Moral Steadfastness and Meta-ethics
, JAMES FRITZ AND TRISTRAM MCPHERSON
according to different meta-ethics
and theories of democracy.
His res earch interests are philosophy of religion (especially the rational justification of Christian theism), meta-ethics
(especially the objectivity of moral values), and political philosophy (especially the desirability of liberal democracy for China).
: Inventing Right and Wrong, New York, NY: Penguin Books.
The silence confirmed my suspicion that professional philosophers who write about ethical theory, meta-ethics
, and political philosophy (and each of these professors did!) do not live their ethical views.
Their topics include reconsidering his christological aversion to theological metaphysics, a pro-Nicene revision of his 1933 christology lectures, soteriology as meta-ethics
in his theology, his two-kingdoms thinking in "The Church and the Jewish Question," and Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Jews in context.
In fact, three of the major movements in Twentieth Century Anglophone moral philosophy rejected the traditionally normative character of the field altogether, insisting instead on a meta-ethics
which examines the meaning of moral language, while a fourth, virtue ethics, sought and still seeks to appropriate and reinvigorate a neo-Aristotelian concentration on the contextual character of moral action (which seems like exactly what Ryn is seeking).
Buchanan and Henderson (2009) further considered deep ethical issues in practice and offer that ethics is divided into such areas as descriptive, normative, applied and meta-ethics
. The authors claim that theories of ethical thinking include utility-based (utilitarianism which is a general philosophy holding that we should act in the way that maximizes happiness for the greatest number of people), duty-based (deontological, which stresses adherence to a set of principles as opposed to a strict consideration of consequences and is typically aligned with Immanuel Kart), justice-based (most recently associated with the theories of justice and rights of John Rawls), and character-based (associated with Aristotle models).
Both reviews stress the connection between agent-causation and the explanation of action, serving implicitly to tie issues in the philosophy of mind to issues in ethics and meta-ethics
, and by implication to the journal's core interest in normative studies.
(19) In this manner, MacIntyre may be said to be doing not ethics but "meta-ethics
" in the postmodern vein.
Furthermore Anscombe later openly expresses her preference for normative ethics saying that 'In general, my interest in moral philosophy has been more in particular moral questions than in what is now called 'meta-ethics
' (Teichmann, 2008, 83).
Although an in-depth discussion of existing ethical decision-making models is not the focus of this article, a brief review of ethical models follows, integrating Cottone and Claus's (2000) review of theory, practice and process with the three inquiry frameworks of meta-ethics
, descriptive ethics and prescriptive ethics (as proposed by Miner & Petocz, 2003).