Date of Award

4-1994

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Quentin Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Joe Ellin

Third Advisor

Dr. Sylvia Culp

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

I argue that David Brink's refutation of J. L. Mackie's "Argument From Queerness" fails on two points, (1) epistemological and (2) metaphysical. Both of these points serve as evidence that Brink's moral realism is not a better explanation of morality than non-realist theories, like noncognitivism.

Concerning point (1), I argue that Brink's externalist thesis actually refutes his argument for moral realism, where objective values are concerned. Although objective values need not necessarily be understood as being prescriptive, my argument demonstrates that moral realism must hold that these values are prescriptive in order to demonstrate their relevance to moral considerations.

Concerning point (2), I argue that Brink's argument for the supervenience of moral properties on natural properties is not sufficient to demonstrate an entailment. Without this entailment of moral properties from natural properties, Brink's argument for the constitution of moral properties by natural properties fails.

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