Southwest Philosophy Review

Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2021

Tanner Hammond
Pages 199-208

Objective Purport, Relational Confirmation, and the Presumption of Moral Objectivism
A Probabilistic Argument from Moral Experience

All else being equal, can an objective-seeming character of moral experience support a presumption in favor of some form of moral objectivism? Don Loeb (2007) has argued that even if we grant that moral experience appears to present us with a realm of objective moral facts—something he denies we have reason to do in the first place—the objective purport of moral experience cannot by itself provide even prima facie support for moral objectivism. In what follows, I contend against Loeb that granting the objective purport of ordinary moral experience is sufficient to shift a presumptive case in favor of moral objectivism, and this by constituting non-explanatory, relational confirmation that incrementally raises the prima facie probability that moral facts exist. More specifically, I appeal to a modest confirmational principle shared by Likelihoodists and Bayesians—namely, the Weak Law of Likelihood—in an effort to show that (i) at a minimum, granting the objective purport of moral experience establishes a middling scrutable probability for a sufficient but not necessary condition of moral objectivism being true, and that (ii) this moderate probability in turn constitutes evidence that makes it prima facie more probable than not that at least some form of moral objectivism is true.