Debunking the Argument From Queerness

Erik Kassenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

According to moral error theory, there are no ethical facts. Error theorists often defend this view with the metaphysical argument from queerness. This argument purports to show that it is most reasonable to believe that ethical facts do not exist, because such facts are metaphysically queer and explanatorily redundant. This paper argues that even if we assume that ethical facts are metaphysically queer and explanatorily redundant, the argument from queerness does not warrant the rejection of ethical facts. It only shows that it is most reasonable to refrain from believing that ethical facts exist. The argument from queerness therefore merely supports metaethical scepticism: that is, it merely supports agnosticism about the existence of ethical facts. This is cause for optimism, because metaethical scepticism is less of a threat to our moral practice than moral error theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-323
Number of pages11
JournalRatio
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2021

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