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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Moral Objectivity - The importance of morality

You are sticking to non-objectivism. One final problem to consider is how to make sense of the importance that many people place on morality, on your view.

When someone is faced with a difficult moral decision, they might agonise over it. They might consult those they trust for advice, seek out as much relevant information as possible, and so on.

It can be hard to see how this makes sense, on a non-objectivist view. If what’s right or wrong is just settled by what we, or our society, happens to think, why treat moral questions with this kind of seriousness? Do you think your view can make sense of this? Or do you think we should stop treating morality so seriously?


To learn more about this topic, you might like to read ch.7 of Thomas Nagel’s What Does It All Mean?, chs.1-3 of James Rachels's The Elements of Moral Philosophy, or ch. 8 of Simon Blackburn’s Think. At Southampton, we run various modules that address these issues, including: Ethics, Moral Philosophy, Nietzsche, and Action, Reason, and Ethics. Many of our staff undertake research in this area, including Dr. Alex Gregory, Dr. Sasha Mudd, and Dr. Jonathan Way.

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