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Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics

David Owen Brink, ed. (Cambridge University Press: Feb 24, 1989), 356 pages.

This is an important book in contemporary meta-ethics since it is the first and only book-length treatise on so-called "Cornell Realism." What is perhaps most distinctive of the Cornell Realists is that they draw on work in recent philosophy of science to argue that we have good reason to believe that moral inquiry is objective in much the same way that scientific inquiry is objective. They also adhere to a battery of views on specific meta-ethical issues, and this helps to distinguish them from other thinkers. At the center of their metaphysics of morality is the view that moral facts and properties are natural, though they cannot be reduced to the properties of physics, biology, chemistry, or any other discipline in the natural sciences. 
"David Brink’s book is the best development, synthesis, and defense now available of a naturalistic moral realism." ~ Ethics

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Moral realism and moral inquiry
    • 3. Externalist moral realism
    • 4. Does moral realsim matter?
    • 5. A coherentist moral epistemology
    • 6. Moral realism and the is/ought thesis
    • 7. Posteriori objections to moral realism
    • 8. Objective utilitarianism
    • Appendices
    • Bibliography
    • Index.