78(4), 309-325. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-2567.2012.01147.x

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