Against Analytic Moral Functionalism



I argue against the analytic moral functionalist view propounded by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit. I focus on the ‘input’ clauses of our alleged ‘folk moral theory’. I argue that the examples they give of such input clauses cannot plausibly be interpreted as analytic truths. They are in fact substantive moral claims about the moral ‘domain’. It is a substantive claim that all human beings have equal moral standing. There are those who have rejected this, such as Herman Göring. He was loyal to a sub-class of humankind, but he suffered no conceptual confusion. Claims about what is morally relevant are substantive claims that cannot be known on purely conceptual grounds.