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Are there true philosophical theories that we cannot believe?

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Few philosophical theories are so hard to believe that no philosopher has ever defended them. But at least one theory is. Suppose that you think lying is wrong. According to a view that is known as the error theory, you then take lying to have a certain feature: you ascribe the property of being wrong to lying. But the error theory also says that this property does not exist. This entails that lying is not wrong. You may therefore conclude that lying is permissible. But according to the error theory, you then ascribe the property of being permissible to lying. And the theory says that this property does not exist either. The error theory therefore entails that lying is neither wrong nor permissible. And it entails similar claims about anything else you could do. Some philosophers have defended an error theory about moral judgements. But no one has so far defended an error theory about all normative judgements: all thoughts about rightness, wrongness, goodness, badness, reasons for. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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