Non-causal Moral Explanations

Professor Terence Cuneo, Department of Philosophy

Terence Cuneo, Professor of Philosophy

Suppose there were objective moral facts – roughly, facts concerning right and wrong that hold regardless of what conventions hold or what we value. Would they play any explanatory role in the world? Professor Cuneo sketches an account of how moral facts might non-causally explain the performance of speech acts such as asserting, promising, and commanding.

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Professor Cuneo’s research focuses on metaethics and early modern philosophy, especially the work of Thomas Reid. He also has strong interests in philosophy of┬áreligion, epistemology, and political philosophy. In addition to numerous essays in ethics, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of religion, he is the author of two books, The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism (Oxford, 2007) and Speech and Morality: On the Metaethical Implications of Speaking (Oxford, 2014) and the editor of several others, including the co-edited books, The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Reid (Cambridge, 2004) and Foundations of Ethics (Blackwell, 2007).

The College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture Series was designed to give newly promoted faculty an opportunity to share with the university community a single piece of research or overview of research trajectory meant to capture the spark of intellectual excitement that has resulted in their achieving full professor rank.

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