Nonassertive moral abolitionism

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Dockstader, Jason
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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Proponents of moral abolitionism, like Richard Garner, qualify their view as an â assertiveâ version of the position. They counsel moral realists and anti-realists alike to accept moral error theory, abolish morality, and encourage others to abolish morality. In response, this paper argues that moral error theorists should abolish morality, but become quiet about such abolition. It offers a quietist or nonassertive version of moral abolitionism. It does so by first clarifying and addressing the arguments for and against assertive moral abolitionism. Second, it develops novel criticisms of assertive moral abolitionism and offers nonassertive moral abolitionism in response. Third, it discusses how various metaethical views might respond to nonassertive moral abolitionism. Its basic claim is that nonassertive moral abolitionism provides superior therapeutic benefits over assertive moral abolitionism and other conserving and reforming approaches to moral discourse.
Metaethics , Moral abolitionism , Moral antirealism , Moral error theory , Moral nihilism
Dockstader, J. (2019) 'Nonassertive moral abolitionism', Metaphilosophy, 50(4), pp. 481-502. doi: 10.1111/meta.12368
© 2019, Metaphilosophy LLC and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Dockstader, J. (2019) 'Nonassertive moral abolitionism', Metaphilosophy, 50(4), pp. 481-502. doi: 10.1111/meta.12368, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.