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  • Mill's Antirealism

    Rights statement: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in The Philosophical Quartley following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Christopher Macleod Mill's Antirealism The Philosophical Quarterly 2016 66: 261-279 is available online at: http://pq.oxfordjournals.org/content/66/263/261

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Mill's Antirealism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>The Philosophical Quarterly
Issue number263
Volume66
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)261-279
StatePublished
Early online date7/08/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

One of Mill’s primary targets, throughout his work, is intuitionism. In this paper, I distinguish two strands of intuitionism, against which Mill offers separate arguments. The first strand, ‘a priorism’ makes an epistemic claim about how we come to know norms. The second strand, ‘first principle pluralism’, makes a structural claim about how many fundamental norms there are. In this paper, I suggest that one natural reading of Mill’s argument against first principle pluralism is incompatible with the naturalism that drives his argument against a priorism. It must, therefore, be discarded. Such a reading, however, covertly attributes Mill realist commitments about the normative. These commitments are unnecessary. To the extent that Mill’s argument against first principle pluralism is taken seriously, I suggest, it is an argument that points towards Mill as having an antirealist approach to the normative.

Bibliographic note

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in The Philosophical Quartley following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Christopher Macleod Mill's Antirealism The Philosophical Quarterly 2016 66: 261-279 is available online at: http://pq.oxfordjournals.org/content/66/263/261