Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism

ISBN : 9780198812005

Erik J. Wielenberg
224 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Nov 2017
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Erik J. Wielenberg draws on recent work in analytic philosophy and empirical moral psychology to defend non-theistic robust normative realism and develop an empirically-grounded account of human moral knowledge. Non-theistic robust normative realism has it that there are objective, non-natural, sui generis ethical features of the universe that do not depend on God for their existence. The early chapters of the book address various challenges to the intelligibility and plausibility of the claim that irreducible ethical features of things supervene on their non-ethical features as well as challenges from defenders of theistic ethics who argue that objective morality requires a theistic foundation. Later chapters develop an account of moral knowledge and answer various recent purported debunkings of morality, including those based on scientific research into the nature of the proximate causes of human moral beliefs as well as those based on proposed evolutionary explanations of our moral beliefs.


1 Metaphysics of Morals: Intrinsic Value, Reasons, Obligations, and Supervenience
2 Cudworth's Revenge: Answering Theistic Challenges
3 Moral Psychology meets Reliabilism
4 Answering the Evolutionary Debunkers

About the author: 

Erik J. Wielenberg is Professor of Philosophy at DePauw University. He works primarily in ethics and the philosophy of religion and is the author of Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe (CUP, 2005) and God and the Reach of Reason (CUP, 2007). His work has appeared in such journals as Ethics, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Synthese, Faith and Philosophy, The European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, and Religious Studies.

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