Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Stan Husi

Committee Members

Stan Husi, Joshua Spencer, Michael Liston


Quasi-realism is a metaethical program seeking to 'earn the right' to realist moral discourse without positing mind-independent moral properties and facts. However, Sharon Street argues that if quasi-realism successfully captures realist discourse, it will find itself equally susceptible to the same objections as ordinary moral realism. But although Street argues extensively that epistemological challenges will carry over to quasi-realism, more argumentation is necessary to establish that quasi-realism is also vulnerable to metaphysical challenges. In this paper, I evaluate whether quasi-realism is susceptible to metaphysical challenges to moral realism by applying a particular metaphysical objection – J.L. Mackie's 'argument from queerness' – to Allan Gibbard and Simon Blackburn's quasi-realist projects. In the end, I conclude that quasi-realism can only escape metaphysical challenges at the cost of its principal aim; namely, earning the right to realist discourse. In this way, Street’s claim can be vindicated.

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