What follows is Max Hayward’s abstract for his paper, “How to be an Ethical Anti-Objectivist,” which is here. Caroline Arruda’s comments are here. We encourage anyone to participate in the discussion!
“Objectivity is the central problem of ethics. Not just in theory, but in life.” (Nagel, 1986). Nagel’s claim is widely accepted: that if we cannot substantiate the claim that ethics is somehow objective, then something vital would be lost – not just a theoretical desideratum, but something crucial underpinning our entire practical lives as ethical agents. The purpose of the paper is to argue that this is wrong. It might disappoint philosophers if ethics turned out not be objective. But it would not undermine the basis of our practice. Non-objective ethical norms would both deserve our respect and have legitimate claim to govern our lives and direct our actions.