Conceptual Analysis in Metaethics

Authored by: Nicholas Laskowski , Stephen Finlay

The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138812208
eBook ISBN: 9781315213217
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Despite being considered the traditional and prototypical philosophical method, ­conceptual analysis is an approach to philosophical inquiry with a checkered past and a tarnished reputation. This is particularly true in metaethics, which we understand here as concerned not only with ethics or morality proper but also with the normative more generally. In recent decades, metaethicists have often consigned conceptual analysis to the trash pile of philosophical mistakes, yet it has always had adherents and today enjoys a renaissance. In this selective and opinionated chapter, we explore various dimensions of the debate, framed around two foundational questions: (1) what is it to use and possess a normative concept? and (2) what is it to analyze a normative concept? We attempt to avoid broader questions about the nature and analysis of concepts in general (for orientation, see Margolis & Laurence, 1999, 2015).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.