Volume 2, Issue 2, Fall 2008
How to be an Error Theorist about Morality
This paper clarifies how to be an error theorist about morality. It takes as its starting point John Mackie’s error theory of the categoricity of moral obligation, defending Mackie against objections from both naturalist moral realists and minimalists about moral discourse. However, drawing upon minimalist insights, it argues that Mackie’s focus on the ontological status of moral values is misplaced, and that the underlying dispute between error theorist and moralist is better conducted at the level of practical reason.