Results for 'moral error theory'

998 found
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  1. Moral Error Theory and the Argument from Epistemic Reasons.Richard 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 (...)
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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 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. (...)
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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, (...)
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  4. 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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  5. Moral Error Theory Without Epistemic Error Theory: Scepticism About Second-Personal Reasons.Richard 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 (...)
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  6. 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 (...)
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  7. 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 (...)
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  8. 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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  9.  50
    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 (...)
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  10. 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 (...)
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  11. 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 (...)
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  12. 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 (...) theory do not stand or fall together by arguing that moral error theory can be sustained alongside epistemic expressivism. This unusual combination of theories can be underpinned by differences in the foundational norms that guide moral and epistemic inquiry. I conclude that the problem of epistemic normativity fails to show that it is compulsory for us to reject moral error theory. (shrink)
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  13.  76
    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. (...)
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  14. 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 (...)
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  15. 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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  16. 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 (...)
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  17. Why Moral Error Theorists Should Become Revisionary Moral Expressivists.Toby Svoboda - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-25.
    Moral error theorists hold that morality is deeply mistaken, thus raising the question of whether and how moral judgments and utterances should continue to be employed. Proposals include simply abolishing morality, adopting some revisionary fictionalist stance toward morality, and conserving moral judgments and utterances unchanged. I defend a fourth proposal, namely revisionary moral expressivism, which recommends replacing cognitivist moral judgments and utterances with non-cognitivist ones. Given that non-cognitivist attitudes are not truth apt, revisionary expressivism (...)
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  18. Error-Theory, Relaxation and Inferentialism.Christine Tiefensee - 2018 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism. Abingdon: 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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  19. Are Moral Error Theorists Intellectually Vicious?Stephen Ingram - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):80-89.
    Christos Kyriacou has recently proposed charging moral error theorists with intellectual vice. He does this in response to an objection that Ingram makes against the 'moral fixed points view' developed by Cuneo and Shafer-Landau. This brief paper shows that Kyriacou's proposed vice-charge fails to vindicate the moral fixed points view. I argue that any attempt to make an epistemic vice-charge against error theorists will face major obstacles, and that it is highly unlikely that such a (...)
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  20. On the Possibility of Wholesale Moral Error.Farbod Akhlaghi - 2021 - Ratio 34 (3):236-247.
    The moral error theory, it seems, could be true. The mere possibility of its truth might also seem inconsequential. But it is not. For, I argue, there is a sense in which the moral error theory is possible that generates an argument against both non‐cognitivism and moral naturalism. I argue that it is an epistemic possibility that morality is subject to some form of wholesale error of the kind that would make the (...)
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  21. Error Theory and Fictionalism.Nadeem Hussain - 2010 - In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. 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 (...)
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  22. Constructivism and the Error Theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2011 - In Christian Miller (ed.), The 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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  23. A Distinction Without a Difference? Good Advice for Moral Error Theorists.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2013 - Ratio 26 (3):373-390.
    This paper explores the prospects of different forms of moral error theory. It is argued that only a suitably local error theory would make good sense of the fact that it is possible to give and receive genuinely good moral advice.
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  24. 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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  25.  90
    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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  26. How to explain the possibility of wholesale moral error: a reply to Akhlaghi.Daan Evers - 2022 - Ratio 35 (2):146-150.
    Farbod Akhlaghi (2021) argues that noncognitivists and naturalists cannot explain the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error. This would show that noncognitivism and naturalism are false. I argue that noncognitivists and naturalists have no trouble explaining the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error and that the requirement to explain this possibility is plausible only on one particular conception of epistemic possibility.
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  27. How to explain the possibility of wholesale moral error: a reply to Akhlaghi.Daan Evers - 2022 - Ratio 35 (2):146-150.
    Farbod Akhlaghi (2021) argues that noncognitivists and naturalists cannot explain the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error. This would show that noncognitivism and naturalism are false. I argue that noncognitivists and naturalists have no trouble explaining the epistemic possibility of wholesale moral error and that the requirement to explain this possibility is plausible only on one particular conception of epistemic possibility.
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  28. Why Formal Objections to the Error Theory are Sound.Christine Tiefensee & Gregory Wheeler - forthcoming - Analysis.
    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 (...)
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  29. 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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  30. 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 (...)
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  31. Beyond the Surf and Spray: Erring on the Side of Error Theory.Joel Marks - 2019 - In Richard Garner & Richard Joyce (eds.), The End of Morality: Taking Moral Abolitionism Seriously. New York and London: 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 (...)
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  32. Argument and the "Moral Impact" Theory of Law.Alani Golanski - 2019 - Washington University Jurisprudence Review 11:293-343.
    The innovative Moral Impact Theory (“MIT”) of law claims that the moral impacts of legal institutional actions, rather than the linguistic content of “rules” or judicial or legislative pronouncements, determine law’s content. MIT’s corollary is that legal interpretation consists in the inquiry into what is morally required as a consequence of the lawmaking actions. This paper challenges MIT by critiquing its attendant view of the nature of legal interpretation and argument. Points including the following: (1) it is (...)
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  33. "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 (...)
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  34. 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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  35.  33
    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 (...)
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  36. Moral Knowledge and the Genealogy of Error.Nicholas Smyth - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (3):455-474.
    In this paper, I argue that in order to explain our own moral reliability, we must provide a theory of error for those who disagree with us. Any story that seeks to vindicate our own reliability must also explain how so many others have gone wrong, otherwise it is not actually a vindicatory story. Thus, we cannot claim to have vindicated our own moral reliability unless we can explain the unreliability of those who hold contrary beliefs. (...)
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  37. Adopting moral abolitionism.Marc Krellenstein - 2022 - Academia Letters 5298.
    Moral error theory claims that all moral judgments are in error. Moral abolitionism is the view that the error theorist should then eliminate moral talk or judgments. This paper discusses the possible effects of adopting abolitionism on lying, breaking the law, adultery, and murder/revenge.
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  38. 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 (...)
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  39. Error, Consistency and Triviality.Christine Tiefensee & Gregory Wheeler - 2021 - Noûs (3):602-618.
    In this paper, we present a new semantic challenge to the moral error theory. Its first component calls upon moral error theorists to deliver a deontic semantics that is consistent with the error-theoretic denial of moral truths by returning the truth-value false to all moral deontic sentences. We call this the ‘consistency challenge’ to the moral error theory. Its second component demands that error theorists explain in which way (...)
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  40. 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 fact in the world. If this metaethics were correct, should we then abandon moral thinking or continue as if nothing happened? What would our lives be like if we stop moralizing each of our choices? Moral abolitionism argues that our lives would be greatly improved and proposes to eliminate moral practices. This paper presents a critical (...)
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  41. A Theory of Hedged Moral Principles.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:91-132.
    This paper offers a general model of substantive moral principles as a kind of hedged moral principles that can (but don't have to) tolerate exceptions. I argue that the kind of principles I defend provide an account of what would make an exception to them permissible. I also argue that these principles are nonetheless robustly explanatory with respect to a variety of moral facts; that they make sense of error, uncertainty, and disagreement concerning moral principles (...)
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  42. The possibility of morality.Phil Brown - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):627-636.
    Despite much discussion over the existence of moral facts, metaethicists have largely ignored the related question of their possibility. This paper addresses the issue from the moral error theorist’s perspective, and shows how the arguments that error theorists have produced against the existence of moral facts at this world, if sound, also show that moral facts are impossible, at least at worlds non-morally identical to our own and, on some versions of the error (...)
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  43. Moral Contextualism and the Problem of Triviality.Daan Evers - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):285-297.
    Moral contextualism is the view that claims like ‘A ought to X’ are implicitly relative to some (contextually variable) standard. This leads to a problem: what are fundamental moral claims like ‘You ought to maximize happiness’ relative to? If this claim is relative to a utilitarian standard, then its truth conditions are trivial: ‘Relative to utilitarianism, you ought to maximize happiness’. But it certainly doesn’t seem trivial that you ought to maximize happiness (utilitarianism is a highly controversial position). (...)
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  44.  39
    The Second Revolution of Moral Fictionalism.Eline Gerritsen - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    If our moral beliefs rest on a mistake, as moral error theorists claim, what should we do with them? According to Richard Joyce’s revolutionary moral fictionalism, error theorists should pretend to believe moral propositions in order to keep the benefits moral thinking has for their preference-satisfaction. This, he claims, frees error theory from radical practical implications. In response, I argue that implementing fictionalism would not preserve our moral practices, but disrupt (...)
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  45. Physical Objects and Moral Wrongness: Hume on the “Fallacy” in Wollaston’s Moral Theory.John J. Tilley - 2009 - Hume Studies 35 (1-2):87-101.
    In a well-known footnote in Book 3 of his Treatise of Human Nature, Hume calls William Wollaston's moral theory a "whimsical system" and purports to destroy it with a few brief objections. The first of those objections, although fatally flawed, has hitherto gone unrefuted. To my knowledge, its chief error has escaped attention. In this paper I expose that error; I also show that it has relevance beyond the present subject. It can occur with regard to (...)
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  46. There’s Nothing Quasi About Quasi-Realism: Moral Realism as a Moral Doctrine.Matthew Kramer - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (2):185-212.
    This paper seeks to clarify and defend the proposition that moral realism is best elaborated as a moral doctrine. I begin by upholding Ronald Dworkin’s anti-Archimedean critique of the error theory against some strictures by Michael Smith, and I then briefly suggest how a proponent of moral realism as a moral doctrine would respond to Smith’s defense of the Archimedeanism of expressivism. Thereafter, this paper moves to its chief endeavor. By differentiating clearly between expressivism (...)
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  47. Moorean Arguments and Moral Revisionism.Tristram McPherson - 2009 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2):1-25.
    G. E. Moore famously argued against skepticism and idealism by appealing to their inconsistency with alleged certainties, like the existence of his own hands. Recently, some philosophers have offered analogous arguments against revisionary views about ethics such as metaethical error theory. These arguments appeal to the inconsistency of error theory with seemingly obvious moral claims like “it is wrong to torture an innocent child just for fun.” It might seem that such ‘Moorean’ arguments in ethics (...)
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  48. Projection, indeterminacy and moral skepticism.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2017 - In Diego Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York, USA: Routledge.
    According to moral error theory, morality is something invented, constructed or made; but mistakenly presents itself to us as if it were an independent object of discovery. According to moral constructivism, morality is something invented, constructed or made. In this paper I argue that constructivism is both compatible with, and in certain cases explanatory of, some of the allegedly mistaken commitments to which arguments for moral skepticism appeal. I focus on two particular allegations that are (...)
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  49.  76
    Mackie and the Meaning of Moral Terms.Tammo Lossau - 2022 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 10 (1):1-13.
    Moral error theory is comprised of two parts: a denial of the existence of objective values, and a claim about the ways in which we attempt to make reference to such objective values. John Mackie is sometimes presented as endorsing the view that we necessarily presuppose such objective values in our moral language and thought. In a series of recent papers, though, Victor Moberger (2017), Selim Berker (2019), and Michael Ridge (2020) point out that Mackie does (...)
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  50. Three Errors in the Substance View's Defense.Rob Lovering - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):25-58.
    According to the theory of intrinsic value and moral standing known as the “substance view,” all human beings have intrinsic value, full moral standing and, with these, a right to life. The substance view has been defended by numerous contemporary philosophers who use the theory to argue that the standard human fetus has a right to life and, ultimately, that abortion is prima facie seriously wrong. In this paper, I identify three important errors committed by some (...)
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