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The Good's Magnetism and Ethical Realism

Irwin Goldstein
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 108, No. 1/2, Selected Papers Presented in 2001 at the 75th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association (Mar., 2002), pp. 1-14
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4321230
Page Count: 14
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The Good's Magnetism and Ethical Realism
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Abstract

People support ethical antirealism with various arguments. Gilbert Harman thinks if a property of goodness existed, it would have detectable effects on objects that have it. However, Harman reasons, the "good" has no such detectable effects. Internalists think if "good" objects had some goodness property, that property would bond to desire and action in a way inconsistent with ethical realism. I defend ethical realism from the two arguments. I explain how "good" can both name a property and how objects with that property might dispose people to seek them. This explanation of the good's "magnetism" provides a reply to Harman.

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