Ratio Working Papers
Does Belief in Ethical Subjectivism Pose a Challenge to Classical Liberalism?
Abstract: Classical liberalism stresses the desirability of free
markets, limited government and the rule of law. As such, it builds on some
moral judgments. According to ethical objectivism, such judgments (in
themselves always personal and subjective) can be true or false since
objective moral facts exist against which the judgments can be assessed.
Ethical subjectivism denies the existence of objective moral facts. This
paper asks: Does it matter whether people believe that objective moral
facts exist – in general and for a defense of classical liberalism? It is
argued that the answer is in the negative. The implication for classical
liberal strategy is that attempts to argue that a certain metaethical
foundation is needed should be abandoned.
Keywords: metaethics; liberalism; values; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: A13; (follow links to similar papers)
27 pages, December 19, 2003
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Full text versions of the paper:
- This paper is published as:
Berggren, Niclas, (2004), 'Does Belief in Ethical Subjectivism Pose a Challenge to Classical Liberalism?', Reason Papers, Vol. 27, pages 69-86
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