• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Moral realism is the metaethical view that there are moral facts and moral properties and that the existence of these facts and instantiation of these properties is essentially independent of any subjective stance. This view commits moral realists to three logically independent theses. Moral antirealists deny one or more of these theses.

First, moral realism is a form of cognitivism. Cognitivism is the view that moral judgments express beliefs that are capable of being true or false. Realists see moral judgments as beliefs that are true or false depending on whether they accurately represent moral facts. In contrast, noncognitivists (expressivists) maintain that the function of moral discourse is either to express the affective states—such as the emotions or desires—of the speaker and to persuade others ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles