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Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 4 HT12

Event Name Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 4 HT12
Start Date 6th Feb 2012 4:30pm
End Date 6th Feb 2012 6:30pm
Duration 2 hours

Talk by Jonas Olson (Stockholm) ‘Projectivism and Error in Hume’s Ethics’ to be held in the Lecture Room at the Philosophy Centre, 10 Merton Street.


The main questions to be considered in this essay are whether Hume is a moral projectivist and a moral error theorist. It is argued that there is a distinction to be made between Hume’s descriptive metaethics and his revisionary metaethics. The former is his account of vulgar moral discourse, i.e., the moral thought and talk of ordinary people; the latter is his account of how vulgar moral discourse could be reformed so as to no longer involve error. It is argued that Hume both embraces the reality of moral distinctions and thinks that, in drawing them, people systematically make a crucial mistake, one that is philosophically important to correct. In descriptive metaethics, Hume is a projectivist and an error theorist and in revisionary metaethics, Hume is a projectivist and a subjectivist but not an error theorist. The essay considers objections to error theorist readings. Finally, the moral error theories of Hume and J. L. Mackie are compared.

All philosophers are welcome to attend, and also to join the speaker for drinks after the talk, and later for dinner.

Moral Philosophy seminar webpage

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