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Moral Error Theory and the Belief Problem

In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 168-194 (2013)

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  1. If Nothing Matters.Guy Kahane - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):327-353.
    The possibility that nothing really matters can cause much anxiety, but what would it mean for that to be true? Since it couldn’t be bad that nothing matters, fearing nihilism makes little sense. However, the consequences of belief in nihilism will be far more dramatic than often thought. Many metaethicists assume that even if nothing matters, we should, and would, go on more or less as before. But if nihilism is true in an unqualified way, it can’t be the case (...)
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  • Mackie’s Conceptual Reform Moral Error Theory.Wouter Floris Kalf - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry 2 (53):1-17.
    John P. Burgess has remarked that Mackie: “even though he talks of the need to invent morality … does not seem to think that this proposal could be worked into a revisionary meta-ethic”. In the first part of my paper, I argue that Mackie did propose a revisionary meta-ethic (conceptual reformism), and that Mackie was not a preservatist, abolitionist, or semantic pluralist. I also argue that interpreting Mackie as a conceptual reformist enables us to overcome a number of standard objections (...)
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  • Abolizionismo Morale.Mattia Cecchinato - 2021 - Aphex 23.
    According to the moral error theory, all moral propositions are false as they do not refer to any referent in the world. If such metaethics were correct, should we abandon moral thinking or continue as if nothing happened? What would our life be like if we ended up moralizing each of our choices? Moral abolitionism argues that our lives would turn out to be better, and therefore it attempts to persuade us to eliminate moral practices. This paper presents a critical (...)
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  • A Menagerie of Duties? Normative Judgments Are Not Beliefs About Non-Natural Properties.Matthew Bedke - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3):189-201.
    According to cognitive non-naturalism, normative judgments are standard beliefs that purport to be about non-natural properties. An influential plurality of normative theorists, including non-naturalist realists, error theorists and skeptics, share this view. But it is mistaken. For it predicts an epistemic profile for normative judgments that they do not have. In particular, they are not disposed to extinguish in light of accepted evidence that the any non-natural properties are absent, and they are not disposed to come into existence in light (...)
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  • The Belief Problem for Moral Error Theory.Wouter Floris Kalf - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    ABSTRACTMoral error theorists think that moral judgments such as ‘stealing is morally wrong’ express truth-apt beliefs that ascribe moral properties to objects and actions. They also think that moral properties are not instantiated. Since moral error theorists think that moral judgments can only be true if they correctly describe moral properties, they think that no moral judgment is true. The belief problem for moral error theory is that this theory is inconsistent with every plausible theory of belief. I argue that (...)
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  • Nihilism and the Epistemic Profile of Moral Judgment.Jonas Olson - 2019 - In Aaron Zimmerman, Karen Jones & Mark Timmons (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology.
    Moral nihilism is the view that there are no moral facts or moral truths. It is the ontological component of moral error theory, which is the best-known and most comprehensive metaethical theory that involves moral nihilism. My main aim is to discuss some consequences of endorsing moral error theory or believing to some degree that moral error theory is true. In §2, I consider the implications for ordinary moral thought and discourse and the epistemological consequences for moral theorizing. In §3, (...)
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  • Moral Beliefs for the Error Theorist?François Jaquet & Hichem Naar - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):193-207.
    The moral error theory holds that moral claims and beliefs, because they commit us to the existence of illusory entities, are systematically false or untrue. It is an open question what we should do with moral thought and discourse once we have become convinced by this view. Until recently, this question had received two main answers. The abolitionist proposed that we should get rid of moral thought altogether. The fictionalist, though he agreed we should eliminate moral beliefs, enjoined us to (...)
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