Moral Reality and the Empirical Sciences: (Routledge Studies in Ethics and Moral Theory)
Thomas Poelzler (Author)
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Are there objective moral truths (things that are morally right or wrong independently of what anybody thinks about them)? To answer this question more and more scholars have recently begun to appeal to evidence from scientific disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience, biology, and anthropology. This book investigates this novel scientific approach in a comprehensive, empirically focused, partly clarificatory, and partly metatheoretical way. It argues for two main theses. First, it is possible for the empirical sciences to contribute to the moral realism/anti-realism debate. And second, most appeals to science that have so far been proposed are insufficiently empirically substantiated. The book's main chapters address four prominent science-based arguments for or against the existence of objective moral truths: the presumptive argument, the argument from moral disagreement, the sentimentalist argument, and the evolutionary debunking argument. For each of these arguments Thomas Poelzler first identifies the sense in which its underlying empirical hypothesis would have to be true in order for the argument to work. Then he shows that the available scientific evidence fails to support this hypothesis. Finally, he also makes suggestions as to how to test the hypothesis more validly in future scientific research. Moral Reality and the Empirical Sciences is an important contribution to the moral realism/anti-realism debate that will appeal both to philosophers and scientists interested in moral psychology and metaethics.
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About the Author
Thomas Poelzler is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Graz, Austria. He mainly works on moral psychology and metaethics. His articles have been published in journals such as Synthese, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, and South African Journal of Philosophy.
- Contributor: Thomas Poelzler
- Imprint: Routledge
- ISBN13: 9780367734657
- Number of Pages: 248
- Packaged Dimensions: 152x229mm
- Packaged Weight: 458
- Format: Paperback
- Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
- Release Date: 2020-12-18
- Series: Routledge Studies in Ethics and Moral Theory
- Binding: Paperback / softback
- Biography: Thomas Poelzler is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Graz, Austria. He mainly works on moral psychology and metaethics. His articles have been published in journals such as Synthese, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, and South African Journal of Philosophy.