© 2002

Moral Beliefs and Moral Theory


Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 10)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Mary Gore Forrester
    Pages 1-35
  3. Mary Gore Forrester
    Pages 37-60
  4. Mary Gore Forrester
    Pages 61-90
  5. Mary Gore Forrester
    Pages 91-120
  6. Mary Gore Forrester
    Pages 121-149
  7. Mary Gore Forrester
    Pages 175-192
  8. Mary Gore Forrester
    Pages 193-223
  9. Mary Gore Forrester
    Pages 225-245
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 247-293

About this book


Some time ago I wrote a book (Moral Language, 1982) in which I argued that moral judgments are capable of being true ('truth-apt,' to use a current phrase, or descriptive and having truth-value, to use a more traditional term), that the methods of discovering moral facts are fundamentally similar to those of discovering non-moral facts, and that moral judgments may be true. What I did not do at that time was to develop a moral theory which would demonstrate how the method of discovering moral truths would work and what the criteria of truth actually are. In a later work (Persons, Animals, and Fetuses, 1996) I did propose a moral theory as to what the criteria for moral truth are; however, I presented it primarily as an introduction to the discussion of several practical ethical issues and did not argue fully for that theory. It is high time that I did so, because without showing that such a theory can be developed my defense of moral realism is incomplete. It is all very well to say that we can discover what moral beliefs are true, but unless we can demonstrate just which beliefs are true, the thesis that we can discover this truth cannot be fully defended. For this reason the biggest (although not the only) challenge to showing that ethical objectivity is possible is the presence of moral disagreement - and the contention of many that such disagreement cannot be definitively resolved.


cognitivism moral judgments morality philosophy truth

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Albany County Family PlanningLaramieUSA
  2. 2.Faculty AffiliateUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Moral Beliefs and Moral Theory
  • Authors M.G. Forrester
  • Series Title Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2002
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4020-0687-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-90-481-6051-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-015-9994-8
  • Series ISSN 1387-6678
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 293
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Ontology
    Philosophy, general
    Philosophy of Language
  • Buy this book on publisher's site