Realism in Ethics

There are many ways to be a moral realist, but realism in ethics was considered dead and buried for much of the twentieth century. In the last twenty five years, however, various forms of moral realism have been exhumed and revivified. The purpose of our two-part event is to renew and advance the debate about these positions. By bringing leading figures in this philosophical debate together with graduate students and early career philosophers, we will foster discussion and debate that will illuminate fresh avenues of research into the nature of moral reality.

How does the moral domain fit into the universe? Are there moral facts, or properties, or truths? If so, what is their nature? Are they independent of our contingent desires and conventions? Or do they ultimately rest on us? Can they be accommodated within a naturalistic picture of the universe, or are they in some sense non-natural? How are moral truths discovered and known? How are they related to facts in other domains, like mathematical and scientific facts? We aim to encourage new ways of approaching and answering these questions, and to develop novel lines of inquiry into realism in ethics.

We are planning a two-part event. The first part will be a one-day graduate and early career workshop, held on 15th July 2016. We will invite submission of papers, which will be reviewed anonymously by the organisers, to determine the speakers at the workshop. The second part of the event will be a two-day conference with invited speakers, held on 16th and 17th July 2016. We believe that, by having the graduate and early career workshop first, we will create a relaxed atmosphere for the more junior speakers and attendees, making dialogue between the junior and the senior scholars freer and less inhibited.


£ 4200

Lead Student

Stephen Bolton, Sheffield

Other student organisers

Stephen Ingram, University of Sheffield Joe Saunders, University of Leeds Mark Wilcox, University of Leeds