Metaethics: A Guide to Three Theories



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Given the inherently complex nature of morality, it is often difficult to know which metaethical guide to follow. This project aims to pacify the debate and identify worthy metaethical theories. I begin by exploring three prominent theories: realism, relativism, and constructivism. To aid in this exploration, I rely on four prominent moral philosophers, Russ Shafer-Landau, Gilbert Harman, Sharon Street, and Christine Korsgaard. Once the initial exploration is complete, I present the guidelines I use to test the metaethical theories against. Those guidelines, which I call the ‘Appeals’, are the Appeal to Knowledge, the Appeal to Universality, and the Appeal to Intuition. Once we have an understanding of both the theories and the Appeals, the metaethical guides are put to the test. The proverbial ‘last man standing’ should represent the best guide to the moral life we seek.



Metaethics, Realism, Relativism, Constructivism