Many of my critics fault me for not engaging more directly with the academic literature on moral philosophy.Part of his explanation:
I am convinced that every appearance of terms like "metaethics," "deontology," "noncognitivism," "anti-realism," "emotivism," and the like, directly increases the amount of boredom in the universe.Fair enough. He goes on to say...
My goal, both in speaking at conferences like TED and in writing my book, is to start a conversation that a wider audience can engage with and find helpful. Few things would make this goal harder to achieve than for me to speak and write like an academic philosopher. Of course, some discussion of philosophy is unavoidable, but my approach is to generally make an end run around many of the views and conceptual distinctions that make academic discussions of human values so inaccessible.He's right that we need a discussion of the nature of ethics in the public square, and it can't sound like a philosophy seminar room debate. However, it's possible for a very accessible discussion to have lots of underlying sophistication. Philosophy needs its Richard Dawkins's and Jerry Coynes--people who are masters of the subject and good at talking about it to the public.
Where metathics is concerned, is Sam Harris that master of the subject and its communcation? We'll see when his book comes out. As to the rest of the Huff Po editorial, more later.