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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.


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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 ?
"Shmagency Revisited." In New Waves in Metaethics, edited by Michael S.
Its call for a social research program in metaethics encounters little enthusiasm.
This paper briefly motivates asymmetry and explores its implications for metaethics. Some philosophers have thought that antirealists are better placed than realists to explain asymmetry because, if antirealism is true, disagreement cannot provide evidence against the reliability of one's thinking about objective moral facts.
A second symposium continues a lively authors-meet-critics exchange over Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas Rasmussen's book The Perfectionist Turn: From Metanorms to Metaethics. (2) Billy Christmas first summarizes Den Uyl and Rasmussen's project: they provide a moral grounding for a liberal political system, without imposing any particular vision of the good.
This is David Enoch's claim--well, not exactly: his claim is that general jurisprudence is not interesting when compared to metaethics (Enoch, forthcoming).
Metaethics. In the second part, the focus will be the Fitting Attitude Theory of value, namely with reference to Brentano.
From the first frames of "shot" footage to the collaboration between its shooter, a Palestinian farmer named Emad Burnat, and an Israeli filmmaker, Guy Davidi, 5 Broken Cameras (2011) presents direct and demanding challenges to our sense of applied ethics and metaethics, especially as they pertain to documentary practice.
Essays on moral thought in philosophies of India cover Western imperialism, Indology, and ethics; moral theory (metaethics and normative ethics); applied ethics; and ethics and politics.
However, there are multiple branches within the field of ethics; some are concerned with the origins and meaning of ethical traditions (metaethics), others with the standardization of ethical processes in social settings (normative ethics), and still others address current ethical quandaries that have yet to be resolved (applied ethics) (Fieser, 2016).
The introductory chapter discusses the ubiquity of values, explains the distinction between ethics and metaethics, critically assesses the method of reflective equilibrium, and introduces Michael Walzer's notion of the connected critic, which Hourdequin takes as a model of ethical citizenship.
We are then introduced to Part 1, "Metaethics," which leads to Chapter 2, "Simple Ethical Subjectivism." For this chapter, Kowalski immediately introduces the summary of Match Point (2005).