The Normative Web

The Normative Web : An Argument for Moral Realism

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Antirealist views about morality claim that moral facts or truths do not exist. Does this imply that other types of normative facts, such as epistemic facts, do not exist? The Normative Web develops a positive answer to this question. Terence Cuneo argues that moral and epistemic facts are sufficiently similar so that, if moral facts do not exist, then epistemic facts do not exist. But epistemic facts do exist: to deny their existence would commit us to an extreme
version of epistemological scepticism. Therefore, Cuneo concludes, moral facts do exist. And if moral facts exist, then moral realism is true.

It is sometimes said that moral realists rarely offer arguments for their position, settling instead for mere defenses of a view they find intuitively plausible. By contrast, The Normative Web provides not merely a defense of robust realism in ethics, but a positive argument for this position. In so doing, it engages with a range of antirealist positions in epistemology such as error theories, expressivist views, and reductionist views of epistemic reasons. These positions, Cuneo
claims, come at a prohibitively high theoretical cost. Given this cost, it follows that realism about both epistemic and moral facts is a position that we should find highly attractive.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 17mm | 426g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 019958138X
  • 9780199581382
  • 1,140,774

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Moral Realism of a Paradigmatic Sort ; 2. Defending the Parallel ; 3. The Parity Premise ; 4. Epistemic Nihilism ; 5. Epistemic Expressivism: Traditional Views ; 6. Epistemic Expressivism: Nontraditional Views ; 7. Epistemic Reductionism ; 8. Three Objections to the Core Argument ; Bibliography
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Review quote

The Normative Web is an important book, if for no other reason than it does something that is unfortunately all too rare in contemporary metaethics: it presents a very promising argument in favour of moral realism. * Daniel Star, Mind * Review from previous edition Terence Cuneo, someone already identified by those who have been paying attention as a young moral philosopher to watch, has written a splendid book...an important and engaging contribution to the metaethical literature. * James Lenman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Terence Cuneo

Terence Cuneo is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vermont
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