A World Without Values
Essays on John Mackie's Moral Error Theory
What kind of properties are moral qualities, such as rightness, badness, etc? Some ethicists doubt that there are any such properties; they maintain that thinking that something is morally wrong (for example) is comparable to thinking that something is a unicorn or a ghost. These "moral error theorists" argue that the world simply does not contain the kind of properties or objects necessary to render our moral judgments true. This radical form of moral skepticism was championed by the philosopher John Mackie (1917-1981). This anthology is a collection of philosophical essays critically examining Mackie’s view.
From the reviews:
"A World without Values contains some of the best contemporary evaluations to date both of Mackie's error theory and of its wider philosophical significance. It is also the first multi-authored work on this scale devoted exclusively to this topic. As such, it is a significant event." Hallvard Lillehammer (Cambridge University) in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 2010
“Chapter provides a good explanation of Mackie’s moral error theory. … Overall, this volume will be excellent reading for those interested in the strengths and weaknesses of Mackie’s moral error theory in particular, or in the metaethical debate between moral realists and anti-realists more generally.” (Diego E. Machuca, Philosophy in Review, Vol. XXXI (5), 2011)