Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

Why does Mackie think we need an "error theory"? Do you think he is right to believe that we need it? - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare
Pages 12 (3012 words)


The error theory states that the idea of morals is not absolute and that in fact, morals are only a figment of the imagination of the societies that practice them, since they are nonexistent. The error theory is a denial of the existence of morals and it can be said that the existence of morals is considered by the proponents of this theory to be relative to the society that practice them…

Extract of sample
Why does Mackie think we need an "error theory"? Do you think he is right to believe that we need it?

The error theory suggests that morals are not absolute, that what is morally right or wrong vary from one society to another. It is a theory that states that morals are judged, not by the universal moral norms, but according to the society within which a circumstance calls for moral clarification (Dorsey 2006, p.495). When one considers the definition above, it can be stated that the morals are no longer absolute in different societies because of the fact that they have evolved over a long period, changing considerably from one society to another. A good number of the proponents of this theory, such as John Mackie, believe that morality was an invention of societies to maintain control over its members, and it is because of this that morality varies. If, for instance, morals and social norms were universal in all the societies, in the world, then there would have been no differences in morals, and as a result, the error theory would not have been developed. ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related Essays

death how should we think of death and dying?
He is especially interested in the dark side of life: guilt, death struggling and suffering. So I will argue in favor of Jasper and believe that death should be faced with courage by human as his inner nature is eternal. Death sets a limit on our time in this life, urging us on to do something productive with that time as long as it is ours to use. If one begins to see death as an invisible, but…
8 pages (2008 words)
Choose a point in singer(rethinking life and death) that you strongly disagree with. Explain this point and why u think he is wr
Singer as a philosopher had a distinctive perception on life and death. He believed that every person has the right to decide whether to live or not. However, I strongly disagree with his idea of infanticide where an innocent soul will be killed against the will of God. Killing a person in any stage of his life is a crime. There can be no sufficient reasons for killing a person whether he is…
3 pages (753 words)
Why does J. A. Fodor think that there must be a language of thought? Is he right?
Specifically, Fodor advanced a notion of a language of thought. Fodor’s Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) states that the thought process occurring in the mind is a symbolic system that parallels a language in structure. Jerry Fodor’s presented LOTH in his aptly titled book The Language of Thought (Fodor 1975). Through an examination the major platforms of the LOTH hypothesis, as well as…
8 pages (2008 words)
What do you think comprises reality?
We do not have a direct perception of substances in minds, but only a representation of them. What we know is not what is inherent to the substances, but only the secondary and primary qualities. Thus, according to Locke, the substances are bodies, which are material, and souls, which are immaterial. Then there is God. He explains the existence of God, not from inherent ideas, but from…
4 pages (1004 words)
outline the important features of utilitarianism and explain and asses one criticism of the theory. Do you think utilitarianism
In addition, I will justify that in essence communism is utilitarianism. Finding therefore at least one problematic issue with communism, as a socio-economic means of organizing society will then lead us to discover at least a significant drawback against utilitarianism. I will build up my case by introducing important features of utilitarianism, the association between communism and…
5 pages (1255 words)
What is money and why do we need it? Historic evolvement of money: economic perspective.
Economists such as Crowther and R.P. Kent define money as “a commodity which is generally acceptable as a medium of exchange and at the same time acts as a measure and a store of value" (Economics Concepts, 2012).In the ancient societies such a generally acceptable commodity became important with advancement of indirect transactions. Example: in a society where money is not involved a farmer…
5 pages (1255 words)
Ideology of Advertising
We live in the age of conspicuous consumption. We are proud of having an opportunity to buy more and more goods and products. We do not realize why do we really need all this stuff, but we DO realize that we really want it! A greedy worm lives inside of our minds and hearts and it eats out our moral principles, while filling the gaps in our minds and hearts with the ideas of greediness. It is…
3 pages (753 words)