THUNK – 63. Metaethics: Moral Realism & Antirealism

Metaethics investigates where morals supposedly come from & how they might (or might not!) be real. Fascinating!

-Links for the Curious-

Plato’s Euthyphro Dilemma, one of the oldest investigations into metaethics we know of – classics.mit.edu/Plato/euthyfro.html

A great summary of J.L. Mackie’s position on Moral Error Theory – people.umass.edu/ffeldman/Chapter.1.Mackies.Error.Theory+.pdf

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s summary of Hume’s moral philosophy (when in doubt, read some Hume) – plato.stanford.edu/entries/hume-moral/

Kant’s “Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals,” a fantastic starting point for a priori logical justifications for moral principles – www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdfs/kant1785.pdf

Sam Harris’s TED talk on using science to ground moral realism (note: many philosophers don’t find Harris’s points particularly compelling, but he does strike off in an interesting direction worth considering) – www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww

A.J. Ayer’s “Critique of Ethics & Theology,” a cogent statement of emotivism (a form of noncognitivism, see ch. 6) – www.colorado.edu/philosophy/heathwood/pdf/ayer.pdf

Cuneo’s “The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism,” one of the more recent texts which has prompted a resurgence in moral realism among philosophers – books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=E10E7k9cJGgC&oi=fnd&pg=PP3&dq=cuneo+2007+moral+realism&ots=ZG1JukMEOX&sig=M7QS4fWnm-vf9s4TZIBTlxcNwUM#v=onepage&q=cuneo%202007%20moral%20realism&f=true

PhilosphyTube’s fantastic video regarding the issues of noncognitivism, namely The Embedding Problem (The Frege-Geach Problem) – www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIzsMHApx8I

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