Metaethical Theory: Is Ethics Possible?
In Chapter Eighteen, of Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (New York: Longmans, 1957), 595-633, metaphysician Bernard J.F. Lonergan, S.J., inquires into “The Possibility of Ethics” from the viewpoints of
These kinds of metaethical considerations about the very possibility of ethics are always presupposed in any inquiry into the ethics of a single issue such as cloning. While such questions are not the focus of a more applied website like this one, it is important to recognize their legitimacy as intellectual questions, and refer to a few approaches. One is Lonergan’s.
Another approach is that of Notre Dame Professor Robert Audi in the following works:
Audi, Robert, The Good in the Right: A Theory of Intuition and Intrinsic Value (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).
Audi, Robert, Religious Commitment and Secular Reason (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
Audi, Robert, and Wolterstorff, Nicholas, Religion in the Public Square: The Place of Religious Convictions in Political Debate (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997).
Again, this website makes no pretense at being a source for metaethics, but here are two possible approaches to this serious question.
November 9, 2009.