Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Moral Dilemmasand Other Topics in Moral Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philippa Foot

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019925284X.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2019

Moral Realism and Moral Dilemma

Moral Realism and Moral Dilemma

Chapter:
(p.37) 3 Moral Realism and Moral Dilemma
Source:
Moral Dilemmas
Author(s):

Philippa Foot

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019925284X.003.0004

Argues against two articles of Bernard Williams in which he attacks moral realism. In the first (Ethical Consistency), Williams finds a disanalogy between judgements of matters of fact and moral judgements in that when two beliefs are irreconcilable one must simply cede: whereas an obligation that overrides another obligation does so only with ‘remainder.’ Foot argues that although the notion of obligation when understood in one way does indeed allow coexisting irreconcilable obligations, this no more supports anti‐realism here than the possibility of clashing social engagements supports an anti‐realistic account of judgements about them. In the second article (Consistency and Realism) Williams argues from the special case of irresolvable moral conflict, where there are as good reasons for doing a as for doing not a, suggesting that there cannot similarly be as good reasons for believing and disbelieving a proposition. Foot denies that this implies anti‐realism for propositions about reasons, suggesting an analogy in the case of propositions that are equally assertable or deniable relative to different grounds.

Keywords:   anti‐realism, moral conflict, moral dilemmas, moral realism, moral relativism, Bernard Williams

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .