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Walter Block, Gábor Gángó, Andrei G. Zavaliy, Gëzim Alpion, Andrew Wilson, Andrew Schumann, Valery Tsepkalo, Anatoly Levenchuk, Victor Agroskin, Yuval Jobani, Michael Huemer, Marijana Dragaš,

He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the City University of New York, and is currently an Associate Professor of philosophy and religion at the American University of Kuwait. His research interests include the history of world religions, moral psychology, philosophy of religion, and the applicability of the experimental methods to philosophical controversies, especially in ethical theory. He serves as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of the Humanities and as the member of the editorial board of the Online Dictionary of Intercultural Philosophy.



Saving Morality: A Case against Moral Neutralism

The purpose of this paper is to defend a position in metaethics, saving morality from certain reductionist attempts, and arguing that a moral point of view denotes a distinct attitude toward the world with a set of relatively stable conditions. I discuss the problem of demarcation between the moral and the non-moral domains, and contrast the two basic approaches – moral neutralism and moral descriptivism. Moral neutralism is defined as a view which builds no content requirements into the definition of moral rules, whereas moral descriptivism or essentialism places identifiable constraints on the content of an action-guiding principle if such a principle is to count as a moral, as opposed to a non-moral, rule. I show that adopting neutralism is tantamount to giving up ethical theory as a scholarly activity with a distinct subject matter altogether. It is further argued that W. Frankena’s essentialist definition of morality, as well as a more recent view of Catherine Wilson, share a similar weakness and fall short from neutralizing neutralism. Finally, I propose a modification to the essentialist account of morality, which would significantly increase the resilience of such an account to attempts of reducing moral prescriptions to any action-guiding policy whatsoever, as long as such policy is sincerely adhered to and followed consistently. The proposed modification is described as a Realism constraint, and it refers to the connection between one’s expectations of the outcome of observing a prohibition or following a certain rule and the actual consequences of following a given policy.


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