Results for 'Error theory'

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  1. Moral Error Theory and the Argument from Epistemic Reasons.Rach Cosker-Rowland - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (1):1-24.
    In this paper I defend what I call the argument from epistemic reasons against the moral error theory. I argue that the moral error theory entails that there are no epistemic reasons for belief and that this is bad news for the moral error theory since, if there are no epistemic reasons for belief, no one knows anything. If no one knows anything, then no one knows that there is thought when they are thinking, (...)
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  2. Moral Error Theory and the Belief Problem.Jussi Suikkanen - 2013 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 8. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 168-194.
    Moral error theories claim that (i) moral utterances express moral beliefs, that (ii) moral beliefs ascribe moral properties, and that (iii) moral properties are not instantiated. Thus, according to these views, there seems to be conclusive evidence against the truth of our ordinary moral beliefs. Furthermore, many error theorists claim that, even if we accepted moral error theory, we could still in principle keep our first-order moral beliefs. This chapter argues that this last claim makes many (...)
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  3. Moral error theory, explanatory dispensability and the limits of guilt.Silvan Wittwer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2969-2983.
    Recently, companions in guilt strategies have garnered significant philosophical attention as a response to arguments for moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and that our moral beliefs are thus systematically mistaken. According to Cuneo (The normative web: an argument for moral realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007), Das (Philos Q 66:152–160, 2016; Australas J Philos 95(1):58–69, 2017), Rowland (J Ethics Soc Philos 7(1):1–24, 2012; Philos Q 66:161–171, 2016) and others, epistemic facts would be (...)
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  4. Error Theory and the Concept of Morality.Paul Bloomfield - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (4):451-469.
    Error theories about morality often take as their starting point the supposed queerness of morality, and those resisting these arguments often try to argue by analogy that morality is no more queer than other unproblematic subject matters. Here, error theory (as exemplified primarily by the work of Richard Joyce) is resisted first by arguing that it assumes a common, modern, and peculiarly social conception of morality. Then error theorists point out that the social nature of morality (...)
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  5. The error in the error theory.Stephen Finlay - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):347-369.
    Moral error theory of the kind defended by J. L. Mackie and Richard Joyce is premised on two claims: (1) that moral judgements essentially presuppose that moral value has absolute authority, and (2) that this presupposition is false, because nothing has absolute authority. This paper accepts (2) but rejects (1). It is argued first that (1) is not the best explanation of the evidence from moral practice, and second that even if it were, the error theory (...)
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  6. Moral Error Theory Without Epistemic Error Theory: Scepticism About Second-Personal Reasons.Rach Cosker-Rowland - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):547-569.
    Proponents of the epistemic companions in guilt argument argue that we should reject the moral error theory because it entails that there are no epistemic reasons. In this paper, I investigate whether a plausible version of the moral error theory can be constructed that does not entail an error theory about epistemic reasons. I argue that there are no irreducibly normative second-personal reasons even if there are irreducibly normative reasons. And epistemic reasons are not (...)
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  7. Moral error theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (2):93–109.
    The paper explores the consequences of adopting a moral error theory targeted at the notion of reasonable convergence. I examine the prospects of two ways of combining acceptance of such a theory with continued acceptance of moral judgements in some form. On the first model, moral judgements are accepted as a pragmatically intelligible fiction. On the second model, moral judgements are made relative to a framework of assumptions with no claim to reasonable convergence on their behalf. I (...)
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  8. Error Theory and Fictionalism.Nadeem Hussain - 2010 - In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. New York: Routledge.
    This paper surveys contemporary accounts of error theory and fictionalism. It introduces these categories to those new to metaethics by beginning with moral nihilism, the view that nothing really is right or wrong. One main motivation is that the scientific worldview seems to have no place for rightness or wrongness. Within contemporary metaethics there is a family of theories that makes similar claims. These are the theories that are usually classified as forms of error theory or (...)
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  9. In defence of error theory.Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (2):209-230.
    Many contemporary philosophers rate error theories poorly. We identify the arguments these philosophers invoke, and expose their deficiencies. We thereby show that the prospects for error theory have been systematically underestimated. By undermining general arguments against all error theories, we leave it open whether any more particular arguments against particular error theories are more successful. The merits of error theories need to be settled on a case-by-case basis: there is no good general argument against (...)
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  10. Error-Theory, Relaxation and Inferentialism.Christine Tiefensee - 2018 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York: Routledge. pp. 49-70.
    This contribution considers whether or not it is possible to devise a coherent form of external skepticism about the normative if we ‘relax’ about normative ontology by regarding claims about the existence of normative truths and properties themselves as normative. I answer this question in the positive: A coherent form of non-normative error-theories can be developed even against a relaxed background. However, this form no longer makes any reference to the alleged falsity of normative judgments, nor the non-existence of (...)
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  11. On Believing the Error Theory.Alexander Hyun & Eric Sampson - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (11):631-640.
    In his recent article entitled ‘Can We Believe the Error Theory?’ Bart Streumer argues that it is impossible (for anyone, anywhere) to believe the error theory. This might sound like a problem for the error theory, but Streumer argues that it is not. He argues that the un-believability of the error theory offers a way for error theorists to respond to several objections commonly made against the view. In this paper, we (...)
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  12. What is temporal error theory?Samuel Baron & Kristie Miller - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2427-2444.
    Much current debate in the metaphysics of time is between A-theorists and B-theorists. Central to this debate is the assumption that time exists and that the task of metaphysics is to catalogue time’s features. Relatively little consideration has been given to an error theory about time. Since there is very little extant work on temporal error theory the goal of this paper is simply to lay the groundwork to allow future discussion of the relative merits of (...)
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  13. Moral Error Theory and the Problem of Evil.Chris Daly - 2009 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):89 - 105.
    Moral error theory claims that no moral sentence is (nonvacuously) true. Atheism claims that the existence of evil in the world is incompatible with, or makes improbable, the existence of God. Is moral error theory compatible with atheism? This paper defends the thesis that it is compatible against criticisms by Nicholas Sturgeon.
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  14. Error Theories and Bare-Difference Methodology: A Reply to Kopeikin.Scott Hill - 2023 - Journal of Value Inquiry 57 (4):641-650.
    Kopeikin (forthcoming a, forthcoming b) and Rachels’ (1975) bare-difference cases elicit the intuition that killing is no different than letting die. Hill’s (2018) bare-difference cases elicit the intuition that killing is worse than letting die. At least one of the intuitions must be mistaken. This calls for an error theory. Hill has an error theory for the intuition elicited by the Kopeikin/Rachels’ cases. Kopeikin and Rachels have an error theory for the intuition elicited by (...)
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  15. Are there uncontroversial error theories?Terence Rajivan Edward - 2011 - Philosophical Pathways (162).
    This paper evaluates an argument for the conclusion that in order to produce a viable objection to a particular error theory, the objection must not be applicable to any error theory. The reason given for this conclusion is that error theories about some discourses are uncontroversial. But the examples given of uncontroversial error theories are not good ones, nor do there appear to be other examples available.
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  16. Constructivism and the Error Theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2011 - In Christian Miller (ed.), Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum.
    This paper presents a comparative evaluation of constructivist and error theoretic accounts of moral claims. It is argued that constructivism has distinct advantages over error theory.
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  17. Can We Defend Normative Error Theory?Joshua Taccolini - 2024 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 20 (1):131-154.
    Normative error theorists aim to defend an error theory which says that normative judgments ascribe normative properties, and such properties, including reasons for belief, are never instantiated. Many philosophers have raised objections to defending a theory which entails that we cannot have reason to believe it. Spencer Case objects that error theorists simply cannot avoid self-defeat. Alternatively, Bart Streumer argues that we cannot believe normative error theory but that, surprisingly, this helps its advocates (...)
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  18. Moorean Arguments Against the Error Theory: A Defense.Eric Sampson - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Moorean arguments are a popular and powerful way to engage highly revisionary philosophical views, such as nihilism about motion, time, truth, consciousness, causation, and various kinds of skepticism (e.g., external world, other minds, inductive, global). They take, as a premise, a highly plausible first-order claim (e.g., cars move, I ate breakfast before lunch, it’s true that some fish have gills) and conclude from it the falsity of the highly revisionary philosophical thesis. Moorean arguments can be used against nihilists in ethics (...)
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  19. Formulating Moral Error Theory.Caleb Perl - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (5):279-288.
    This paper shows how to formulate moral error theories given a contextualist semantics like the one that Angelika Kratzer pioneered, answering the concerns that Christine Tiefensee developed.
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  20. A Deflationist Error Theory of Properties.Arvid Båve - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (1):23-59.
    I here defend a theory consisting of four claims about ‘property’ and properties, and argue that they form a coherent whole that can solve various serious problems. The claims are (1): ‘property’ is defined by the principles (PR): ‘F-ness/Being F/etc. is a property of x iff F’ and (PA): ‘F-ness/Being F/etc. is a property’; (2) the function of ‘property’ is to increase the expressive power of English, roughly by mimicking quantification into predicate position; (3) property talk should be understood (...)
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  21. Why formal objections to the error theory are sound.Christine Tiefensee & Gregory Wheeler - 2022 - Analysis 82 (4):608-616.
    Recent debate about the error theory has taken a ‘formal turn’. On the one hand, there are those who argue that the error theory should be rejected because of its difficulties in providing a convincing formal account of the logic and semantics of moral claims. On the other hand, there are those who claim that such formal objections fail, maintaining that arguments against the error theory must be of a substantive rather than a formal (...)
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  22. Buddhist Error Theory.Javier Hidalgo - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (1):21-40.
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  23. After Moral Error Theory, After Moral Realism.Stephen Ingram - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):227-248.
    Moral abolitionists recommend that we get rid of moral discourse and moral judgement. At first glance this seems repugnant, but abolitionists think that we have overestimated the practical value of our moral framework and that eliminating it would be in our interests. I argue that abolitionism has a surprising amount going for it. Traditionally, abolitionism has been treated as an option available to moral error theorists. Error theorists say that moral discourse and judgement are committed to the existence (...)
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  24. Reductivism, Nonreductivism and Incredulity About Streumer’s Error Theory.N. G. Laskowski - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):766-776.
    In Unbelievable Errors, Bart Streumer argues via elimination for a global error theory, according to which all normative judgments ascribe properties that do not exist. Streumer also argues that it is not possible to believe his view, which is a claim he uses in defending his view against several objections. I argue that reductivists and nonreductivists have compelling responses to Streumer's elimination argument – responses constituting strong reason to reject Streumer’s diagnosis of any alleged incredulity about his (...) theory. (shrink)
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  25. An Error Theory for Liberal Universalism.George Tsai - 2012 - Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (3):305-325.
    This paper examines Bernard Williams’ challenge to liberal universalists (liberals “who assume their morality is universally applicable to everyone”) to provide a theory of error: “a story about the subject matter of political morality and about past people’s situation which explains why those people got it wrong about the subject matter.” It develops a theory of error that appeals to socio-historical conditions of the past to explain their role in making (1) liberal values and reasons epistemically (...)
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  26. The Conceptual Impossibility of Free Will Error Theory.Andrew J. Latham - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):99-120.
    This paper argues for a view of free will that I will call the conceptual impossibility of the truth of free will error theory - the conceptual impossibility thesis. I will argue that given the concept of free will we in fact deploy, it is impossible for our free will judgements - judgements regarding whether some action is free or not - to be systematically false. Since we do judge many of our actions to be free, it follows (...)
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  27. Is Theism Compatible With Moral Error Theory?StJohn Lambert - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (3):1-20.
    This paper considers whether theism is compatible with moral error theory. This issue is neglected, perhaps because it is widely assumed that these views are incompatible. I argue that this is mistaken. In so doing, I articulate the best argument for thinking that theism and moral error theory are incompatible. According to it, these views are incompatible because theism entails that God is morally good, and moral error theory entails that God is not. I (...)
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  28. Nietzschean Moral Error Theory.Patrick Hassan - 2021 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 38 (4):375-396.
    Nietzsche has sometimes been interpreted as endorsing an error theory about moral judgements. A host of passages provide prima facie reason for such an interpretation. However, the extent of the appropriateness of this interpretation is a matter of dispute. The parameters of his alleged error theory are unclear. This paper reconsiders the evidence for the view that Nietzsche is a moral error theorist and makes the case that Nietzsche defends a local theory about a (...)
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  29. Epistemology shmepistemology: moral error theory and epistemic expressivism.Stephen Ingram - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):649-669.
    Some philosophers object to moral error theory by arguing that there a parity between moral and epistemic normativity. They maintain that moral and epistemic error theory stand or fall together, that epistemic error theory falls, and that moral error theory thus falls too. This paper offers a response to this objection on behalf of moral error theorists. I defend the view that moral and epistemic error theory do not stand (...)
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  30. Prudential Parity Objections to the Moral Error Theory.François Jaquet - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 24 (1).
    According to the moral error theory, all moral judgments are false. Until lately, most error theorists were local error theorists; they targeted moral judgments specifically and were less skeptical of other normative areas. These error theorists now face so-called “prudential parity objections”, according to which whatever evidence there is in favor of the moral error theory is also evidence for a prudential error theory. The present paper rejects three prudential parity objections: (...)
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  31. McTaggart on the Unreality of Time: Boghossian's Argument against Error-Theory.Ali Hossein Khani & Saeedeh Shahmir - 2020 - Zehn 81:91-115.
    McTaggart, in his famous paper, “The Unreality of Time” (1908), argues in favor of the sceptical claim that time is unreal. His main argument is based on detecting a paradox in our ordinary descriptions of time or events occurring in time. Based on our common sense conception of time, time and the events happening in it can be described in two ways: either as having the properties of “being past”, “being present” and “being future”, or as having the properties of (...)
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  32. Demystifying Normativity: Morality, Error Theory, and the Authority of Norms.Eline Gerritsen - 2022 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews, University of Stirling & University of Groningen
    We are subject to many different norms telling us how to act, from moral norms to etiquette rules and the law. While some norms may simply be ignored, we live under the impression that others matter for what we ought to do. How can we make sense of this normative authority some norms have? Does it fit into our naturalist worldview? Many philosophers claim it does not. Normativity is conceived to be distinct from ordinary natural properties, making it mysterious. The (...)
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  33. Unbelievable Errors: An Error Theory About All Normative Judgements By Bart Streumer. [REVIEW]StJohn Lambert - 2019 - Ethics 129 (2):421–425.
    A review of Bart Streumer's "Unbelievable Errors.".
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  34. A Universal Morality: An account of Moral Objectivity against Moral Error Theory.Utkarsh Rana - manuscript
    Moral error theory is a meta-ethical view that discusses how one makes an error when making a moral judgment or claim. The error resides in the fact that the moral values about which the judgments are made, do not exist in the natural fabric of the world. In the first section of this article, I shall discuss about the moral error theory itself and the claims that it makes. Since the moral error (...) in a structured form first came from the philosopher J.L. Mackie, I shall discuss his standard account in the second section and show how this standard account has been misconceived over the time. The third section sets up a base of the view that I seek to endorse in this article, showing what is actually meant by an action being „objectively good or bad‟. The fourth section seeks a critical examination of the contemporary moral error theories and discusses the issues that arise while these theories answer the „now what‟ question. Section five enlists various contemporary objections to the moral error theory which ultimately undermine the arguments made by error theorists. Since the error theory only considers true what is out there in the world, it poses a „correspondence threat‟ to the error theory which is discussed in the sixth section. The seventh section comprises a defense of the formal objections made against the error theory and shows how the formal objection stands by undermining the error theorists‟ view. The main aim of this article is to provide a critical examination of the moral error theory and show how it provides an implausible account of how morality is to be viewed. (shrink)
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  35. Debunking morality: Evolutionary naturalism and moral error theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):567-581.
    The paper distinguishes three strategies by means of which empirical discoveries about the nature of morality can be used to undermine moral judgements. On the first strategy, moral judgements are shown to be unjustified in virtue of being shown to rest on ignorance or false belief. On the second strategy, moral judgements are shown to be false by being shown to entail claims inconsistent with the relevant empirical discoveries. On the third strategy, moral judgements are shown to be false in (...)
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  36. Hybridizing Moral Expressivism and Moral Error Theory.Toby Svoboda - 2011 - Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (1):37-48.
    Philosophers should consider a hybrid meta-ethical theory that includes elements of both moral expressivism and moral error theory. Proponents of such an expressivist-error theory hold that all moral utterances are either expressions of attitudes or expressions of false beliefs. Such a hybrid theory has two advantages over pure expressivism, because hybrid theorists can offer a more plausible account of the moral utterances that seem to be used to express beliefs, and hybrid theorists can provide (...)
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  37. Inner speech and the body error theory.Ronald P. Endicott - 2024 - Frontiers in Psychology 15:1360699.
    Inner speech is commonly understood as the conscious experience of a voice within the mind. One recurrent theme in the scientific literature is that the phenomenon involves a representation of overt speech, for example, a representation of phonetic properties that result from a copy of speech instructions that were ultimately suppressed. I propose a larger picture that involves some embodied objects and their misperception. I call it “the Body Error Theory,” or BET for short. BET is a form (...)
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  38. Not Just Errors: A New Interpretation of Mackie’s Error Theory.Victor Moberger - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (3).
    J. L. Mackie famously argued that a commitment to non-existent objective values permeates ordinary moral thought and discourse. According to a standard interpretation, Mackie construed this commitment as a universal and indeed essential feature of moral judgments. In this paper I argue that we should rather ascribe to Mackie a form of semantic pluralism, according to which not all moral judgments involve the commitment to objective values. This interpretation not only makes better sense of what Mackie actually says, but also (...)
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  39. Mackie’s error theory: A Wittgensteinian critique.Robert Vinten - 2015 - Revista Kínesis 7 (13):30-47.
    I start by arguing that Mackie’s claim that there are no objective values is a nonsensical one. I do this by ‘assembling reminders’ of the correct use of the term ‘values’ and by examining the grammar of moral propositions à la Wittgenstein. I also examine Hare’s thought experiment which is used to demonstrate “that no real issue can be built around the objectivity or otherwise of moral values” before briefly looking at Mackie’s ‘argument from queerness’. In the final section I (...)
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  40. Beyond the Surf and Spray: Erring on the Side of Error Theory.Joel Marks - 2018 - In Richard Garner & Richard Joyce (eds.), The End of Morality: Taking Moral Abolitionism Seriously. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 94-109.
    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 (...)
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  41. Does folk disagreement about ambiguous lucky cases warrant an error theory? A response to Hales and Johnson.Jesse Hill - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (6):876-891.
    Steven Hales and Jennifer Johnson—building off their (2014) work as well as Hales (2015, 2016)—have recently conducted two studies in Philosophical Psychology (2018) that show that there is a relationship between optimism and folk assessments of luck. Hales and Johnson use these results to argue that there is no such thing as luck. Instead, they claim that the concept is highly subjective and a cognitive illusion and that what we are in need of is an error theory. After (...)
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  42. The Now What Problem for Error Theory.Matthew Lutz - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):351-371.
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  43. McTaggart on the Unreality of Time: Boghossian's Argument against Error-Theory (نقد استدلال مک‌تاگارت در باب غیرواقعی بودن زمان: استدلال بقوسیان علیه نظریه خطا ).Saeedeh Shahmir - 2020 - Zehn 81:91-115.
    McTaggart, in his famous paper, “The Unreality of Time” (1908), argues in favor of the sceptical claim that time is unreal. His main argument is based on detecting a paradox in our ordinary descriptions of time or events occurring in time. Based on our common sense conception of time, time and the events happening in it can be described in two ways: either as having the properties of “being past”, “being present” and “being future”, or as having the properties of (...)
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  44. Evolutionary Naturalism and the Logical Structure of Valuation: The Other Side of Error Theory.Richard A. Richards - 2006 - Cosmos and History : The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 1 (2):270-294.
    On one standard philosophical position adopted by evolutionary naturalists, human ethical systems are nothing more than evolutionary adaptations that facilitate social behavior. Belief in an absolute moral foundation is therefore in error. But evolutionary naturalism, by its commitment to the basic valutional concept of fitness, reveals another, logical error: standard conceptions of value in terms of simple predication and properties are mistaken. Valuation has instead, a relational structure that makes reference to respects, subjects and environments. This relational nature (...)
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  45. Bart Streumer, Unbelievable Errors: An Error Theory About All Normative Judgements: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. ISBN 9780198785897. Pp. 223. £45.00 Hbk.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):445-447.
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  46. Utilitarianism for the Error Theorist.François Jaquet - 2020 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (1):39-55.
    The moral error theory has become increasingly popular in recent decades. So much so indeed that a new issue emerged, the so-called “now-what problem”: if all our moral beliefs are false, then what should we do with them? So far, philosophers who are interested in this problem have focused their attention on the mode of the attitudes we should have with respect to moral propositions. Some have argued that we should keep holding proper moral beliefs; others that we (...)
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  47. "Ought" and Error.Christine Tiefensee - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (2):96-114.
    The moral error theory generally does not receive good press in metaethics. This paper adds to the bad news. In contrast to other critics, though, I do not attack error theorists’ characteristic thesis that no moral assertion is ever true. Instead, I develop a new counter-argument which questions error theorists’ ability to defend their claim that moral utterances are meaningful assertions. More precisely: Moral error theorists lack a convincing account of the meaning of deontic moral (...)
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  48. 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 (...)
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  49. Review of R. Joyce & S. Kirchin (eds.), A World without Values: Essays on John Mackie’s Moral Error Theory (Springer, 2010). [REVIEW]Diego E. Machuca - 2011 - Philosophy in Review 31 (5):354-358.
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  50. Attributing error without taking a stand.Caleb Perl & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1453-1471.
    Moral error theory is the doctrine that our first-order moral commitments are pervaded by systematic error. It has been objected that this makes the error theory itself a position in first-order moral theory that should be judged by the standards of competing first-order moral theories :87–139, 1996) and Kramer. Kramer: “the objectivity of ethics is itself an ethical matter that rests primarily on ethical considerations. It is not something that can adequately be contested or (...)
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