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Title: An argument for divine expressivism
Author: Taylor, Luke
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2016
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I defend two positions in this thesis. Firstly, I defend the claim that the existence of God makes morai realism more likely to be true than it would otherwise be. I argue that non-theistic versions of moral realism are susceptible to one or the other of two objections - namely, a version of the Open Question Argument, or a version of the argument from Queerness. My thesis is that a theistic version of moral realism can avoid both these two objections. Secondly, I develop and defend a particular account of theistic moral realism, according to which morality derives from God’s attitudes of approval and disapproval, rather than his commands. More specifically, I claim that the property of wrongness is identical to the property of being disapproved of by God, and that the property of goodness is identical to the property of being approved of by God. Other moral properties derive from these two. I then show how this account can accommodate three important desiderata of metaethics = namely, the ciaim that the wrongness of an action entails a normative reason to avoid that action; the claim that moral judgments are usually accompanied by motivation; and the claim that the moral supervenes on the natural. I call my account Divine Expressivism, because I draw on an analogy between my account and expressivism. Both types of theory make an important link between morality and attitudes, and in developing the analogy, I am able to solve some of the problems faced by moral realism, such as the problem as to how to explain moral supervenience. Whilst there may be nothing ground-breaking in linking morality to God’s attitudes rather than his commands, in developing the analogy between theistic ethics and expressivism I am developing a new contribution in the area of metaethics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available