Writing directions

Today (what’s left of it) or tomorrow I’ll post the blog entry that I referred to last time, where I discuss an issue related to ethical naturalism/non naturalism and theologically grounded ethics.

For now, however, I want to let you know what to expect in the subject matter of this blog. On the whole it won’t change of course, and any time something interesting and current rears its head or gets my attention in the subject areas that I tend to write on, I’ll blog on it. As I’ve mentioned in the past however, I’ve started gradually chipping away at a book project on the moral argument for theism. It’s more productive time-wise to blog on things that I’m currently working on, so the dominant themes you can expect to see popping up at this blog as I work my way through the blog are the ones that I will be including in this project.

At this early stage obviously the final table of contents is subject to change, but the book will start out in the history of philosophy and historical theology, covering historical versions of the moral argument (e.g. Aquinas, Locke, Kant, C. S. Lewis then contemporary writers). It will look at the way that detractors of the moral argument have treated those versions of the argument, and whether or not those treatments stand up to scrutiny.  Next, I look at the work of sceptics who I will regard as hostile witnesses for the moral argument; moral nihilists like Nietzsche and J. L. Mackie and (very arguably) David Hume (along with my former lecturer and PhD co-supervisor, Dr Charles Pigden). These men do/did not argue for theism, but do give reasons for thinking that metaphysical naturalism requires the nonexistence of moral facts. I will use this as a springboard into an explicit defence of the moral argument that really has not been made in the literature as far as I can tell; one that draws on the burgeoning 20th century literature on meta-ethics. I’m not yet sure if I will include an extended discussion of divine command and natural law ethics.

The order in which this stuff appears at the blog will not likely reflect the order given above. So while you can still expect to the same old subjects (and perhaps all new ones!), a general theme revolving around the combination of philosophy of religion, history of philosophy and meta-ethics is going to be somewhat dominant for the foreseeabe future. Incidently, recent (and future) discussion surrounding ethical naturalism has arisen for precisely this reason.

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2 thoughts on “Writing directions

  1. I think this is a very fruitful topic to explore, ever since reading “Mere Christianity”, I have relied on the argument from morality as a foundational point to discuss with non-believers, it leads into so many fruitful reflections about anthropology and human purpose that resonate with all reflective people.

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