Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boghossian on moral relativism

HT: Bob Prokop


Doctor Logic said...

We're eliminativist about witches because the phenomena of witches don't exist.

We're not eliminativist about simultaneity because the phenomena of simultaneity exists and is with us all the time.

We're not eliminativist about morality because moral phenomena (feelings, sentiments, apparent "oughts" etc) are with us all the time.

finney said...

Doctor Logic,

But then I suppose you take moral phenomena to be absent of a normative character, but rather just another set of descriptive facts of what is. This is the short-route to the moral nihilism Boghossian is writing about.

Doctor Logic said...


Moral phenomena are absent objective normative character. In fact, moral phenomena contradict objective normative character. No one actually cares about what is objectively normative and subjectively anti-normative.

Take something you think is subjectively anti-normative/disgusting, like theft or murder. Now imagine discovering somehow that these things are not anti-normative, but in fact objectively normative. Do you want to be objectively good or evil? Or do you prefer to be subjectively evil or good, respectively?

Normativity isn't the illusion. Objective normativity is the illusion. And that's why subjectivism isn't the same as nihilism.