My thanks go out to Russ Shafer-Landau and Terence Cuneo, who put together the excellent Foundations of Ethics anthology upon which this page’s articles and organization are drawn.

Moral Error Theories


  • “A Critique of Ethics” by AJ Ayer
  • “How To Be an Ethical Anti-Realist” by Simon Blackburn
  • “Nondescriptivist Cognitivism: Framework for a New Metaethic” by Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons
  • “The Reasons of a Living Being” by Allan Gibbard


  • “Moral Relativism Defended” by Gilbert Harman
  • “The Authority of Reflection” by Christine Korsgaard
  • “Ethical Absolutism and the Ideal Observer” by Roderick Firth
  • “Contractarian Constructivism” by Ronald Milo

Sensibility Theories

  • “Value and Secondary Qualities” by John McDowell
  • “A Sensible Subjectivism?” by David Wiggins

Moral Realism

Moral Motivation

  • “The Externalist Challenge” by Michael Smith
  • “Externalist Moral Motivation” by Nick Zangwill
  • “Virtue as Knowledge: Objections from the Philosophy of Mind” by Margaret Olivia Little
  • “Acting for a Good Reason” by Jonathan Dancy

Moral Reasons

Moral Explanations

  • “Ethics and Observation” by Gilbert Harman
  • “Moral Explanations” by Nicholas Sturgeon
  • “Moral Facts as Configuring Causes” by Terence Cuneo

Moral Disagreement

  • “The Nature of Ethical Disagreement” by Charles Stevenson
  • “Moral Disagreement” by David Brink

Moral Knowledge

  • Wide Reflective Equilibrium and Theory Acceptance in Ethics” by Norman Daniels
  • “Intuitionism, Pluralism, and the Foundations of Ethics” by Robert Audi

Moral Supervenience

Semantic Puzzles

  • “The Subject-Matter of Ethics” by GE Moore
  • “Attitudes and Contents” by Simon Blackburn
  • “Expressivism and Embedding” by Walter-Sinnott Armstrong
  • “New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth” by Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons

2 responses to “Metaethics

  1. Dude, your website is like heaven for philosophy students.

  2. Josef Thomas Simpson

    What about thanks to the professor who introduced you to these issues and Russ Shafer-Landau’s anthology? Where’s my thanks, Nick? Kidding aside. I love stumbling across this site when looking for commentary on works.
    Makes me proud!

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