From Morality to Metaphysics offers an argument for the existence of God, based on our most fundamental moral beliefs. Angus Ritchie engages with a range of the most significant secular moral philosophers of our time, and argues that they all face a common difficulty which only theism can overcome.
The book begins with a defence of the 'deliberative indispensability' of moral realism, arguing that the practical deliberation human beings engage in on a daily basis only makes sense if they take themselves to be aiming at an objective truth. Furthermore, when humans engage in practical deliberation, they necessarily take their processes of reasoning to have some ability to track the truth. Ritchie's central argument builds on this claim, to assert that only theism can adequately explain our
capacity for knowledge of objective moral truths. He demonstrates that we need an explanation as well as a justification of these cognitive capacities. Evolutionary biology is not able to generate the kind of explanation which is required-and, in consequence, all secular philosophical accounts are
forced either to abandon moral objectivism or to render the human capacity for moral knowledge inexplicable. This case is illustrated with discussions of a wide range of moral philosophers including Simon Blackburn, Thomas Scanlon, Philippa Foot, and John McDowell.
Ritchie concludes by arguing that only purposive accounts of the universe (such as theism and Platonism) can account for human moral knowledge. Among such purposive accounts, From Morality to Metaphysics makes the case for theism as the most satisfying, intelligible explanation of our cognitive capacities.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 221 x 147 x 17 mm
This is an excellent book, well worth reading. It does the discipline an important service by laying out elegantly and succinctly the arguments in favor of the thesis that a theistic explanation of our capacity to track moral truth is more successful than its rivals. * John E. Hare, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
a powerful and organized study * John Cottingham, The TLS *
This book will be of interest to anyone who wants a survey of positions in secular meta-ethics, philosophers interested in exploring the dilemma that Richie sets up alongside his criticisms of the central figures in secular moral philosophy, and analytical theologians interested in a defence of theism. * Sean Larsen, Theology *