TagLast edit: 1 May 2021 22:36 UTC by EA Wiki assistant

Metaethics is the study of the nature of ethical properties and statements. It includes questions about the sort of evidence which can be used to support moral ideas, whether morality is culturally relative, and what the nature of moral facts could be.

Two major positions in metaethics are moral realism and moral antirealism. Moral realism has a number of forms, including:

Moral anti-realism also has a number of forms, including:


Lutz, Matthew & James Lenman (2018) Moral naturalism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, May 30 (updated 21 December 2021).

Joyce, Richard (2007) Moral anti-realism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, July 30 (updated 25 October 2016).

Ridge, Michael (2003) Moral non-naturalism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, February 1 (updated 21 August 2019).

Sayre-McCord, Geoff (2005) Moral realism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, October 3 (updated 31 October 2020).

Sayre-McCord, Geoff (2007) Metaethics, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, January 23 (updated 28 April 2014).

van Roojen, Mark (2004) Moral cognitivism vs. non-cognitivism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, January 23 (updated 28 June 2018).

Related entries

moral philosophy

New book: Mo­ral Uncer­tainty by MacAskill, Ord & Bykvist

frankieaw10 Sep 2020 16:22 UTC
85 points
2 comments1 min readEA link

My per­sonal cruxes for fo­cus­ing on ex­is­ten­tial risks /​ longter­mism /​ any­thing other than just video games

MichaelA13 Apr 2021 5:50 UTC
48 points
28 comments3 min readEA link

On the limits of ideal­ized values

Joe_Carlsmith22 Jun 2021 2:00 UTC
71 points
8 comments35 min readEA link

Mo­ral Anti-Real­ism Se­quence #1: What Is Mo­ral Real­ism?

Lukas_Gloor22 May 2018 15:49 UTC
65 points
26 comments31 min readEA link

Mo­ral­ity vs re­lated concepts

MichaelA10 Feb 2020 8:02 UTC
18 points
2 comments8 min readEA link

Hi, I’m Luke Muehlhauser. AMA about Open Philan­thropy’s new re­port on con­scious­ness and moral patienthood

lukeprog28 Jun 2017 15:49 UTC
20 points
66 commentsEA link

Mo­ral Anti-Real­ism Se­quence #2: Why Real­ists and Anti-Real­ists Disagree

Lukas_Gloor5 Jun 2020 7:51 UTC
57 points
28 comments24 min readEA link

Mo­ral Anti-Real­ism Se­quence #3: Against Irre­ducible Normativity

Lukas_Gloor9 Jun 2020 14:38 UTC
39 points
22 comments33 min readEA link

Mo­ral Anti-Real­ism Se­quence #5: Me­taeth­i­cal Fa­nat­i­cism (Dialogue)

Lukas_Gloor17 Jun 2020 12:33 UTC
24 points
10 comments15 min readEA link

Mo­ral Anti-Real­ism Se­quence #4: Why the Mo­ral Real­ism Wager Fails

Lukas_Gloor14 Jun 2020 13:33 UTC
22 points
13 comments11 min readEA link

Killing the ants

Joe_Carlsmith7 Feb 2021 23:16 UTC
183 points
13 comments8 min readEA link

Ajeya Co­tra on wor­ld­view di­ver­sifi­ca­tion and how big the fu­ture could be

80000_Hours18 Jan 2021 8:35 UTC
10 points
1 comment124 min readEA link

Pod­cast: Sharon He­witt Rawlette on metaethics and utilitarianism

Gus Docker29 Aug 2020 17:07 UTC
15 points
3 comments1 min readEA link

Mo­ral plu­ral­ism and longter­mism | Sunyshore

evelynciara17 Apr 2021 0:14 UTC
26 points
0 comments5 min readEA link

Nat­u­ral­ism and AI alignment

Michele Campolo24 Apr 2021 16:20 UTC
10 points
3 comments7 min readEA link

[Question] What are the effects of con­sid­er­ing that (hu­man) moral­ity emerges from evolu­tion­ary and other func­tional pres­sures?

acristia28 Feb 2021 19:35 UTC
9 points
3 comments1 min readEA link

Cain Killed Abel: A Heuris­tic Guide to the Three Ma­jor Schools of Ethics in the Western Tradition

Mahendra Prasad20 Aug 2021 1:06 UTC
12 points
0 comments3 min readEA link

The Me­taethics and Nor­ma­tive Ethics of AGI Value Align­ment: Many Ques­tions, Some Implications

Dario Citrini15 Sep 2021 19:05 UTC
18 points
0 comments8 min readEA link

[Question] Should you op­ti­mise for the long-term sur­vival of peo­ple who don’t care for their own long-term sur­vival?

Samuel Shadrach3 Oct 2021 7:18 UTC
6 points
11 comments1 min readEA link

2020 PhilPapers Sur­vey Results

RobBensinger2 Nov 2021 5:06 UTC
38 points
1 comment12 min readEA link

A sum­mary of Ni­cholas Beck­stead’s writ­ing on Bayesian Ethics

Jsevillamol4 Sep 2019 9:44 UTC
39 points
1 comment6 min readEA link

Com­pet­i­tive Ethics

mwcvitkovic24 Nov 2020 1:00 UTC
18 points
7 comments4 min readEA link

3-hour pod­cast about the meta-ethics of util­i­tar­i­anism and much else with philoso­pher Tor­b­jörn Tännsjö

Gus Docker24 Nov 2020 17:25 UTC
18 points
0 comments1 min readEA link

In­com­pat­i­bil­ity of moral re­al­ism and time discounting

wuschel12 Dec 2020 18:47 UTC
13 points
6 comments8 min readEA link

Alice Crary’s philo­soph­i­cal-in­sti­tu­tional cri­tique of EA: “Why one should not be an effec­tive al­tru­ist”

ben.smith25 Feb 2021 20:06 UTC
19 points
7 comments2 min readEA link

[3-hour pod­cast] Michael Hue­mer on episte­mol­ogy, metaethics, EA, util­i­tar­i­anism and in­finite ethics

Gus Docker27 Mar 2021 9:04 UTC
30 points
2 comments1 min readEA link

We should choose be­tween moral the­o­ries based on the scale of the problem

Jakob_J4 Nov 2019 14:34 UTC
28 points
13 comments2 min readEA link

Ar­gu­ments for moral indefinability

richard_ngo8 Feb 2019 11:09 UTC
33 points
8 commentsEA link

The de­spair of nor­ma­tive re­al­ism bot

Joe_Carlsmith3 Jan 2021 22:59 UTC
29 points
3 comments18 min readEA link

Alie­na­tion and meta-ethics (or: is it pos­si­ble you should max­i­mize he­lium?)

Joe_Carlsmith15 Jan 2021 7:06 UTC
18 points
5 comments10 min readEA link

End-Re­la­tional The­ory of Meta-ethics: A Dialogue

Peter Wildeford28 Jun 2016 20:11 UTC
10 points
6 comments15 min readEA link

Even non-the­ists should act as if the­ism is true

slicedonions8 Nov 2018 23:26 UTC
7 points
37 commentsEA link

Mo­ral anti-re­al­ists don’t have to bite bullets

Lila27 Dec 2015 16:48 UTC
5 points
9 commentsEA link

[3-hour pod­cast]: Joseph Car­l­smith on longter­mism, utopia, the com­pu­ta­tional power of the brain, meta-ethics, illu­sion­ism and meditation

Gus Docker27 Jul 2021 13:18 UTC
33 points
2 comments1 min readEA link

[Link post] Sam Scheffler: Con­ser­vatism, Tem­po­ral Bias, and Fu­ture Generations

peterhartree19 Sep 2021 8:44 UTC
44 points
3 comments24 min readEA link

Pod­cast: Krister Bykvist on moral un­cer­tainty, ra­tio­nal­ity, metaethics, AI and fu­ture pop­u­la­tions

Gus Docker21 Oct 2021 15:17 UTC
8 points
0 comments1 min readEA link
No comments.