Article

Metaethics

Alex Miller

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0073
Metaethics

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy
  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
  • Epistemology
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Non-Western Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Social and Political Philosophy

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Metaethics can be described as the philosophical study of the nature of moral judgment. It is concerned with such questions as: Do moral judgments express beliefs or rather desires and inclinations? Are moral judgments apt to be assessed in terms of truth and falsity? Do moral sentences have factual meaning? Are any moral judgments true or are they systematically and uniformly false? Is there such a thing as moral knowledge? Are moral judgments less objective than, say, judgments about the shapes and sizes of middle-sized physical objects? Is there a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation? Are moral requirements requirements of reason? Do moral judgments have a natural or non-natural subject matter? A useful way of starting on metaethics is to distinguish between realist and non-realist views of morality. Moral realists hold that moral judgments express beliefs, and that some of those beliefs are true in virtue of mind-independent moral facts. Opposition to moral realism can take a number of forms. Expressivists deny that moral judgments express beliefs, claiming instead that they express non truth-assessable mental states such as desires or inclinations. Error theorists and (revolutionary) fictionalists claim that moral judgments are systematically false. Response-dependence views of moral judgments allow that moral judgments express beliefs and that at least some of them are true, but hold that they are true in virtue of mind-dependent moral facts. Moral realism itself comes in many varieties: reductionist, non-reductionist, naturalist, non-naturalist, internalist, externalist, analytic, and synthetic.

Article.  9353 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.