Metaethical subjectivism, the idea that the truth or falsity of moral statements is contingent upon the attitudes or conventions of observers, is often regarded as a lurid philosophical doctrine which generates much psychological resistance to its acceptance. In this accessible book, Richard Double, presents a vigorous defense of metaethical subjectivism, arguing that the acceptance of this doctrine need have no deleterious effects upon theorizing either in normative ethics or in moral practice. Proceeding from a 'worldview' methodology Double criticizes the rival doctrine of metaethical objectivism for lacking both 'completeness' and 'soundness', argues that a defense of metaethical subjectivism requires no special semantic analysis of moral language and defends the plausibility of metaethical subjectivism as explaining key intractable disagreements in moral philosophy. Double concludes by suggesting that the acceptance of metaethical subjectivism is better for constructing theories of normative ethics and moral practice than is metaethical objectivism.
Contents: Metaethical subjectivism and metaethical objectivism; Requirements for metaethically objective moral theories; What metaethical subjectivism does not need to provide; Moral intuitions; Impartiality; Partiality; Maximization troubles for all moral theories; The fragmentation of the moral; Moral practice, normative ethics, and metaethical subjectivism; Notes; References; Index.