Many of you will likely recall my post last fall on esoteric normative theories. That was a wonderfully provocative discussion, one I’d like to pursue further. In particular, I’d like to get a handle on the history of esotericism as an objection to normative theories, in the hope that I can distill out whether there is a single objection here or many; whether the objection is logically independent of other objections that can be made to normative theories; what force, if any, such an objection has; etc.
The comments made in response to my post suggested that the general
line of criticism ‘that such-and-such a theory is esoteric’ was
familiar to many people. But surprisingly, I can’t track down many
examples where a philosopher criticizes a normative theory in quite
these terms. I found no references to this objection (or at least to it posed in the language of ‘esotericism’) in either the Philosophers’ Index or in Google Scholar. So I seek your help: Can you identify examples of normative theories being criticized on the grounds that they’re esoteric? (Of course, they need not use that language.) Thanks!