Moral realism is a broad metaethical position on the status of moral facts, truths, and knowledge. Minimally, realism claims that moral facts do exist—persons and actions really do possess moral properties such as virtuousness, goodness, and rightness—and so there are moral truths, some of which we know. More robust forms of realism also contend that these facts are, in some fundamental way, objective or mind independent. So realists are committed to at least two theses, moral cognitivism and moral success, and, perhaps, a third, moral objectivism. Moral antirealists (irrealists) deny at least one of these theses.

Moral Realism and Moral Cognitivism

Moral realists endorse moral cognitivism—that is, the view that moral judgments express beliefs (cognitive mental states) that are truth-apt (capable of being true or false). Moral ...

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