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Is metaphysics immune to moral refutation?

Barber, Alex (2019). Is metaphysics immune to moral refutation? Acta Analytica (Early Access).

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12136-019-00415-y
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Abstract

When a novel scientific theory conflicts with otherwise plausible moral assumptions, we do not treat that as evidence against the theory. We may scrutinize the empirical data more keenly and take extra care over its interpretation, but science is in some core sense immune to moral refutation. Can the same be said of philosophical theories (or the non-ethical, ‘metaphysical’ ones at least)? If a position in the philosophy of mind, for example, is discovered to have eye-widening moral import, does that count against it at all? Actual responses by philosophers to the question of whether unanticipated moral consequences of metaphysical theories have evidential force are scattered, implicit, divergent, under-argued, and sometimes even self-undermining. The present discussion is, in the first instance, an attempt to sort out the confusion. Beyond that, it exploits the new perspective this question gives us on a familiar topic: the relation of philosophy to science.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Author
ISSN: 1874-6349
Keywords: Naturalism; metaphysics; metametaphysics; moral immunity
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 68080
Depositing User: Alex Barber
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2019 09:24
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 09:36
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/68080
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