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Ethics, Evil, and Fiction$
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Colin McGinn

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198238775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198238770.001.0001

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(p.7) 2 Goodness
Ethics, Evil, and Fiction

Colin McGinn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter is an extensive critique of the thesis of moral psychologism. Appealing to the Naturalistic Fallacy, McGinn argues that moral psychologism, as instanced in emotivism, the dispositional theory of goodness and relativism, confuses what ought to be the case with what is the case, psychologically. After a discussion of moral intentionality, McGinn concludes that goodness and other moral values are not mental properties but conceptually primitive, evaluative properties that have no place in an empirical science like psychology.

Keywords:   emotivism, goodness, moral intentionality, moral properties, moral psychologism, naturalistic fallacy, relativism

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