An Argument Against Reduction in Morality and Epistemology
Article first published online: 13 JUN 2006
Volume 29, Issue 3, pages 250–274, July 2006
How to Cite
Koons, J. R. (2006), An Argument Against Reduction in Morality and Epistemology. Philosophical Investigations, 29: 250–274. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9205.2006.00292.x
- Issue published online: 13 JUN 2006
- Article first published online: 13 JUN 2006
To avoid Moore’s open question objection and similar arguments, reductionist philosophers argue that normative (e.g. moral and epistemic) and natural terms are only coextensive, but not synonymous. These reductionists argue that the normative content of normative terms is not a feature of their extension, but is accounted for in some other way (e.g. as a feature of these terms’ meaning). However, reductionist philosophers cannot account for this “normative surplus” while remaining true to their original reductionist motivations. The reductionist’s theoretical commitments both require and forbid a reductionist account of the normative content of moral and epistemic concepts.