Dr. Neil Sinclair  from University of Nottingham gave a talk this past week at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar  on “Presumptive arguments for moral realism.” An abstract of his talk is as follows:
Presumptive arguments for moral realism shape much of the landscape of meta-ethics and yet are seldom scrutinized. In this paper I hope to address this deficit. I distinguish two desiderata for meta-ethical theories. First, their ability to ‘save the appearances’ of moral discourse. Second, their consistency with our wider philosophical views. I then distinguish three species of presumptive argument: the first claim that only moral realism could save the appearances; the second that only moral realism has so far saved the appearances; the third that realism is the most natural or intuitive way to save the appearances. Dismissing arguments of the third kind I argue that the remaining arguments are prone to one of two mistakes. First, falsely assuming that some of the claims of moral realism infect the appearances; second, underestimating the resources available to the realists’ opponents. My tentative conclusion is that most extant presumptive arguments fail to support moral realism.
Neil’s paper can be found here , and he would welcome any comments/suggestions.