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On What MattersVolume Two$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572816

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199572816.001.0001

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(p.543) 34 Agreement
On What Matters

Samuel Scheffler

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a philosophical discussion of agreement. It is often argued that we cannot rationally believe that there are moral truths, given the facts of deep and widespread moral disagreement, and the cultural origin of many moral beliefs. To introduce this argument, the chapter considers the following claims: there are some irreducibly normative reason-involving truths, some of which are moral truths; since these truths are not about natural properties, our knowledge of these truths cannot be based on perception, or on evidence provided by empirical facts; positive substantive normative truths cannot be analytic, in the sense that their truth follows from their meaning; our normative beliefs cannot be therefore justified unless we are able to recognise in some other way that these beliefs are true. The chapter then examines the Convergence Claim, Metaphysical Naturalism, Error Theories, and the double badness of suffering.

Keywords:   agreement, moral truths, moral disagreement, moral beliefs, normative truths, normative beliefs, Convergence Claim, Metaphysical Naturalism, Error Theories, double badness of suffering

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