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The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory$
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David Copp

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195147797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195147790.001.0001

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Moral Relativism and Moral Nihilism

Moral Relativism and Moral Nihilism

Chapter:
(p.240) Chapter 9 MORAL RELATIVISM AND MORAL NIHILISM
Source:
The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory
Author(s):

James Dreier (Contributor Webpage)

, David Copp
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195147790.003.0010

The chapter discusses moral nihilism and moral relativism, with some sympathy, especially to relativism. It considers some arguments for the views, some arguments against them, and some arguments designed to decide between them. Moral nihilism and moral relativism are meta-ethical theories, theories of the nature of morality. Nihilism is the view that there are no moral facts, that nothing is right or wrong, or morally good or bad. Relativism is the view that moral statements are true or false only relative to some standard or other, that things are right or wrong relative to Catholic morality, say, and different things are right or wrong relative to Confucian morality, but nothing is right or wrong simpliciter.

Keywords:   nihilism, relativism, morality, meta-ethics

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