Beyond the Surf and Spray: Erring on the Side of Error Theory

In Richard Garner & Richard Joyce (eds.), The End of Morality: Taking Moral Abolitionism Seriously. New York and London: pp. 94-109 (2019)
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Taking as its starting point that morality does not exist (moral error theory), this chapter tries to persuade the reader to eradicate it from her psyche as well (moral abolitionism). It is argued further that the most effective way to rid oneself (and society) of moralist attitudes would be to eliminate moralist vocabulary and manners of speaking and, indeed, to the greatest degree practicable, all normative vocabularies and manners of speaking. This is because moralism lies deep and pervasively in the human psyche and hence requires a special effort to root it out. A particular problem is how to eradicate moralism from the abolitionist project itself. For the natural way to think about it is as advocating that we ought to be amoral or that being amoral would make this a better world. But these are themselves moralist ways of thinking. This chapter seeks to obviate this problem, as well as fill the void left by morality’s elimination, by defending a positive ethics of desire (desirism).
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Archival date: 2019-08-16
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