An explanatory challenge to moral reductionism


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

1 Citation (Scopus)


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
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • depth
  • moral explanation
  • moral reductionism
  • unification

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