This Independent Study thesis is divided into an introduction and three chapters. The introduction lays out the problem I am attempting to tackle. Namely, that too many accept a position towards ethics that moral claims are not truth-apt. I assert that this is false because moral realism is a stronger position philosophically, but that also there is a pragmatic use in accepting a moral realist position in fighting injustice.

Chapter One is meant as an introduction to metaethics. Some important distinctions are made such as the difference between cognitivism and non-cognitivism. Chapter one is meant to simply lay out a basic introduction to the philosophical field in which this paper is focused.

Chapter Two focuses on some recent stronger arguments for non-cognitivism (the view that moral claims are not truth-apt) and why I come to the conclusion that they fail philosophically. This chapter mainly focuses on projectivism and quasi-realism.

Chapter Three moves on to my pragmatic argument for moral realism. It should be noted that nothing I argue for in the third chapter points towards the truth of moral realism, rather it talks about what the pragmatic benefits are of accepting a moral realist position. I argue that non-cognitivism has so infiltrated the ideological superstructure in modern society, and that in turn we focus so much on the supposed “fact/opinion” distinction, which results in the downplaying of moral claims as being true and important.


Rudisill, John





Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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