Metaethics

In Preparation


Deliberative Indispensability, Epistemic Justification, and Being a Successful Inquirer

Robust metanormative realists think there are irreducibly normative, metaphysically heavy normative facts. We might wonder how we could ever be epistemically justified in believing that such facts exist. According to David Enoch's deliberative indispensability argument, we are so justified because robustly real normative facts are instrumentally indispensable to the rationally non-optional project of practical deliberation. However, at the center of this argument is an account of the sources of basic epistemic justification which, as Tristram McPherson and David Plunkett convincingly argue, fails to respect the close connection between epistemic justification and truth. In this paper, I offer an improved deliberative indispensability argument for robust realism by offering an alternative account of the sources of basic epistemic justification that respects the close connection between epistemic justification and truth. The improved indispensability argument is based on the thought that in light of our agential natures, engaging in practical deliberation is essential to being a successful inquirer for creatures like us.