Metamorality without Moral Truth

Steven R. Kraaijeveld*, Hanno Sauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently, Joshua Greene has argued that we need a metamorality to solve moral problems for which evolution has not prepared us. The metamorality that he proposes is a utilitarian account that he calls deep pragmatism. Deep pragmatism is supposed to arbitrate when the values espoused by different groups clash. To date, no systematic appraisal of this argument for a metamorality exists. We reconstruct Greene’s case for deep pragmatism as a metamorality and consider three lines of objection to it. We argue that, in the end, only one of these objections seriously threatens Greene’s position. Greene has to commit to the nonexistence of moral truth in order for his argument for the need of a metamorality to get off the ground. This, however, leads to a tension in his overall argument for deep pragmatism: ultimately, it casts his rejection of antiutilitarian moral intuitions into doubt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroethics
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Deep pragmatism
  • Dual-process theory
  • Metaethics
  • Metamorality
  • Moral truth
  • Utilitarianism

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