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Summary

Moral error theory is roughly the view that morality is a (perhaps biologically-useful) illusion. More precisely, error theory combines a cognitivist, representationalist view of moral judgments with an antirealist view of the moral domain. Error theorists typically reason as follows: moral judgments aim to represent the world as being a certain way, morally speaking, and are thus capable of being either true or false depending on whether the world has the moral features one takes it to have. However, the world is morally void in that there are no moral facts, properties, or values ‘out there in the world’ to be discovered. Thus, our moral judgments are typically false. When we judge, for example, that slavery is immoral, we are (perhaps unknowingly) projecting our feelings, wants and demands onto the world and mistakenly thinking that we’ve come into cognitive contact with objective moral facts.  While error theorists widely agree about the nature of morality and moral judgment, they disagree about what to do with moral discourse. Some error theorists contend that morality is a useful fiction that, with some qualifications, should be retained. Adherents of this approach are called moral fictionalists. It should be noted, however, that some fictionalists are not error theorists. Mark Kalderon, for example, rejects the view that moral judgments aim to represent the world as being a certain way, morally speaking. He contends, instead, that propositions (including moral ones) aim to describe the world, but that people use these descriptive propositions to express non-representational mental states.

Key works

The most prominent defense of error theory in the 20th century is arguably Mackie 1977Joyce 2001 provides a more detailed defense of error theory. Joyce 2005 defends error theory on both philosophical and scientific grounds. Other noteworthy defenses of error theory include Streumer 2017, Olson 2014, Garner 2007, and Burgess 2007.  Core readings in moral fictionalism include  Nolan et al 2005 , Joyce 2005 , and Kalderon 2005.

Introductions Joyce 2013 is an introductory article on error theory.  Eklund 2010 is an introductory article on fictionalism as presented and defended in various areas of philosophy, including general metaphysics and the philosophy of mathematics.
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225 found
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1 — 50 / 225
  1. Naive Moral Fictionalism.Thomas Johnson - manuscript
    As a descriptive theory, moral fictionalism proposes that moral claims are typically based on the fundamental error of attributing moral values with an objective, independent status that they cannot possess. This illusory belief in the reality of moral values has been aptly described as naïve moral realism. Yet, the assumed prevalence of moral realism, however naïve, is a crucial question that has not been adequately defended by proponents of moral fictionalism and is found to be inconsistent with much empirical research (...)
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  2. The Type-B Moral Error Theory.Anthony Robert Booth - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    I introduce a new version of Moral Error Theory, which I call Type-B Moral Error Theory. According to a Type-B theorist there are no facts of the kind required for there to be morality in stricto sensu, but there can be irreducible ‘normative’ properties which she deems, strictly speaking, to be morally irrelevant. She accepts that there are instrumental all things considered oughts, and categorical pro tanto oughts, but denies that there are categorical all things considered oughts on pain of (...)
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  3. Reason and Ethics: The Case Against Objective Value.Joel Marks - forthcoming - New York and Abington, Oxon: Routledge.
    Reason and Ethics defends the theoretical claim that all values are subjective and the practical claim that human affairs can be conducted fruitfully in full awareness of this. This work goes beyond the author's previous work defending moral skepticism to question the existence of all objective values. This leads him to suggest a novel answer to the Companions in Guilt argument that the denial of morality would mean relinquishing rationality as well.
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  4. Rescuing Companions in Guilt Arguments.Richard Rowland - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly:pqv070.
    Christopher Cowie has recently argued that companions in guilt arguments against the moral error theory that appeal to epistemic reasons cannot work. I show that such companions in guilt arguments can work if, as we have good reason to believe, moral reasons and epistemic reasons are instances of fundamentally the same relation.
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  5. Why We Really Cannot Believe the Error Theory.Bart Streumer - forthcoming - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. Routledge.
    According to the error theory, normative judgments are beliefs that ascribe normative properties, but these properties do not exist. I have argued elsewhere (in "Can We Believe the Error Theory?") that we cannot believe this theory. Several philosophers have replied to this argument. In this chapter, I respond to their replies.
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  6. Why Formal Objections to the Error Theory Fail.Bart Streumer & Daniel Wodak - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Many philosophers argue that the error theory should be rejected because it is incompatible with standard deontic logic and semantics. We argue that such formal objections to the theory fail. Our discussion has two upshots. First, it increases the dialectical weight that must be borne by objections to the error theory that target its content rather than its form. Second, it shows that standard deontic logic and semantics should be revised.
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  7. Error, Consistency and Triviality.Christine Tiefensee & Gregory Wheeler - forthcoming - Noûs.
    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 moral deontic assertions can be seen to differ in meaning despite necessarily (...)
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  8. A dilemma for evolutionary debunking arguments.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):45-69.
    Evolutionary debunkers claim that evolutionary explanations of moral phenomena lead to sceptical conclusions. The aim of this paper is to show that even if we grant debunkers the speculative claims that evolution provides the best explanation of moral phenomena and that there are no other moral phenomena for which moral facts/properties are indispensable, the sceptical conclusions debunkers seek to establish still do not follow. The problem for debunkers is to link the empirical explanatory claim to the normative conclusion that moral (...)
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  9. Error Theory, Unbelievability and the Normative Objection.Daniele Bruno - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2).
    One of the most formidable challenges to the Error Theory is the Normative Objection, according to which the Error Theory ought to be rejected because of its deeply implausible first-order normative implications. Recently, Bart Streumer has offered a novel and powerful defence of the Error Theory against this objection. Streumer argues that the Error Theory’s plausibility deficit when viewed against the background of our normative beliefs does not show the theory’s falsity. Rather, it can be explained by the fact that (...)
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  10. Reactionary Fictionalism.Jason Dockstader - 2020 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 58 (2):238-263.
    Fictionalism is the view that the claims of a target discourse are best seen as being fictional in some way, as being expressed in some pretense manner, or as not being about the traditional posits of the discourse. The contemporary taxonomy of fictionalist views is quite elaborate. Yet, there is a version of fictionalism that has failed to develop and which corresponds to the earliest form of the view found in the history of philosophy, East and West. I call this (...)
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  11. Reactionary Moral Fictionalism.Jason Dockstader - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):519-534.
    There is a debate among moral error theorists. It concerns what is to be done with moral discourse once it is believed to be systematically false or untrue. It has been called the ‘now what’ problem. Should error theorists abolish morality or insulate themselves in some way from this nihilistic consequence of belief in error theory? Assertive moral abolitionism aims to have error theorists avoid any insulation and abolish morality altogether. Revolutionary moral fictionalism aims for insulation by having error theorists (...)
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  12. Sorting Out Solutions to the Now-What Problem.François Jaquet - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (3).
    Moral error theorists face the so-called “now-what problem”: what should we do with our moral judgments from a prudential point of view if these judgments are uniformly false? On top of abolitionism and conservationism, which respectively advise us to get rid of our moral judgments and to keep them, three revisionary solutions have been proposed in the literature: expressivism, naturalism, and fictionalism. In this paper, I argue that expressivism and naturalism do not constitute genuine alternatives to abolitionism, of which they (...)
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  13. "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 assertions, or so I will (...)
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  14. 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 just as (...)
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  15. On the Dialectical Disadvantage of the Normative Error Theorist: A Reply to Clipsham. [REVIEW]Xinkan Zhao - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (2):861-871.
    In response to the companions in guilt arguments, some error theorists have tried to defend a nihilist thesis that there truly are no normative epistemic reasons to believe, and further no normative reasons whatsoever, making them global normative error theorists. In his recent paper, Patrick Clipsham tries to adjudicate on this debate. Dubbing this nihilist response a “bullet-biting” one, he argues that sophisticated forms of this response are viable and immune from the frequently leveled charges. However, he further argues that (...)
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  16. Mackie Was Not an Error Theorist.Selim Berker - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):5-25.
  17. Daoist Metaethics.Jason Dockstader - 2019 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (2):309-324.
    This paper seeks to show how classical Chinese Daoist philosophy (道家) contributes to contemporary metaethics. Daoism offers an early form of moral error theory and provides unique suggestions for what one can do with a false discourse like morality. Recent error theorists have disagreed about whether they should conserve moral discourse (moral conservationism), retain it only as a useful fiction (revolutionary moral fictionalism), substitute it with a discourse concerned with subjective normative attitudes (moral substitutionism), or abolish it altogether (assertive moral (...)
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  18. Nonassertive Moral Abolitionism.Jason Dockstader - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (4):481-502.
    Proponents of moral abolitionism, like Richard Garner, qualify their view as an â assertiveâ version of the position. They counsel moral realists and anti-realists alike to accept moral error theory, abolish morality, and encourage others to abolish morality. In response, this paper argues that moral error theorists should abolish morality, but become quiet about such abolition. It offers a quietist or nonassertive version of moral abolitionism. It does so by first clarifying and addressing the arguments for and against assertive moral (...)
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  19. “Putting the Linguistic Method in its Place”: Mackie’s Distinction Between Conceptual and Factual Analysis.Tammo Lossau - 2019 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 22 (1):92-105.
    Early in his career and in critical engagement with ordinary language philosophy, John Mackie developed the roots of a methodology that would be fundamental to his thinking: Mackie argues that we need to clearly separate the conceptual analysis which determines the meaning of an ordinary term and the factual analysis which is concerned with the question what, if anything, our language corresponds to in the world. I discuss how Mackie came to develop this distinction and how central ideas of his (...)
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  20. 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 confirmed through non-ethical reasoning” [2009, 1]). (...)
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  21. Saving Which Differences? Creeping Minimalism and Disagreement.Christine Tiefensee - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1905-1921.
    Much thought has been devoted to how metaethical disagreement between moral realism and expressivism can be saved once minimalism starts creeping. Very little thought has been given to how creeping minimalism affects error-theories’ disagreement with their metaethical competitors. The reason for this omission, I suspect, is found in the belief that whilst locating distinctive moral realist and expressivist positions within a minimalist landscape poses a severe challenge, no such difficulties are encountered when differentiating error-theories from moral realism and expressivism. In (...)
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  22. What’s Wrong with Relaxing?Christine Tiefensee - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (6):725-742.
    In his new book Unbelievable Errors, Bart Streumer argues that there is no way around the result that all metaethical views other than the error theory either fail for the same reasons as metaphysical normative realism, or for the same reasons as expressivism. In this contribution, I seek to show that this is false: We can eschew this result by ‘relaxing’ about normative truths. Even if Streumer were right about the fate of metaphysical normative realism and expressivism, then, relaxed realists (...)
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  23. Mistaken Morality? : An Essay on Moral Error Theory.Emma Beckman - 2018 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    This dissertation explores arguments and questions related to moral error theory – the idea that morality inevitably involves a fundamental and serious error such that moral judgments and statements never come out true. It is suggested that the truth of error theory remains a non-negligible possibility, and that we for this reason should take a version of moral fictionalism seriously. I begin by defining error theory as the claim that moral judgments are beliefs with moral propositions as content, moral utterances (...)
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  24. The Tale of a Moderate Normative Skeptic.Brendan Cline - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):141-161.
    While Richard Joyce’s moral skepticism might seem to be an extreme metaethical view, it is actually far more moderate than it might first appear. By articulating four challenges facing his approach to moral skepticism, I argue that Joyce’s moderation is, in fact, a theoretical liability. First, the fact that Joyce is not skeptical about normativity in general makes it possible to develop close approximations to morality, lending support to moderate moral revisionism over moral error theory. Second, Joyce relies on strong, (...)
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  25. Moral Skepticism: An Introduction and Overview.Diego E. Machuca - 2018 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-31.
    In this introductory chapter, I not only present the essays that make up this volume but also I offer an extensive critical overview of moral skepticism with the hope that it will turn out to be useful particularly to the uninitiated reader. I first provide a taxonomy of varieties of moral skepticism, then discuss the main arguments advanced in their favor, and finally summarize the ten essays here collected, which deal with one or more of those skeptical stances and arguments.
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  26. Moral Skepticism, Fictionalism, and Insulation.Diego E. Machuca - 2018 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York: Routledge. pp. 213-234.
    It has been claimed that a key difference between ancient and contemporary skepticism is that, unlike the ancient skeptics, contemporary skeptics consider ordinary beliefs to be insulated from skeptical doubt. In the case of metaethics, this issue is related to the following question: what attitude towards ordinary moral thought and discourse should one adopt if one is a moral skeptic? Whereas moral abolitionists claim that one should do away with ordinary moral thought and discourse altogether, moral fictionalists maintain that, given (...)
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  27. 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 charge could receive the evidential (...)
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  28. 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 or fall together by arguing that moral error theory can be (...)
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  29. Conceptual Entailment Error Theory.Wouter Floris Kalf - 2018 - In Wouter Kalf (ed.), Moral Error Theory. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 27-79.
    This book provides a novel formulation and defence of moral error theory. It also provides a novel solution to the so-called now what question; viz., the question what we should do with our moral thought and talk after moral error theory. The novel formulation of moral error theory uses pragmatic presupposition rather than conceptual entailment to argue that moral judgments carry a non-negotiable commitment to categorical moral reasons. The new answer to the now what question is pragmatic presupposition substitutionism: we (...)
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  30. Evolutionary Skepticism About Morality and Prudential Normativity.Peter Königs - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):911-928.
    Debunking arguments aim at defeating the justification of a belief by revealing the belief to have a dubious genealogy. One prominent example of such a debunking argument is Richard Joyce’s evolutionary debunking explanation of morality. Joyce’s argument targets only our belief in moral facts, while our belief in prudential facts is exempt from his evolutionary critique. In this paper, I suggest that our belief in prudential facts falls victim to evolutionary debunking, too. Just as our moral sense can be explained (...)
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  31. 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 error theory.
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  32. Moral Skepticism: New Essays.Diego E. Machuca (ed.) - 2018 - Routledge.
    Moral skepticism is at present a vibrant topic of philosophical inquiry. Particularly since the turn of the millennium, the metaethical study of skepticism has profited from advances in general epistemology and findings in empirical sciences, in light of which new arguments for and against moral skepticism have been devised, while the traditional ones have been reexamined. This collection of original essays by leading metaethicists will advance the ongoing debates about various forms of moral skepticism by drawing on recent innovative work (...)
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  33. Nietzsche and Contemporary Metaethics.Alex Silk - 2018 - In Paul Katsafanas (ed.), Routledge Philosophical Minds: The Nietzschean Mind. Routledge.
    Recent decades have witnessed a flurry of interest in Nietzsche's metaethics — his views, if any, on metaphysical, epistemological, semantic, and psychological issues about normativity and normative language and judgment. Various authors have highlighted a tension between Nietzsche's metaethical views about value and his ardent endorsement of a particular evaluative perspective: Although Nietzsche makes apparently "antirealist" claims to the effect that there are no evaluative facts, he vehemently engages in evaluative discourse and enjoins the "free spirits" to create values. Nearly (...)
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  34. 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 normative (...)
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  35. Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence.Jeff Wisdom - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):217-220.
    © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Scots Philosophical Association and the University of St Andrews. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com...Jonas Olson's Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence has four aims. First, the book aims to provide a historical background to the development of moral error theory prior to its appearance in Mackie's article, ‘A Refutation of Morals.’ Secondly, it provides a critical look at four different versions of the queerness argument. (...)
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  36. Bad News for Moral Error Theorists: There Is No Master Argument Against Companions in Guilt Strategies.Ramon Das - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):58-69.
    A ‘companions in guilt’ strategy against moral error theory aims to show that the latter proves too much: if sound, it supports an implausible error-theoretic conclusion in other areas such as epistemic or practical reasoning. Christopher Cowie [2016 Cowie, C. 2016. Good News for Moral Error Theorists: A Master Argument Against Companions in Guilt Strategies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94/1: 115–30.[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]] has recently produced what he claims is a ‘master argument’ against (...)
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  37. If Nothing Matters.Guy Kahane - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):327-353.
    The possibility that nothing really matters can cause much anxiety, but what would it mean for that to be true? Since it couldn’t be bad that nothing matters, fearing nihilism makes little sense. However, the consequences of belief in nihilism will be far more dramatic than often thought. Many metaethicists assume that even if nothing matters, we should, and would, go on more or less as before. But if nihilism is true in an unqualified way, it can’t be the case (...)
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  38. Against Hybrid Expressivist-Error Theory.Wouter Kalf - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (1):105-122.
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  39. Moral Nihilism and its Implications.Marc Krellenstein - 2017 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 38 (1):75-90.
    Philosophers have identified a number of principles that characterize morality and underlie moral judgments. However, philosophy has failed to establish any widely agreed-upon justification for these judgments, and an “error theory” that views moral judgments as without justification has not been successfully refuted. Evolutionary psychologists have had success in explaining the likely origins and mechanisms of morality but have also not established any justification for adopting particular values. As a result, we are left with moral nihilism -- the absence of (...)
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  40. Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence, Written by Jonas Olson. [REVIEW]Hallvard Lillehammer - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (1):57-61.
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  41. 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 sometimes associated with moral skepticism. (...)
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  42. The Origins of Emotivism, Expressivism and the Error Theory: Marty, Scheler, Russell, Ogden & Richards.Kevin Mulligan - 2017 - In Hamid Taieb & Guillaume Fréchette (eds.), Mind and Language – on the Philosophy of Anton Marty. De Gruyter. pp. 149-168.
  43. Moral Error: History, Critique, Defence.Jonas Olson - 2017 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Jonas Olson presents a critical survey of moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and so all moral claims are false. Part I explores the historical context of the debate; Part II assesses J. L. Mackie's famous arguments; Part III defends error theory against challenges and considers its implications for our moral thinking.
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  44. Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence. [REVIEW]Regina Rini - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):650-653.
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  45. Unbelievable Errors: An Error Theory About All Normative Judgments.Bart Streumer - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Unbelievable Errors defends an error theory about all normative judgements: not just moral judgements, but also judgements about reasons for action, judgements about reasons for belief, and instrumental normative judgements. This theory states that normative judgements are beliefs that ascribe normative properties, but that normative properties do not exist. It therefore entails that all normative judgements are false. -/- Bart Streumer also argues, however, that we cannot believe this error theory. This may seem to be a problem for the theory. (...)
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  46. Why We Can Still Believe the Error Theory.Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (4):523-536.
    The error theory is a metaethical theory that maintains that normative judgments are beliefs that ascribe normative properties, and that these properties do not exist. In a recent paper, Bart Streumer argues that it is impossible to fully believe the error theory. Surprisingly, he claims that this is not a problem for the error theorist: even if we can’t fully believe the error theory, the good news is that we can still come close to believing the error theory. In this (...)
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  47. On The Validity of a Simple Argument for Moral Error Theory.Kasper Højbjerg Christensen - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (4):508-517.
    In The Myth of Morality Richard Joyce presents a simple and very influential argument for the truth of moral error theory. In this paper I point out that the argument does not have the form Joyce attributes to it, the argument is not valid in an extensional propositional logic and on the most natural way of explicating the meanings of the involved terms, it remains invalid. I conclude that more explanation is needed if we are to accept this particular argument (...)
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  48. Good News for Moral Error Theorists: A Master Argument Against Companions in Guilt Strategies.Christopher Cowie - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):115-130.
    Moral error theories are often rejected by appeal to ‘companions in guilt’ arguments. The most popular form of companions in guilt argument takes epistemic reasons for belief as a ‘companion’ and proceeds by analogy. I show that this strategy fails. I claim that the companions in guilt theorist must understand epistemic reasons as evidential support relations if her argument is to be dialectically effective. I then present a dilemma. Either epistemic reasons are evidential support relations or they are not. If (...)
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  49. Destabilizing the Error Theory.Terence Cuneo - 2016 - In Pedro Schmechtig & Martin Grajner (eds.), Epistemic Reasons, Norms, and Goals. De Gruyter. pp. 71-94.
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  50. Jonas Olson’s Evidence for Moral Error Theory.Daan Evers - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (4):403-418.
    Jonas Olson defends a moral error theory in (2014). I will first argue that Olson is not justified in believing the error theory as opposed to moral nonnaturalism in his own opinion. I will then argue that Olson is not justified in believing the error theory as opposed to moral contextualism either (although the latter is not a matter of his own opinion).
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