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The long needed, up-to-date book on Mackie's error theory reflecting the latest views and accounts in the field
The first book on the market to focus comprehensively on the topic of moral skepticism
Mackie's error theory revisited by leading scholars in the field
Covers direct descendants of Mackie's error theory such as moral fictionalism
With a long and accessible Introduction to situate readers in the complex discussion
For centuries, certain moral philosophers have maintained that morality is an illusion, comparable to talking of ghosts or unicorns. These moral skeptics claim that the world simply doesn’t contain the sort of properties (such as moral badness, moral obligation, etc.) necessary to render moral statements true. Even seemingly obvious moral claims, such as "killing innocents is morally wrong" fail to be true. What would lead someone to adopt such a radical viewpoint? Are the arguments in its favor defensible or plausible? What impact would embracing such a view have on one’s practical life?
Taking as its point of departure the work of moral philosopher John Mackie (1917-1981), A World Without Values is a collection of essays on moral skepticism by leading contemporary philosophers, some of whom are sympathetic to Mackie’s views, some of whom are opposed. Rather than treating moral skepticism as something to dismiss as quickly as possible, this anthology is a comprehensive exploration of the topic, and as such will be a valuable resource for students of moral philosophy at all levels, as well as professionals in the field of meta-ethics. A World Without Values presents state-of-the-art arguments that advance the ongoing philosophical debate on several fronts, and will enjoy an important place on any meta-ethicist’s bookshelf for some years to come.
Content Level »Research
Keywords »J.L.Mackie - Meta-ethics - Moral error theory - Moral skepticism - ethics - moral judgments - morality
Against Ethics.- Nihilism, Nietzsche, and the Doppelganger Problem.- Patterns of Objectification.- Mackie's Internalisms.- Mackie's Realism: Queer Pigs and the Web of Belief.- Mackie on Practical Reason.- The Argument from Moral Experience.- Beyond the Error Theory.- Normativity, Deliberation, and Queerness.- A Tension in the Moral Error Theory.- Business as Usual? The Error Theory, Internalism, and the Function of Morality.- The Fictionalist's Attitude Problem.- Abolishing Morality.