Donald Davidson and moral realism
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My thesis is that Donald Davidson's approaches in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, semantics, and metaphysics provide the basis for an attractive version of moral realism. To show the philosophical interest of this thesis, I first contend that Davidson's approaches are themselves attractive or at least plausible. Davidson's fundamental views imply externalism about the content of mental attitudes and utterances, as well as a modest holism about the attitudes; furthermore, they entail an anti-sceptical argument concluding that coherence is an adequate test of truth, and that there can be no alternative conceptual schemes. Moral realism must account for the practical nature of moral beliefs, as well as showing that moral beliefs justified by coherence can be true. I contend that the holism of the attitudes accounts for the practical nature of moral belief. Finally, the general anti-sceptical and anti-relativist arguments work together to defeat scepticism about coherent moral beliefs.