Morality is widely believed to possess an authority that transcends human ends and attitudes and any social institutions that prescribe behaviour. However, this kind of objective authority appears to be an illusion. If so, it seems that there is something deeply false about morality. It is unlikely that ordinary moral judgments can be saved from this criticism by a non-cognitivist account that says they don’t even aim at truth. However, some of our ordinary evaluative language might survive a general loss of belief in objective moral authority. Later chapters examine a range of theories that either defend a kind of objective moral authority or deny that it is needed.
KeywordsJ.L. Mackie metaethics moral error theory moral semantics mores non-cognitivism Stephen Finlay
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.