Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pp. viii + 214. isbn: 978-0-19-870193-4.Since the publication of Richard Joyce’s The Myth of Morality in 2001, there has been an explosion of interest in moral error theory. Judging by the bibliography of Olson’s book, more scholarly attention may have been paid to this view in the new century than in the whole previous history of philosophy. True, the “History” section of Olson’s book is deliberately selective. For example, there is no discussion here of the error theoretical current associated with sociobiology, as found in the work of R. D. Alexander, Michael Ruse, and others. Even so, Olson’s book is probably accurate in giving the impression that apart from some comparatively obscure appearances in the work of figures such as R. Robertson and A. Hagerstrom, moral error theory played quite a marginal role in Twentieth Century ethics, even after its infamous restatement by J. L. Mackie in 1977. (Mackie had first proposed the view in 1946.) Olson’s Moral Error Theory offers a historically informed and theoretically subtle discussion of moral error theory in response to the much greater attention this view has received in the last decade.Olson’s book has three parts. The first part
International Journal for the Study of Skepticism – Brill
Published: Apr 17, 2017
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