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Moral Supervenience
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy. The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Canadian journal of philosophy, ISSN 0045-5091, E-ISSN 1911-0820, Vol. 48, no 3-4, p. 592-615Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is widely held, even among nonnaturalists, that the moral supervenes on the natural. This is to say that for any two metaphysically possible worlds w and w′, and for any entities x in w and y in w′, any isomorphism between x and y that preserves the natural properties preserves the moral properties. In this paper, I put forward a conceivability argument against moral supervenience, assuming non-naturalism. First, I argue that though utilitarianism may be true, and the trolley driver is permitted to kill the one to save the five, there is a conceivable scenario that is just like our world in all natural respects, yet at which deontology is true, and the trolly driver is not permitted to kill the one to save the five. I then argue that in the special case of morality, it is possible to infer from the conceivability of such a scenario to its possibility. It follows that supervenience is false.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 48, no 3-4, p. 592-615
Keyword [en]
Moral supervenience, non-naturalism, conceivability arguments, moral concepts, moral relevance argument, modal essentialism, super-rigidity
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-155836DOI: 10.1080/00455091.2018.1436034ISI: 000427674100014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-155836DiVA, id: diva2:1202634
Available from: 2018-04-27 Created: 2018-04-27 Last updated: 2018-04-30Bibliographically approved

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