Patterns of objectification

John Mackie’s moral error theory is so closely associated in people’s minds with his arguments from relativity and from queerness that one might overlook the fact that there may be numerous other, and possibly better, ways of establishing that metaethical position. Perhaps, indeed, there are even further resources for arguing for a moral error theory to be unearthed in Mackie’s own book. I have in mind Mackie’s thesis of moral objectification: that the “objective prescriptivity” with which our moral judgments are imbued is the result of our “tendency to read our feelings into their objects” (1977: 42). Mackie invokes Hume’s famous projectivist image of the human mind’s “great propensity to spread itself on external objects,” and, indeed, it is in his book-length analysis of Hume’s moral theory (Mackie 1980) that the topic receives a more careful discussion than in Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. In both books he musters some considerations in favor of the thesis, and reveals to us that he thinks that “it is very largely correct” (1980: 72).
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 34,507
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Taking Moral Skepticism Seriously.Richard Joyce - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):843-851.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total downloads
8 ( #572,950 of 2,268,147 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature