An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics

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Wiley, Oct 20, 2003 - Philosophy - 316 pages
4 Reviews
An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics provides a highly readable critical overview of the main arguments and themes in twentieth-century and contemporary metaethics. It traces the development of contemporary debates in metaethics from their beginnings in the work of G. E. Moore up to the most recent arguments between naturalism and non-naturalism, cognitivism and non-cognitivism.


Individual chapters deal with: the open-question arguments and Moore’s attack on ethical naturalism; A. J. Ayer’s emotivism and the rejection of non-naturalism; Simon Blackburn’s quasi-realism; Allan Gibbard’s norm-expressivism; J. L. Mackie’s ‘error-theory’ of moral judgement; anti-realist and best opinion accounts of moral truth; the non-reductionist naturalism of the ‘Cornell realists’; Peter Railton’s naturalistic reductionism; the analytic functionalism of Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit; the contemporary non-naturalism of John McDowell and David Wiggins; and the debate between internalists and externalists in moral psychology.


The book will be an invaluable resource for students, teachers and professional philosophers with interests in contemporary metaethics.

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Review: An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics

User Review  - Alexander - Goodreads

I found this a bit of a slog at times; it's definitely a fairly advanced introduction. But overall, it was quite helpful. Read full review

Review: An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics

User Review  - Matt Sharp - Goodreads

This is NOT 'an introduction' as most people would understand the term 'introduction' and it is not 'highly readable'. For someone with little-to-no background in the subject, this book was not ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Alexander Miller is senior lecturer at Macquarie University, Sydney. He is the author of Philosophy of Language (1998) and co-editor (with Crispin Wright) of Rule-Following and Meaning (2002), as well as a number of articles on the philosophy of language and mind, metaphysics and metaethics.

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