Moral contextualism and moral relativism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Moral relativism provides a compelling explanation of linguistic data involving ordinary moral expressions like 'right' and 'wrong'. But it is a very radical view. Because relativism relativizes sentence truth to contexts of assessment it forces us to revise standard linguistic theory. If, however, no competing theory explains all of the evidence, perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift. However, I argue that a version of moral contextualism can account for the same data as relativism without relativizing sentence truth to contexts of assessment. This version of moral contextualism is thus preferable to relativism on methodological grounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-409
Number of pages25
JournalPhilosophical Quarterly
Volume58
Issue number232
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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