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Moral Error TheoryHistory, Critique, Defence$
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Jonas Olson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701934

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701934.001.0001

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Hägerström

Hägerström

Projectivist, Non-Cognitivist, and Error Theorist

Chapter:
(p.43) 3 Hägerström
Source:
Moral Error Theory
Author(s):

Jonas Olson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701934.003.0003

This chapter considers the metaethics of the Swedish philosopher Axel Hägerström (1868–1939). Hägerström endorsed different versions of moral error theory that he combined with non-cognitivism. Hägerström’s early theory is non-cognitivism combined with the idea that we believe erroneously that our moral utterances are assertions. Hägerström’s later theory combines non-cognitivism about ‘primary’ moral judgements with standard moral error theory about ‘secondary’ moral judgements. The chapter concludes with a discussion of Einar Tegen’s (1884–1965) critique of Hägerström. Tegen offered what is likely the first formulation and defence of moral error theory as we know it today.

Keywords:   error theory, Hägerström, non-cognitivism, primary moral judgements, secondary moral judgements, Tegen

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