An explanatory challenge to moral reductionism
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
depth, moral explanation, moral reductionism, unification
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.
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Zhong, L. (2012). An explanatory challenge to moral reductionism. Theoria, 78(4), 309-325. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-2567.2012.01147.x