metaethics

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Related to metaethical: Descriptive ethics

met·a·eth·ics

 (mĕt′ə-ĕth′ĭks)
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the meaning and nature of ethical terms, judgments, and arguments.

met′a·eth′i·cal adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

met•a•eth•ics

(ˌmɛt əˈɛθ ɪks, ˈmɛt əˌɛθ-)

n. (usu. with a sing. v.)
the branch of ethics dealing with the meaning of ethical terms, the nature of moral discourse, and the foundations of morality.
[1945–50]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

metaethics

a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations of ethics and especially with the definition of ethical terms and the nature of moral discourse.
See also: Ethics, Philosophy
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
My theses in this paper are conditional on the assumption that there are moral truths in the first place; thus, I set aside metaethical expressivism, as well as Blackburn's quasi-realism, which understands "moral truth" to mean something different than I mean by it (not the sort of thing that we believe).
Given that the main purpose of this contribution is to vindicate the moral error theory and given that Nietzsche's metaethical stance plays no necessary part in this defense, the discussion of whether Nietzsche was an error theorist seems beside the point and somehow distracts the attention from the main focus.
The author argues that one may be a metaethical realist while employing the notion of good of a kind to the exclusion of good simpliciter; he calls such a view "kindism." He distinguishes between two varieties of kindism, explicates the details of one of those varieties, and defends (that variety of) kindism against possible objections.
First, it is not open to those with metaethical views that attempt to preserve the features of moral discourse that Mackie finds objectionable.
Narveson's text seeks both to combine a discussion of metaethical issues, some of which require a lot of important distinctions that can be difficult to grasp, with a survey of normative theories of morality in his sense, and to offer a normative theory of his own, a libertarian social contract theory.
ALLISON POSTELL, "What Comes Naturally: The Metaethical Foundations of Virtue Ethics." Adviser: Lance Simmons.
With this metaethical analysis in place, environmental ethics can best be understood by appeal to artificial virtues, on par with Hume's account of justice, whereby sympathy and convention predispose humans to exercise 'modesty and thoughtfulness' in their relations with the environment (68).
In our view, a defense of the account would, among other things, require demonstrating that the view's implications in a wide range of contexts are more plausible than those of its rivals, as well as showing that it harmonizes at least as well as its rivals with our best metaethical and psychological theories.
Divided into ten chapters, the book alternates between a thematic treatment of ethical and metaethical issues stemming from Levinas's thought and a series of comparative studies that relate Levinas's thought to that of other philosophers and Talmudic scholars, both ancient and modern.
In his commentary, Mark Timmons concedes this point, but argues that this is not the only metaethical position available to the deontologist: one can defend a constructivist position, in the kind of metaethics defended by Tim Scanlon.
Metaethical: It is wrong to torture puppies because virtuous agents would not perform such actions (or would disapprove of them in some fashion), and such actions would thus possess the property of moral wrongness.
This paper considers two (related) objections to metaethical nonnaturalism.