Companions in guilt
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In this paper, I do three things. First, I say what I mean by a ‘companions in guilt’ argument in meta-ethics. Second, I distinguish between two kinds of argument within this family, which I call ‘arguments by entailment’ and ‘arguments by analogy’. Third, I explore the prospects for companions in guilt arguments by analogy. I do so by engaging in a close reading of two examples of the type, found in Renford Bambrough’s book Moral Scepticism and Moral Knowledge and Russ Shafer-Landau’s paper ‘Ethics as Philosophy: A Defense of Ethical Nonnaturalism’. During the course of discussing the latter, I identify a distinctive variety of argument, which I refer to as ‘arguments by absorption’. I argue that this variety of argument (at least in the version considered here) inherits some of the weaknesses of standard arguments by analogy and entailment without obviously adding to their strength. I conclude by making some brief remarks about ethical disagreement.