Department of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

Neil Sinhababu (National University of Singapore)

Fri, November 18, 2011 | WAG 316

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Title: Ethical Reductionism

Abstract: Naturalistic moral realists hold that moral facts exist as part of the natural world.  I defend a reductionist view on which the relation between moral properties and scientific properties is one of identity.  I argue against the nonreductionism of the Cornell realists, on which the relationship is one of constitution, much like the relation between brain states and psychological states on Fodor's view of psychology.  Nonreductionist treatments of ethics as an
independent special science incur implausible explanatory commitments which reductionism avoids. And in ethics, reductionists can deal with multiple realizability by identifying moral properties with finite disjunctions of psychological and sociological properties.

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