Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Studying Metaethics

Bridge, in Monroe

The philosophy student in me occasionally links to university philosophy department websites. One of them is the University of Michigan's philosophy department. U-M has one of the world's greatest philosophy departments.

I look at their upcoming events, and have occasionally attended them. See, e.g., NYU philosopher Matt Evans's lecture on mind-body dualism in Plato's Phaedo.

Yesterday I checked out their doctoral students, and what they are doing their PhD work in. I was pleased to see the number of students doing work in the area of metaethics. This is an area I have, for years, been interested in.

See "Metaethics," in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (SEP) SEP states: "Metaethics is the attempt to understand the metaphysical, epistemological, semantic, and psychological, presuppositions and commitments of moral thought, talk, and practice." That is, on what grounds or what foundation, if any, do ethical claims stand? What are the implications of moral judgments having no metaphysical grounding? A greater understanding of metaethical issues allows one to understand the point theistic philosopher William Lane Craig is making in his essay "The Indispensability of Theological Metaethical Foundations for Morality." 

With this being the focus on a number of U-M doctoral students I infer a significant if not growing interest in the the importance of metaethical studies.