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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Does practical moral skepticism end up as relativism?

Harman (2000a) argues that a moral judgment that a person ought to do X (an “inner judgment”) implies that the person has motivating reasons to do X, and that a person is likely to have such ...
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Are there contemporary adherents to this view about systemised ethics?

In some parts of the field of truth, no doubt, men who work by these divergent ways are apt as men to represent antithetical types. But over the whole field this need not be ...
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Ethics and Mathematics

I am laying out a relationship between mathematics and ethics which I'm not sure is correct. In mathematics, we have axioms, statements we assume to be true. All the rest is logical deductions from ...
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Moral 'ought' and the Principle of Generic Consistency?

Late philosopher Alan Gewirth introduced the Principle of Generic Consistency, or the PGC, which says that moral agents ought to respect the generic rights of freedom and well-being because they are ...
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What anthologies might offer introductions to moral philosophy?

After reading the essay "What I believe" by Bertrand Russell, I became very interested in learning more about moral philosophy. What I am now looking for is a collection of writings by different ...
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Is there any author that argues for radical moral pluralism?

Let me first clarify what I mean with "radical" here. While many modern authors, if not all, accept moral pluralism of sorts, all that I know of express either the hope, if not the conviction, that ...
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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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Making Moral Judgement: Thick Concepts versus Normative Concepts

In G. E. Anscombe's article "Modern Moral Philosophy", she thinks that it is meaningless to make moral judgements such as something is right, wrong, permissible and impermissible. Secondly, she thinks ...
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Is there a hybrid between non-cognitivism and cognitivism?

Non-Cognitivism is the view that ethical sentences cannot be true or false (that they do not form propositions) and Cognitivism that it can. I hold to the notion that ethical sentences such as "...
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Is Kant's postulate of the existence of God a metaethical assumption?

Also, I would like to get some bibliographical reference about Kantian metaethics.
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Can the idea of “imperfect” categorical imperatives be used without 'duty'?

Can the idea of "imperfect" categorical imperatives be used without 'duty'? So that e.g. I can say that something has an intrinsic value, and not hypothetically, but it is always valuable, even-though ...
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Could we take the fully rational and fully informed idealized agent that Peter Railton talks about as God, to give a theistic metaethics?

Recently, I finished Alexander Miller's book "An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics." After reading about Peter Railton's reductionism, I wondered if it would be possible to take the agent which ...
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Sub-Ethics: Subset or Strictly Inferior

Do you know if philosophers have argued that certain ethical theories are contained in other ones? That is, that the set of imperatives in one for arbitrary agent is a subset of the imperatives on ...
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What is moral particularism if there are no morally perfect persons?

Moral Particularism, at its most trenchant, is the claim that there are no defensible moral principles, that moral thought does not consist in the application of moral principles to cases, and ...
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Can we measure “braverity” objectively?

By saying "bravery/courage", we implicitly mean a hard task that we wouldn't do it in daily life, and we have to sacrifice something to get it - we are scared. It is, after all, just a cost-benefit ...
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Is Nietzsche 'power' neither value neutral nor practical?

Main question Is Nietzsche 'power' neither value neutral nor practical? Subsidiaries that I considered in asking it If so, how can it be demarcated from the object of philosophy, generally enough ...
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Why did Nietzsche think that only the happiness of higher types mattered?

Why did Nietzsche think that only the happiness of higher types mattered? Was it due to some repulsion from normal people and their behaviours? Or was he just fascinated by greatness? I would assume ...
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Is Nietzsche an anti-realist about moral disagreement?

This question got me thinking: What is the difference between the Superman and the Ultimateman? As I understand it, moral anti-realism is the thesis that there are no moral facts outside the ...
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Can moral behaviour be based on a lie?

If knowledge implies justified belief, as is traditionally supposed, then skepticism about justified moral belief implies skepticism about moral knowledge. However, even if knowledge does require ...
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Moral sense theory / Meaning of life

Moral sense theory is as follows in this tip top wiki article. Presumably ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_sense_theory I was just wondering if anyone says anything similar about the particular ...