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Moral fictionalism

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L150-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2012
Retrieved July 14, 2024, from

Article Summary

Moral fictionalism is the doctrine that the moral claims we accept should be treated as convenient fictions. One standard kind of moral fictionalism maintains that many of the moral claims we ordinarily accept are in fact false, but these claims are still useful to produce and accept, despite this falsehood.

Moral fictionalists claim they can recover many of the benefits of the use of moral concepts and moral language, without the theoretical costs incurred by rivals such as moral realism or traditional moral noncognitivism. These benefits might include social benefits, like being able to resolve conflict peacefully, or psychological benefits for individuals, like resisting temptations that would be harmful.

Citing this article:
Nolan, Daniel. Moral fictionalism, 2012, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L150-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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