If killing isn’t wrong, then nothing is: A naturalistic defence of basic moral certainty
This paper develops and defends the Wittgensteinian idea of basic moral certainty that I advanced in earlier writings (Pleasants 2008b; 2009). It seeks to defend the core of this idea against criticisms issued by critics that are appreciative of Wittgenstein’s analysis of empirical certainty, but who argue that moral certainty is significantly disanalogous to empirical certainty. They maintain that there are no universal moral certainties, only localised (hence relative) certainties embedded in culturally and historically specific moral ‘language-games’. In response to these criticisms, I seek to argue for the universality and naturalism of basic moral certainty, focusing on the central case of the wrongness of killing.
Vol. 22, No.1, pp.197-215