Philosophy of the Social Sciences 26 (2):181-204 (1996)

Charles R. Pigden
University of Otago
Bertrand Russell was a meta-ethical pioneer, the original inventor of both emotivism and the error theory. Why, having abandoned emotivism for the error theory, did he switch back to emotivism in the 1920s? Perhaps he did not relish the thought that as a moralist he was a professional hypocrite. In addition, Russell's version of the error theory suffers from severe defects. He commits the naturalistic fallacy and runs afoul of his own and Moore's arguments against subjectivism. These defects could be repaired, but only by abandoning Russell's semantics.Russell preferred to revert to emotivism.
Keywords Bertrand Russell  Error Theory  Emotivism  Subjectivism  G.E.Moore  Meta-Ethics
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DOI 10.1177/004839319602600203
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Principia Ethica.Evander Bradley McGilvary - 1904 - Philosophical Review 13 (3):351.
Ethics, Inventing Right and Wrong.[author unknown] - 1977 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 43 (3):581-582.
A Refutation of Morals.John Mackie - 1946 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 24 (1-2):77 – 90.
A Refutation of Morals.John Mackie - 1946 - Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy 24 (1-2):77-90.

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