Doctoral thesis

Utilitarianism for the error theorist

ContributorsJaquet, François
Defense date2016-02-10

In the first part of the thesis, I defend the moral error theory: moral judgments are uniformly false because they state irreducibly normative facts while there are no such facts. Error theorists disagree as to what we should do with our moral beliefs: some think we should keep them; others insist that we get rid of them; still others invite us to replace them with different attitudes. All agree, however, that the issue depends on a cost-benefit analysis. On my view, which I expose in the second part of the thesis, it would be best for us to replace our moral beliefs with moral make-beliefs: we should accept a moral fiction. This raises the question: "What would be the content of this fiction?” In this respect, I argue that the moral fiction should be utilitarian: it should be composed of moral principles that would maximize overall well-being.

  • Metaethics
  • Normative metaethics
  • Normative ethics
  • Error theory
  • Cognitivism
  • Non-descriptivism
  • Anti-explanationism
  • Fictionalism
  • Make-belief
  • Universalism
  • Utilitarianism
  • John Harsanyi
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
JAQUET, François. Utilitarianism for the error theorist. 2016. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:80790
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Creation02/17/2016 3:42:00 PM
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Update time03/15/2023 12:09:08 AM
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