The Explanatory Challenge: Moral Realism Is No Better Than Theism

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Many of the arguments for and against robust moral realism parallel arguments for and against theism. In this article, I consider one of the shared challenges: the explanatory challenge. The article begins with a presentation of Harman's formulation of the explanatory challenge as applied to moral realism and theism. I then examine two responses offered by robust moral realists to the explanatory challenge, one by Russ Shafer-Landau and another by David Enoch. Shafer-Landau argues that the moral realist can plausibly respond to the challenge in a way unavailable to theists. I argue that Shafer-Landau's response is implausible as it stands and that once revised, it will apply to theism just as well. I then argue that Enoch's response, to the extent that it is plausible, can be used to defend theism as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-389
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


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