The Aristotelian Society’s Virtual Issue is a free, online publication, made publically available on the Aristotelian Society website. Each volume is theme-based, collecting together papers from the archives of the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society and the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume that address the chosen theme.
The papers in this collection were chosen as potentially illuminating the nature of moral values and directives. More specifically, each of the papers engages with questions about the extent to which our moral attitudes purport to reflect objective features of the world we share.
As we ordinarily think of theoretical inquiry—for example, inquiry in the natural sciences—we think of it as aiming to uncover such objective features. Thus, we seek to form theoretical beliefs that reflect features of our shared world, rather than attitudes that reflect our own local idiosyncrasies. In light of this, we expect successful theoretical inquiry to terminate in attitudes that are intra- and inter-personally consistent. The questions that these papers address concern the extent to which similar views about moral inquiry and moral attitudes are warranted. Does moral inquiry, and the consequent formation of moral attitudes, aim to reflect objective values and directives? If it does, can it succeed? Should we expect fully successful moral inquiry to terminate in moral consistency or consensus? Should we, therefore, treat residual differences or disagreements as signs of failure and, so, as an impetus to further inquiry? Or should we, instead, allow that fully successful moral inquiry might terminate in moral attitudes that are in conflict with one another and with other, similarly successful, non-moral attitudes?
Moral Cognitivism, Moral Relativism and Motivating Moral Beliefs
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Vol. 91
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