Reactionary moral fictionalism

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dc.contributor.author Dockstader, Jason
dc.date.accessioned 2019-08-09T10:53:47Z
dc.date.available 2019-08-09T10:53:47Z
dc.date.issued 2019-07-18
dc.identifier.citation Dockstader, J. (2019) 'Reactionary moral fictionalism', Philosophia. doi: 10.1007/s11406-019-00106-3 en
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 16 en
dc.identifier.issn 0048-3893
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/8301
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s11406-019-00106-3 en
dc.description.abstract There is a debate among moral error theorists. It concerns what is to be done with moral discourse once it is believed to be systematically false or untrue. It has been called the ‘now what’ problem. Should error theorists abolish morality or insulate themselves in some way from this nihilistic consequence of belief in error theory? Assertive moral abolitionism aims to have error theorists avoid any insulation and abolish morality altogether. Revolutionary moral fictionalism aims for insulation by having error theorists start treating morality as a useful fiction. There are certain problems with assertive moral abolitionism and revolutionary moral fictionalism, however. This paper argues for a hybrid view that combines the best parts of both views. I call this position ‘reactionary moral fictionalism.’ It says it might be wise for certain individual error theorists to abolish morality in most cases, but remain quiet about their abolition. It also says that these error theorists should use morality as a fiction in those situations where it would be practically detrimental not to use moral discourse. In such situations, the error theorist should employ moral fictionalism. A fictionalist approach should thus be used only as a passive reaction to contexts where it cannot be avoided. The advice offered to certain individual error theorists by reactionary moral fictionalism is thus ‘abolish morality when one can, but use morality as a fiction when one has to.’ It is argued that this solution to the ‘now what’ problem offers superior therapeutic benefits for these individuals and could possibly serve as a compromise between assertive moral abolitionism and revolutionary moral fictionalism. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Springer Nature Switzerland AG en
dc.rights © 2019, Springer Nature B.V. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of a paper published in Philosophia on 18 July 2019. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-019-00106-3 en
dc.subject Metaethics en
dc.subject Moral error theory en
dc.subject Assertive moral abolitionism en
dc.subject Revolutionary moral fictionalism en
dc.title Reactionary moral fictionalism en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Jason Dockstader, Philosophy, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: j.dockstader@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.check.info Access to this article is restricted until 12 months after publication by request of the publisher. en
dc.check.date 2020-07-18
dc.date.updated 2019-08-09T10:43:20Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.internal.rssid 495980034
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Philosophia en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress j.dockstader@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.bibliocheck In press. Check vol / issue / page range. Amend citation as necessary. en
dc.identifier.eissn 1574-9274


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