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Moral Error Theory – History, Critique, Defence - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence

Jonas Olson


This book examines moral error theory of the kind advocated by J. L. Mackie. Part I (History) gives a historical background to the debate. The moral error theories of David Hume and of some more or less influential twentieth-century philosophers, including Axel Hägerström, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Richard Robinson, are discussed. It is argued that the early cases for moral error theory are suggestive but that they would have been stronger had they included something like Mackie’s arguments that moral properties and facts are metaphysically queer. Part II (Critique) focuses on ... More

Keywords: Hume, error theory, irreducible normativity: Mackie, motivation, moral fact, projectivism, queerness, reasons, supervenience

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780198701934
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701934.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jonas Olson, author
Stockholm University