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Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism

Berit Brogaard
The Philosophical Quarterly (1950-)
Vol. 58, No. 232 (Jul., 2008), pp. 385-409
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40208633
Page Count: 25
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Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism
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Abstract

Moral relativism provides a compelling explanation of linguistic data involving ordinary moral expressions like 'right' and 'wrong'. But it is a very radical view. Because relativism relativizes sentence truth to contexts of assessment it forces us to revise standard linguistic theory. If, however, no competing theory explains all of the evidence, perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift. However, I argue that a version of moral contextualism can account for the same data as relativism without relativizing sentence truth to contexts of assessment. This version of moral contextualism is thus preferable to relativism on methodological grounds.

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