Leeds University Library

PHIL3321
Module Reading List

Metaethics, 2017/18, Semester 2
Dr Pekka Vayrynen
p.vayrynen@leeds.ac.uk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Module Reading List

Top of page

General readings

A. Required text

1. Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ed. Russ Shafer-Landau and Terence Cuneo (Blackwell 2007) = FE below

B. Recommended background books

1. Miller, Alexander, An introduction to contemporary metaethics (Polity Press 2003, 2nd edition 2013)

C. Other useful books/selections

1. Chrisman, Matthew, What is this thing called metaethics  (Routledge 2017).  

2. Arguing about metaethics , ed. A. Fisher & S. Kirchin (Routledge 2006).

3. Moral discourse and practice: some philosophical approaches , ed. S. Darwall, A. Gibbard, P. Railton = MDP (Oxford UP 1997)

4. Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory , ed. David Copp (Oxford UP 2005).

5. Contemporary debates in moral theory , ed. James Dreier (Blackwell, 2005).

6. van Roojen, Mark, Metaethics : a contemporary introduction (Routledge 2015)

7. Smith, Michael, The moral problem (Blackwell 1994). Chapter 2 available as an Online Course Reading in the VLE

8. Essays on moral realism , ed. Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (Cornell UP 1988).

9. Ethics and practical reason , ed. G. Cullity & B. Gaut (Oxford UP 1997).

10. Oxford studies in metaethics , Vols 1-11, ed. R. Shafer-Landau (Oxford UP 2006-16).

11. New waves in metaethics , ed. M. Brady (Palgrave Macmillan 2010).

12. Blackburn, Simon, Essays in quasi-realism (Oxford UP 1993).

13. Gibbard, Allan, Thinking how to live (Harvard UP 2003).

14. Brink, David, Moral realism and the foundations of ethics (Cambridge UP 1989).

15. Shafer-Landau, Russ, Moral realism : a defence (Oxford UP 2003).

16. Korsgaard, Christine, The sources of normativity (Cambridge UP 1996).

17. Cuneo, Terence, The normative web : an argument for moral realism  (Oxford UP 2007). 

D. Two extremely useful online tools you may want to consult whenever in doubt

1. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy at http://plato.stanford.edu/

2. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy at http://www.rep.routledge.com

Top of page

Readings for specific topics

Readings marked ‘*’ are required readings; the rest are supplementary texts, which are recommended reading and can form the basis for your essays. Yet other suggestions may be made in the lecture materials.

"(VLE)" signifies that the reading is available through the VLE, usually as a link to an official version on publisher's website or online archive.

* For Lecture 1: Chrisman, Matthew: "Chapter 1: Four Key Issues", from What is this thing called metaethics  , pp. 1-15. 

Top of page

1. Moral Error Theory

a) * Mackie, J.L., Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong (1977), ch.1 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva ; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 1.

b) Joyce, Richard, ‘The Myth of Morality’, excerpts from his The myth of morality (Cambridge UP 2001); Foundations of ethics : an anthology ,ch. 2.

c) Brink, David, ‘Moral Realism and the Sceptical Arguments from Disagreement and Queerness,’ Australasian journal of philosophy. 62 (1984): 111-25. (VLE)

d) Miller, Alexander, An introduction to contemporary metaethics , ch. 6.

e) Olson, Jonas, Moral error theory : history, critique, defence (Oxford University Press 2014).

f) Wright, Crispin, ‘Truth in Ethics,’ Ratio. 8 (1995): 209-26. (VLE)

g) Richard Rowland: 'Moral Error Theory and the Argument from Epistemic Reasons', Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy  7 (1) (January 2013). Open access:  http://jesp.org/articles/download.php? id=71

h) Cowie, Cristopher, 'Good News for Moral Error Theorists: A Master Argument Against Companions in Guilt Strategies', Australasian journal of philosophy.  94 (2016): 115-130.

i) Olinder, Ragnar Francen, 'Moral Relativism, Error-Theory, and Ascriptions of Mistakes', Journal of philosophy. 110 (2013): 564-580.

j) Coons, Christian, 'How to Prove That Some Acts Are Wrong (Without Using Substantive Moral Premises)', Philosophical studies. 155 (2011): 83-98.

Top of page

2. Non-Naturalist Moral Realism

a) * Moore, G.E., 'The Subject-Matter of Ethics' (from his Principia Ethica , 1903, ch.1 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva ); Foundations of ethics : an anthology ,ch. 35.

b) * Miller, Alexander, 'Moore's Attack on Ethical Naturalism' ( An introduction to contemporary metaethics , ch. 2 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva ) . (VLE)

c) * Hampton, Jean, 'The Authority of Reason'; Foundations of ethics : an anthology ,ch. 15. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

d) * Shafer-Landau, Russ, ‘Ethics as Philosophy’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology ,ch. 16. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

e) Frankena, William, ‘The Naturalistic Fallacy,’ Mind. 48 (1939): 464-77. (VLE)

f) Sturgeon, Nicholas, ‘Moore on Ethical Naturalism,’ Ethics. 113 (2003): 528-56. (VLE)

g) Feldman, Fred, ‘The Open Question Argument: What It Isn’t, and What It Is,’ Philosophical Issues 15 (2005): 22-43. (VLE)

h) Dancy, Jonathan, ‘Ethical Non-Naturalism,’ in The Oxford handbook of ethical theory , ed. Copp (2005). Available as an Online Course Reading in the VLE

i) FitzPatrick, William, 'Robust Ethical Realism, Non-Naturalism and Normativity', in Oxford studies in metaethics. , Vol. 3 (2008), 159-205.

j) Shafer-Landau, Russ, Moral realism : a defence , chs. 3, 11.

k) Cuneo, Terence, The normative web : an argument for moral realism  (Oxford UP 2007), pp. 89-99, 107-112, 115-123. (Available as e-book through the library: http://lib.leeds.ac.uk/record=b3572646~S5

Top of page

3. Naturalist Moral Realism

a) *Boyd, Richard, ‘How to Be a Moral Realist,’ in Essays on moral realism , ed. G. Sayre-McCord (Cornell UP 1988); Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 13.

b) * Railton, Peter, ‘Moral Realism’, Philosophical review. 95 (1986), 163-207, on JSTOR; Foundations of ethics : an anthology ,ch. 14.

c) Sturgeon, Nicholas, 'Ethical Naturalism,' in The Oxford handbook of ethical theory , ed. David Copp (OUP 2005), ch. 3. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva (VLE)

d) Brink, David O., Moral realism and the foundations of ethics (Cambridge UP, 1989).

e) Copp, David, Morality in a Natural World (Cambridge UP, 2007).

f) Horgan, Terry and Timmons, Mark, 'New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth'; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 38.

g) Merli, David, ' Return to Moral Twin Earth', Canadian journal of philosophy.  32 (2002): 207 - 240.

h) Daniels, Norman, ‘Wide Reflective Equilibrium and Theory Acceptance in Ethics’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology ,ch. 30.

i) Sayre-McCord, Geoffrey, ‘Coherentist Epistemology and Moral Theory’, in Moral knowledge? : new readings in moral epistemology , ed. Sinnott-Armstrong & Timmons (Oxford UP 1996), 137-189. Available as an Online Course Reading in the VLE

j) Harman, Gilbert, ‘Ethics and Observation’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology ,ch. 25.

k) Sturgeon, Nicholas, ‘Moral Explanations’,in Essays on moral realism , ed. G. Sayre-McCord (Cornell UP 1988); Foundations of ethics : an anthology ,ch. 26.

l) Jackson, Frank, ‘The Supervenience of the Ethical on the Descriptive’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 34.

Top of page

4. Epistemic Problems

a) * Street, Sharon, 'A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value', Philosophical studies. 127 (2006): 109-166.

b) * Brink, David, ‘Moral Disagreement’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 29. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

c) Wielenberg, Erik J., 'Recent Work: Ethics and Evolutionary Theory', Analysis. 76 (2016): 502-515. (https://doi.org/10.1093/analys/anw061) (A survey article.)

d) Vavova, Katia, 'Debunking Evolutionary Debunking', Oxford studies in metaethics. 9 (2014): 76-101.

e) Vavova, Katia, 'Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism', Philosophy compass. 10 (2015): 104-116. (A survey article.)

f) Schafer, Karl, 'Evolution and Normative Skepticism', Australasian journal of philosophy. 88 (2010): 471-488

g) Loeb, Don, 'Moral Realism and the Argument from Disagreement', Philosophical studies. 90 (1998): 281-303.

h) Enoch, David, 'How Is Moral Disagreement a Problem for Moral Realism? ', The journal of ethics. 13 (2009): 15-50.

i) Shafer-Landau, Russ,  Moral realism : a defence  (Clarendon Press 2003), Ch. 9, 215-227.

j) Tersman, Folke, Moral disagreement (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

k) Tersman, Folke, 'Debunking and Disagreement', Noûs., forthcoming. (Available through Early View, https://doi.org/10.1111/nous.12135)

l) Rowland, Richard: 'The Significance of Significant Fundamental Moral Disagreement', Noûs., forthcoming. (Available through Early View, DOI: 10.1111/nous.12170)  

Top of page

5. Morality and Practical Reason

a) *Foot, Philippa, ‘Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives’, Philosophical review. . 81 (1972): 305-316; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 21.

b)* Smith, Michael: ‘The Externalist Challenge’, Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 17, pp. 233, 239-42. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

c) * Williams, Bernard, ‘Internal and External Reasons’, in Williams, Moral luck : philosophical papers 1973-1980 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva (Cambridge UP 1981), 101-113; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 22.

d) Korsgaard, Christine, ‘Skepticism about Practical Reason’, Journal of philosophy. 83 (1986): 5-25; Foundations of ethics : an anthology ch. 23.

e) McDowell, John, ‘Might There Be External Reasons? ’, in World, mind, and ethics : essays on the ethical philosophy of Bernard Williams , ed. Altham & Harrison (Cambridge UP 1995), 68-85. Available as an Online Course Reading in the VLE

f) Shafer-Landau, Russ, ‘Moral Reasons’ (excerpt from his Moral realism : a defence ); Foundations of ethics : an anthology ch. 24.

g) Markovits, Julia, Moral reason (Oxford University Press, 2014).

h) Copp, David, ' Rationality and Moral Authority', Oxford studies in metaethics 10 (2015): 134-159. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

i) Tresan, Jon, 'Question Authority: In Defense of Moral Naturalism without Clout', Philosophical studies. 150 (2010), 221-238.

j) Quinn, Warren, ‘Putting Rationality in its Place,’ in Quinn, Morality and action (Cambridge UP 1993), Ch. 12, 228-254. Available as an Online Course Reading in the VLE

k) Cuneo, Terence, 'Moral Naturalism and Categorical Reasons', in Ethical naturalism : current debates , ed. Nuccitelli & Seay (Cambridge UP 2012), 110-30.  

Also relevant from other units are: 1(a)-(c), 1(g), 2(c), 2(k), 3(a)-(b), 7(a), 8(g), 9(a)-(b).

Top of page

6. Moral Motivation

a) * Smith, Michael: ‘The Externalist Challenge’ (from The moral problem [Blackwell 1994], 60-76) Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva ; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 17.

b) * Zangwill, Nick, ‘Externalist Moral Motivation’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 18.

c) Brink, David, 'Externalist Moral Realism', Southern journal of philosophy , Suppl. Vol. 24 (1986), 22-43. (VLE)

d) Svavarsdottir, Sigrun, 'How Do Moral Judgments Motivate? ', in Contemporary debates in moral theory , ed. James Dreier (Blackwell, 2005), 163-181.

e) Copp, David, 'Belief, Reason, and Motivation: Michael Smith’s The Moral Problem', Ethics. 108 (1997), 33–54.

f) Shafer-Landau, Russ, ‘A Defense of Motivational Externalism’, Philosophical studies. 97 (2000): 267-291.(VLE)

g) Smith, Michael, ‘The Humean Theory of Motivation,’ Mind. 96 (1987): 36-61.(VLE)

h) Kennett, Jeanette, and Fine, Cordelia, 'Internalism and the Evidence from Psychopaths and 'Acquired' Sociopathy', in Moral psychology , ed. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (MIT Press 2008), 173-190.

Top of page

7. Metaethical Relativism

a) * Harman, Gilbert, ‘Moral Relativism Defended’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 7.

b) Lyons, David, ‘Ethical Relativism and the Problem of Incoherence’, Ethics 86 (1976): 107-21. (VLE)

c) Olinder, Ragnar Francen, 'Some Varieties of Metaethical Relativism', Philosophy compass.  11 (2016): 529-540. (A survey article.)

d) Sturgeon, Nicholas, 'Relativism', in The Routledge companion to ethics , ed. J.Skorupski (Routledge 2010), 356-365. (VLE)

e) Harman, Gilbert, and Thomson, Judith, Moral relativism and moral objectivity , (Blackwell 1996).

f) Wong, David, ' Pluralistic Relativism', Midwest studies in philosophy. 20 (1996): 378–399. (VLE)

g) Wong, David, Natural moralities : a defense of pluralistic relativism (Oxford UP 2006).

h) Dreier, James, 'Internalism and Speaker Relativism,' Ethics . 101 (1990): 6–26. (VLE)

Top of page

8. Expressivism

a) * Ayer, A. J., 'Critique of Ethics and Theology' (from Language, Truth and Logic , 1936, ch. 6); Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 3. (+ Editor's Introduction to 'Expressivism'; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , pp. 35-38)

b) * Blackburn, Simon, ‘How to Be an Ethical Anti-Realist’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 4.

c) * Schroeder, Mark, 'What is the Frege-Geach Problem? ', Philosophy compass. 3 (2008): 703-720. (A survey article.)

d) Stevenson, Charles, ‘The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms’, Mind. . 46 (1937): 14-31. (VLE)

e) Hare, R.M., The Language of Morals (OUP 1952).

f) Blackburn, Simon, Spreading the word : groundings in the philosophy of language (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), ch. 6 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva .

g) Blackburn, Simon, 'Is Objective Moral Justification Possible on a Quasi-realist Foundation? ' Inquiry. 42 (1999), 213-28.

h) Miller, Alexander, An introduction to contemporary metaethics , ch. 4 (“Blackburn’s Quasi-Realism”).

i) Köhler, Sebastian, 'Expressivism and Mind-Dependence', Journal of moral philosophy. 11 (2014): 750-764.

j) Gibbard, Allan, Wise choices, apt feelings : a theory of normative judgment (Harvard UP 1990; excerpt in DGR.)

k) Schroeder, Mark, Noncognitivism in ethics (Routledge 2010).

l) Schroeder, Mark, ‘How Expressivists Can and Should Solve Their Problem with Negation,’ Noûs 42 (2008): 573-99. (VLE)

m) Blackburn, Simon, ‘Attitudes and Contents’; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 36.

Top of page

9. Metaethical Constructivism

a) * Korsgaard, Christine, 'The Authority of Reflection'; Foundations of ethics : an anthology , ch. 8 (an excerpt from her The sources of normativity ).

b) * Street, Sharon, 'Coming to Terms with Contingency: Humean Constructivism about Practical Reason', in Constructivism in practical philosophy , eds. James Lenman and Yonatan Shemmer (Oxford University Press, 2012), 40-59. Available online (VLE)

c) Street, Sharon, 'What is Constructivism in Ethics and Metaethics? ', Philosophy compass. 5 (2010), 363–384. (A survey article.)

d) Korsgaard, Christine, Self-constitution : agency, identity, and integrity (Oxford University Press 2009).

e) Street, Sharon, 'Constructivism about Reasons', Oxford studies in metaethics. 3 (Oxford University Press 2008), 207-245. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

f) Enoch, David, 'Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won't Come from What is Constitutive of Agency', Philosophical Review , 115 (2006), 169-198.

g) Ferrero, Luca, 'Constitutivism and the Inescapability of Agency', Oxford studies in metaethics. 4 (2009): 303-333. - Available online:  http://philpapers.org/rec/FERCAT

h) Rosati, Connie, 'Agents and "Schmagents": An Essay on Agency and Normativity', Oxford studies in metaethics. 11 (2016): 182-213. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

i) Lenman, James, 'Humean Constructivism in Moral Theory', Oxford Studies in Metaethics 5 (Oxford University Press 2010), 175-193.

j) Hussain, Nadeem and Shah, Nishi, 'Misunderstanding Metaethics: Korsgaard's Rejection of Realism', Oxford studies in metaethics. 1 (Oxford University Press, 2006), 265-294.

This list was last updated on 12/01/2017