By John P. Burgess (auth.), Richard Joyce, Simon Kirchin (eds.)
For centuries, yes ethical philosophers have maintained that morality is an phantasm, corresponding to speaking of ghosts or unicorns. those ethical skeptics declare that the area easily doesn’t comprise one of these homes (such as moral badness, moral obligation, etc.) essential to render ethical statements real. Even probably noticeable ethical claims, akin to "killing innocents is morally incorrect" fail to be precise. What may lead somebody to undertake one of these radical standpoint? Are the arguments in its desire defensible or believable? What effect could embracing any such view have on one’s sensible life?
Taking as its element of departure the paintings of ethical thinker John Mackie (1917-1981), A international with out Values is a set of essays on ethical skepticism through prime modern philosophers, a few of whom are sympathetic to Mackie’s perspectives, a few of whom are antagonistic. instead of treating ethical skepticism as whatever to brush aside as fast as attainable, this anthology is a accomplished exploration of the subject, and as such may be a worthwhile source for college kids of ethical philosophy in any respect degrees, in addition to execs within the box of meta-ethics. A global with out Values offers cutting-edge arguments that boost the continued philosophical debate on a number of fronts, and may take pleasure in a tremendous position on any meta-ethicist’s bookshelf for a few years to come.
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Additional resources for A World Without Values: Essays on John Mackie's Moral Error Theory
In ethics, the situation is rather different. On course (2) we would have to be constantly reminding ourselves that those of us who say abortion is wrong, and those who say it is all right, are not contradicting each other. Either course (1) or (2) would be bound to cause great confusion so long as the majority has not appreciated the relativity of morals. And I doubt whether today more people are aware of that relativity than understand Einstein’s theory. Moreover, it is really rather incongruous to go on speaking of “right” and “wrong” once one realizes there are no absolute standards.
Either way we have moral truths – non-negative atomic moral truths – in abundance. It seems that the only alternative to moral realism (in Sayre-McCord’s sense) is noncognitivism, after all. There is only one way out for the nihilist. He has to deny the RD principles. “Action X is not wrong” does not entail that action X is right (in the sense of morally permissible) nor does “Action X is not right” entail that action X is wrong. But is this bold and blunt assertion anything more than the desperate response of the cornered nihilistic rat?
The same cannot be said for the argument that Wright propounds. Wright’s first premise is much like Blackburn’s: W1 If moral judgments are all false, we ought to give up moralizing (and take our moral commitments a lot less seriously). But his second premise is simply this: W2 Giving up moralizing would be a real calamity. We could not take our moral commitments seriously. And from this nothing in particular seems to follow. At best W1 and W2 when taken together provide us with a reason for wishing that nihilism were not true but not with a reason to think that it is not true.