Moral Realism and Epistemic Inaccessibility
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The relationship between epistemological moral scepticism and moral realism is often presented as a matter of logic: because we cannot draw metaphysical conclusions about the existence of moral facts on the basis of the question whether we can have epistemic access to such moral facts, so the argument runs, epistemological moral scepticism and moral realism are compatible meta-ethical positions. In this thesis, however, I will argue that the relationship between moral realism and epistemological moral scepticism is a far from trivial one. Indeed, in this thesis I will argue that the epistemic inaccessibility of moral facts, which should lead one to endorse epistemological moral scepticism, not only creates an extra burden of proof for the moral realist, but that it also fatally undermines the most important positive arguments in favour of moral realism. For these reasons, or so I will argue, moral realism is rendered a wholly unattractive and unconvincing meta-ethical position if it is coupled with an acknowledgement of epistemological moral scepticism.