Ethical Pluralism

Is there only one right way?

Lesson Objectives

Appreciate the Grounding Problem for Ethical questions

Appreciate the diversity of Moral Realist positions

Understand the difference between Ethical Monism & Ethical Pluralism

Appreciate what it might take to return to Kantian Ethics in a plural way

Understand how Ross' Prima Facie Duties work in a pluralist way

Appreciate the problems of treating all moral problems as unique

Key Terms

The Grounding Problem

Moral Realism

Moral Antirealism

Moral Absolutism

Moral Relativism

Cultural Relativism

Ethical Monism

Ethical Pluralism

Prima Facie Duties

Ethical Particularism

An Introduction to Metaethics

Moral Realism

• There ARE moral facts in the universe, just like scientific facts

• In Moral Realism, any moral claim is either true or false

• But what is the basis of moral facts?

     • What is their source? Are they testable? Falsifiable?

The "Grounding Problem" of Ethics

• What is the foundation of our moral beliefs?

• It'd be fantastic if there was something solid we use as a foundation for our moral claims (eg. like math or science)

Moral Antirealism

• There ARE NO moral facts — just opinions and traditions

• It is foolish to imagine morality as an objective enterprise

• So, there's nothing 'inherently wrong' about anything