In Defence of Moral Error Theory

Moral error theorists typically accept two claims – one conceptual and one ontological – about moral facts. The conceptual claim is that moral facts are or entail facts about categorical reasons (and correspondingly that moral claims are or entail claims about categorical reason); the ontological claim is that there are no categorical reasons-and consequently no moral facts-in reality. I accept this version of moral error theory and I try to unpack what it amounts to in section 2. In the course of doing so I consider two preliminary objections that moral error theory is (probably) false because its implications are intuitively unacceptable (what I call the Moorean objection) and that the general motivation for moral error theory is self-undermining in that it rests on a hidden appeal to norms. | Direct Link to PDF