American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The study of the meaning and nature of ethical terms, judgments, and arguments.
“You also have Michael Smith doing a brand of conceptual analysis in metaethics (and Peacocke in philosophy of perception).”
“Partly because political philosophy is my branch, and partly because I don't particularly dig the modern philosophical vernacular (yeah, I don't like reading turgid journal articles or semiotics either, nor "metaethics" either) most of the newer authors whom I read are really just commentators on ancient and medieval texts.”
“In other words, according to my own metaethics, the command of God cannot make an immoral action moral.”
“As a consequence, such a line of argument does not seem especially promising, given the present state of metaethics.”
“It should not be too surprising that this is the case in metaethics and that present day non-cognitivist theories are less distinguishable from cognitivist alternatives than earlier versions.”
“There is no adequate proof of the truth of metaethics.”
“The metaethics or normative ethics are cognitivist, laying down various necessary conditions for ethically correct action.”
“(Section 3) Does evolutionary theory shed light on metaethics, helping to resolve questions about the existence and nature of morality in the normative sense (as claimed by proponents of evolutionary metaethics)?”
“Progress in metaethics will derive from progress in substantive moral and political theorizing, instead of (as often assumed) vice versa.”
“Nonetheless, moral relativism is a standard topic in metaethics, and there are contemporary philosophers who defend forms of it: The most prominent are Gilbert Harman and David B. Wong.”
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Words philosophical writers use to give the illusion of technical competence, including up-trippingly specialised senses of words that have other jobs during daylight hours.
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