An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics by Alex Miller

By Alex Miller

An advent to modern Metaethics presents a hugely readable severe assessment of the most arguments and subject matters in twentieth-century and modern metaethics. It lines the advance of up to date debates in metaethics from their beginnings within the paintings of G. E. Moore as much as the newest arguments among naturalism and non-naturalism, cognitivism and non-cognitivism.
Individual chapters care for: the open-question arguments and Moore’s assault on moral naturalism; A. J. Ayer’s emotivism and the rejection of non-naturalism; Simon Blackburn’s quasi-realism; Allan Gibbard’s norm-expressivism; J. L. Mackie’s ‘error-theory’ of ethical judgement; anti-realist and most sensible opinion debts of ethical fact; the non-reductionist naturalism of the ‘Cornell realists’; Peter Railton’s naturalistic reductionism; the analytic functionalism of Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit; the modern non-naturalism of John McDowell and David Wiggins; and the controversy among internalists and externalists in ethical psychology.
The ebook can be a useful source for college students, academics philosophers with pursuits in modern metaethics.

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8 A m b i t i o u s Quasi-Realism and the Construction of Moral Truth Modest quasi-realism concedes that there is no such thing as truth in morality, or moral belief, or the truth-conditions of moral sentences, but attempts to earn, on a purely projectivist basis, our right to speak and think as //there is truth in morality, moral truth-conditions, and so on. According to ambitious quasi-realism there really is such a thing as moral truth, but it is to be explained on a purely projectivist basis: according to ambitious quasi-realism we can construct a notion of moral truth using purely projectivist materials.

Since it depends on this implausible assumption, Zangwill's argument for (iii) is unconvincing. Thus, Zangwill's objection to Blackburn's account of how the quasi-realist can secure the mind-independence of morals is a failure. Let's pause for a moment to take stock. The first four problems that I raised for emotivism in the previous chapter were: the problem of implied error, the Frege-Geach problem, the 'schizoid attitude' problem, and the problem of mind-dependence. We have just seen how Blackburn tries to deal with the problem of minddependence, and in the sections prior to this we saw how Blackburn's response to the Frege-Geach problem helped solve the problem of implied error.

If it is the former, then the story we just gave as to why he didn't steal the exam papers would, according to the Humean theory of motivation, require supplementation with reference to some desire which Jones possesses. But it seems to need no such supplementation: so long as Jones is sincere in his commitments, no reference to a desire is necessary. If the latter, we would expect his commitment to need supplementation by mention of a belief. And this is exactly what we find: our explanation of Jones's action needs to cite his commitment to honesty, and his belief that not availing himself of the opportunity to steal the papers would be the honest thing to do.

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