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Arguing About Metaethics

Arguing about Metaethics collects together some of the most exciting contemporary work in metaethics in one handy volume. In it, many of the most influential philosophers in the field discuss key questions in metaethics: Do moral properties exist? If they do, how do they fit into the world as science conceives it? If they don’t exist, then how should we understand moral thought and language? What is the relation between moral judgement and motivation? As well as these questions, this volume discusses a wide range of issues including moral objectivity, truth and moral judgements, moral psychology, thick evaluative concepts and moral relativism. The editors provide lucid introductions to each of the eleven themed sections in which they show how the debate lies and outline the arguments of the papers. Arguing about Metaethics is an ideal resource text for students at upper undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Table of Contents

    • General Introduction by Fisher and Kirchin
  • 1. The Open Question Argument
    • G. E. Moore “The Open Question Argument”, from Principia Ethica (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903; revised ed. 1993) pp. 57-73.
    • William Frankena “The Naturalistic Fallacy” Mind 48 (1939) 464-477.
  • 2. Error Theory and Moral Realism
    • John Mackie “The Arguments from Relativity and Queerness”, from Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong (London: Penguin, 1977), pp. 36-42.
    • David Brink “Moral Realism and the Sceptical Arguments from Disagreement and Queerness”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy vol. 62, no. 2. (1984), pp. 112-125.
    • Richard T. Garner “On the Genuine Queerness of Moral Facts”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy vol. 68, no. 2 (1990), pp. 137-146.
  • 3. Moral Realism after Moore: Naturalism
    • Nicholas Sturgeon “Moral Explanations”, in Morality, Reason and Truth (eds.) David Copp and David Zimmerman (Totowa, N. J.: Rowman and Allanheld, 1985), pp. 49-78.
    • Peter Railton “Moral Realism” Philosophical Review vol. 95 (1986), pp. 163-207.
    • Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons “Troubles for New Wave Moral Semantics: The Open Question Argument Revived” Philosophical Papers vol. 21 (1992), pp. 153-175
    • Connie Rosati “Naturalism, Normativity and the Open Question Argument” Nous vol. 29 (1995), pp. 46-70.
  • 4. Moral Realism after Moore: Non-naturalism
    • John McDowell “Values and Secondary Qualities” in Morality and Objectivity (ed.) Ted Honderich (London: Routledge, 1985), pp. 110-129.
    • Elijah Millgram “Moral Values and Secondary Qualities” American Philosophical Quarterly vol. 36, 1999, pp.253-255.
    • David Sosa, “Pathetic Ethics” in Objectivity in Law and Morals (ed) by Brian Leiter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 287-329
  • 5. Naturalism and Non-naturalism
    • Peter Railton, “What the Non-Cognitivist Helps Us to See the Naturalist Must Help Us to Explain”, in Reality, Representation and Projection (eds.) John Haldane and Crispin Wright (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 279-300.
    • David Wiggins, “Cognitivism, Naturalism, and Normativity” in Reality, Representation and Projection (eds.) John Haldane and Crispin Wright (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 301-314.
    • Peter Railton, “Reply to David Wigginss Cognitivism, Naturalism, and Normativity” in Reality, Representation and Projection (eds.) John Haldane and Crispin Wright (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 315-328.
    • David Wiggins, “A Neglected Position?” in Reality, Representation and Projection (eds.) John Haldane and Crispin Wright (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 329-338.
  • 6. Expressivism
    • Simon Blackburn, “Realism and Variations”, chapter 5, sections 1, 2, 3 (part), 6, 7 of
    • Spreading the Word (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 20 pages in all.
    • Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit “A Problem for Expressivism” Analysis vol. 58 (1998), pp. 239-251.
    • Michael Smith and Daniel Stoljar “Is There a Lockean Argument against Expressivism?” Analysis vol. 63 (2003), pp. 76-86.
  • 7. The Frege-Geach Problem
    • Simon Blackburn “The Frege-Geach Problem”, chapter 6, sections 2 and 3 from Spreading the Word (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), pp. 189-202.
    • G. F. Schueler “Moral Modus Ponens and Moral Realism”, Eth