Positive Moral Claim (PMC): Any claim of the form "You should 'X'" & "You shouldn't
Question: Are PMCs factive?
• If we say no, then we have a NonFactivism position
1 Ex) Emotivism
• If we say yes, then we can ask a second question:
1 Are positive moral claims relative Are they true or false relative to something?
1 If we say no, positive moral claims aren't relative relativism
1 Ex) Cultural Relativism
2 If we say yes we can ask a third question
1 Are any positive moral claims true? Are positive moral claims
1 If we say no, we are led to the view of Moral Nihilism
all positive moral claims are false (more objective)
2 If we say yes, we are led to Moral Objectivism the view
that some positive moral claims are 1) factive, 2)
nonrelative, and 3) true
Are there true nonrelative positive moral claims?
Ex) Some things we know exist because we observe them.
We interact with these things to observe other things, such as a microscope of bacteria.
Thus, we think that these other things exist too.
All of the things that we think exist play a role in what we observe.
What are the things that make positive moral claims true?
Moral Truthmakers: Things that make PMCs true
What role do those play in explaining what we observe?
Do these things play a role in explaining what we observe? They don't. We shouldn't
think this. This is the intuitive idea
Key principle in this argument is the:
The Observation Argument
The Observation Principle: You should only believe in things which:
• a) appear in the best overall explanation of what we observe
• b) Can be characterized in terms of things which appear in this best explanation
Should we believe that electrons exist according to the observation principle?
1) Do electrons appear in the best overall explanation of what we observe?
a) Yes. So we should think they exist.
a) No. Electron chairshaped things b) Yes. In terms of those things a bunch of matter are bound together to make this.
We shouldn't think that witches exist.
Moral Truthmakers: Just like witches. Won't appear... (a) can't characterize… (b) so we
shouldn't believe this can exist.
The Observation Argument:
P1. The observation Principle.
P2. Moral truth makers don't satisfy clause A. They don't appear in the best explan