This chapter introduces the myth of the Tower of Babel as providing allegories for two central themes of the book: that both moral and metaethical disagreements in different ways involve a ‘confusion of tongues’. The Euthyphro Question marks a fundamental controversy in metaethics: is normativity prior to desire, or vice versa? Metaethical theories must balance the objectivity of morality against its practicality. An analytic method of semantic and conceptual analysis is proposed, and a series of challenges surveyed: from primitivism, expressivism, synthetic naturalism, and revisionism. G. E. Moore’s ‘Open Question’ argument is criticized, and a strategy outlined of providing the simplest and most conservative explanation of the data.
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