An explanatory challenge to moral reductionism

Lei ZHONG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations

Abstract

It is generally believed that moral reductionism is immune from notorious problems in moral metaphysics and epistemology, such as the problem of moral explanation - it is at least on this dimension that moral reductionism scores better than moral anti-reductionism. However, in this article I reject this popular view. First, I argue that moral reductionism fails to help vindicate the explanatory efficacy of moral properties because the reductionist solution is either circular or otiose. Second, I attempt to show that a successful vindication, if any, of moral explanation requires moral-descriptive irreducibility. My discussion thus raises an explanatory challenge to moral reductionism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-325
Number of pages17
JournalTheoria
Volume78
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012

Fingerprint

Reductionism
Irreducibility
Metaphysics
Efficacy
Epistemology
Descriptive
Antireductionism
Reductionist
Vindication

Keywords

  • depth
  • moral explanation
  • moral reductionism
  • unification

Cite this

ZHONG, Lei. / An explanatory challenge to moral reductionism. In: Theoria. 2012 ; Vol. 78, No. 4. pp. 309-325.
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An explanatory challenge to moral reductionism. / ZHONG, Lei.

In: Theoria, Vol. 78, No. 4, 01.12.2012, p. 309-325.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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