Moral Skepticism Essay

If the former, is it a matter of the reasons being universalizable, or that they arise from respect for duty, or something else?

If the latter, is it the utility it produces or the perfection it makes possible?

Nietzsche calls attention not to “ordinary” or “folk” moral disagreement, but rather to what should be the single most important and embarrassing fact about the history of moral theorizing by philosophers over the last two millennia: namely, that no rational consensus has been secured on substantive, foundational proposition about morality.

Is the criterion of right action the reasons for which it is performed or the consequences it brings about?

This persistent disagreement on foundational questions, of course, distinguishes moral theory from inquiry in the sciences and mathematics, not, perhaps, in kind, but certainly in degree.

The alternative, “moral realist” explanation for the data—the data being the existence ofincompatible philosophical theories about morality—is both less simple and less consilient. (eds.), are undetected by large number of philosophers who are otherwise deemed to be rational and epistemically informed.

First, of course, it posits the existence of moral facts which, according to the more familiar best-explanation argument I have defended elsewhere (“Moral Facts and Best Explanations” in E. Third, the moral realist must explain why there is a failure of convergence under what appear (and purport) to be epistemically ideal conditions of sustained philosophical inquiry and reflective contemplation across millennia.

Yet Nietzsche goes further when he asserts that the second claim—namely, that “all attempts to give reasons for morality are necessarily ] he says) by the work of the philosophers from Plato through to Kant.

But in what sense do the moral philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Hutcheson, Mill, Kant, and Schopenhauer et al.

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  1. I think this might be one of the clearest offenders. This line is often misattributed to Buddha–but it is often attributed to Aristotle…Onassis. I poked around a bit through Aristotle, changing some of the ideas (an ancient Greek might think of “sick” or “corrupt” society”) but there is nothing close to this.