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Metaethics Explored by Paul Davis


Metaethics Explored by Paul Davis

The book begins with an overview of metaethics and a rejection of the metaethics/normative ethics distinction. Chapter 1 also considers the strengths and limitations of the popular idea that morality is a set of rules for how we treat one another, pointing to the heart of the topic. Chapter 2 introduces the distinction between cognitivism and noncognitivism, and explains subjectivist, intersubjectivist, and objectivist accounts of the truth conditions of moral statements. Divine Command Theory and Kant's categorical imperatives, as in his Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, are explained and considered. Chapters 3 and 4 consider the hostility, philosophical and popular, towards objectivist realism. This includes some discussion of David Hume's arguments in A Treatise of Human Nature and Enquiry Concerning the Principals of Morals, and of A. J. Ayer's emotivism. It is argued that the said hostility is unwarranted. Chapter 5 sketches a naturalist objectivism and suggests that the obstacles to its acceptance are typically grounded on spurious asymmetries between ethics and other disciplines.

About the Author

The author is tutor in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and formerly lecturer in the philosophy of sport at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. His doctoral thesis is on free will, and he has published on consciousness, ethics, and ethical and aesthetic issues in sport. He is the co-editor (with Charlene Weaving ) of Philosophical Perspectives on Gender in Sport and Physical Activity (Routledge, 2009).

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Book Info

Publication date

19th August 2008


Paul Davis

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Humanities -


88 pages





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