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Questions tagged [metaethics]

Metaethics is the attempt to understand the metaphysical, epistemological, semantic, and psychological, presuppositions and commitments of moral thought, talk, and practice.

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What are some examples of categorical imperatives/universalizable maxims relevant to modern ethics?

I know this question has been widely asked, and that the answer may not be as straightforward as the question, which is partly why I'm asking. It's been a long time since I sat in a philosophy class, ...
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Are there laws which govern minds?

After much discussion of my question, How could 'objective morality' be known/investigated?, I've come to think that two earlier questions must first be asked: Are there laws which govern how any ...
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How could 'objective morality' be known/investigated?

We humans have not always believed in objective reality, or at least we have not always believed that reality is rational without any discernible bounds. For, the instant that reality ceases being ...
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Does the existence of psychopaths pose a problem for moral realists who argue we have a moral intuition?

Psychopathy is not universally agreed upon in psychology, but among some there is a consensus that psychopathy is highly heritable, and that psychopaths are lacking in conscience and empathy. ...
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Is there an advantage of a theistic account in terms of being able to define goodness?

I have been watching some debates about the existence of god, such as Peter Singer vs. Dinesh D'Souza, or Christopher Hitchens vs. John Lennox. On the religious side, one argument comes up ...
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4answers
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How fatal is Rands error in tackling Humes is-ought distinction?

Rand calls her philosophy Objectivism as she declares this moral philosophy is wholly & entirely rational and that the world has an objective character: It is out there. Hume, on the other hand ...
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4answers
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'What to do?' versus 'Who to be?' and the focus of moral philosophy

In Normative Ethics, Shelly Kagan writes: I have suggested that the central question of moral philosophy as a whole, and of normative ethics in particular, is how one should live. I take this ...
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What makes moral realism so popular a standpoint?

According to wikipedia page on moral realism: A survey from 2009 involving 3,226 respondents found that 56% of philosophers accept or lean towards moral realism (28%: anti-realism; 16%: other). ...
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Kant's need of God [closed]

My main issue is not the understanding of the text in question, it really is a question about his conception in general: Kant defends the idea of God by hypothising a "supreme (original) good", ...
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6answers
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Has/can moral relativism be refuted and what are its implications for a true and useful ethical calculus?

It seems that the existence of moral relativism undermines the entire enterprise of ethics, as it devolves into a bunch of, albeit very smart, people abstractly formulating what is ultimately just a ...
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0answers
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Instrumentalist value theory. Is it morally nihilistic? Is it science?

I could not give a better name for this theory, so I call it "Instrumentalist value theory". According to this theory nothing is intrinsically valuable. Nothing and no one can be treated as ends, but ...
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Has anyone claimed that no decision is inherently better or more rational than any other decision?

The is-ought problem, for those who believe it is an actual problem, is the problem that you can not deduce an ought statement from any number of is statements. It seems natural for this to lead to a ...
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Is there a moral motivation?

If, as a psychologically 'normal' human being, I find acts that I would call 'immoral' to be repugnant (and my gut response to immorality 'feels' different enough form aversion to, say, eating ...
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Is moral value intrinsic, or just non-accidental?

It seems most moral philosophers say that morality needs intrinsic value Intrinsic value has traditionally been thought to lie at the heart of ethics. Philosophers use a number of terms to refer ...
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Are ethics subjective? [closed]

I made a claim that ethics are completely subjective; that there is no one correct answer to a question in the form of: Is insert activity or behaviour here ethical or not? It was suggested that I ...