Graduate studies at Western
In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics. OUP (forthcoming)
|Abstract||Moral metaphysics is that part of philosophy concerned with establishing the exact ontological status of ethical facts. There are many possible views concerning the ontological status of such facts – including, of course, the view that there are none. The purpose of the present essay is to present a short survey of the most important of the positive views about ethical facts, unapologetically written from the perspective of contemporary metaethics. Since the early twentieth century, moral philosophy has seen previously unparalleled efforts to clearly separate out and delineate distinct moral metaphysical theories, and such carefully delineated theories, apart from each being interesting in their own right, also provide us with conceptual tools which we can use when studying the longer history of ethics. This is not at all to devalue efforts that might instead be made to study particular figures or earlier episodes in that history more on their own terms, nor to deny that the present approach risks falling into the trap of anachronism. Suffice to say, an essay that covered the long history of moral metaphysics on every period’s own terms would either be incredibly long, or need be even more patchy than the present essay is|
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