Mackie’s Conceptual Reform Moral Error Theory

Journal of Value Inquiry 2 (53):1-17 (forthcoming)


John P. Burgess has remarked that Mackie: “even though he talks of the need to invent morality … does not seem to think that this proposal could be worked into a revisionary meta-ethic”. In the first part of my paper, I argue that Mackie did propose a revisionary meta-ethic (conceptual reformism), and that Mackie was not a preservatist, abolitionist, or semantic pluralist. I also argue that interpreting Mackie as a conceptual reformist enables us to overcome a number of standard objections to his error theory. The upshot is that we should take seriously the idea that Mackie was a conceptual reform moral error theorist.

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Wouter Kalf
Leiden University

References found in this work

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Dispositional Theories of Value.Michael Smith, David Lewis & Mark Johnston - 1989 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 63 (1):89-174.
Moral Fictionalism.Richard Joyce - 2011 - Philosophy Now 82:14-17.
On the Genuine Queerness of Moral Properties and Facts.Richard T. Garner - 1990 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (2):137 – 146.
Moral Fictionalism.Richard Joyce - 2005 - In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 287-313.

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