Philosophical Studies Series

A World Without Values

Essays on John Mackie's Moral Error Theory

Editors: Joyce, Richard, Kirchin, Simon (Eds.)

  • 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
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eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3339-0
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
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  • ISBN 978-90-481-3338-3
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Softcover $209.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-3099-1
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

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.

About the authors

Richard Joyce is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. He received his PhD from Princeton University in 1998, after which he was a lecturer at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of "The Myth of Morality" (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and "The Evolution of Morality" (MIT Press, 2006).

Simon Kirchn is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Kent. He received his PhD from the University of Sheffield and subsequently taught at the University of Bristol. He is the author of a number of papers in metaethics and the co-editor (with Andrew Fisher) of Arguing About Metaethics (2006). He is currently writing a book on thick concepts. He was elected President of the British Society of Ethical Theory in 2008 and is an Assistant Editor of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"A World without Values contains some of the best contemporary evaluations to date both of Mackie's error theory and of its wider philosophical significance. It is also the first multi-authored work on this scale devoted exclusively to this topic. As such, it is a significant event." Hallvard Lillehammer (Cambridge University) in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 2010

“Chapter provides a good explanation of Mackie’s moral error theory. … Overall, this volume will be excellent reading for those interested in the strengths and weaknesses of Mackie’s moral error theory in particular, or in the metaethical debate between moral realists and anti-realists more generally.” (Diego E. Machuca, Philosophy in Review, Vol. XXXI (5), 2011)


Table of contents (13 chapters)

  • Against Ethics

    Burgess, John P.

    Pages 1-15

  • Nihilism, Nietzsche, and the Doppelganger Problem

    Pigden, Charles R.

    Pages 17-34

  • Patterns of Objectification

    Joyce, Richard

    Pages 35-53

  • Mackie's Internalisms

    Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter

    Pages 55-70

  • Mackie's Realism: Queer Pigs and the Web of Belief

    Dreier, Jamie

    Pages 71-86

Buy this book

eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3339-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3338-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-3099-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A World Without Values
Book Subtitle
Essays on John Mackie's Moral Error Theory
Editors
  • Richard Joyce
  • Simon Kirchin
Series Title
Philosophical Studies Series
Series Volume
114
Copyright
2010
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-90-481-3339-0
DOI
10.1007/978-90-481-3339-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-90-481-3338-3
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-3099-1
Series ISSN
0921-8599
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXIV, 238
Topics