Philosophy Index


Cognitivsm, in ethics, refers to the meta-ethical position that ethical sentences (or normative expressions) express propositions, and can therefore be true or false.

There are various forms of cognitivism in both the objective and skeptical theories of meta-ethics. They include:

  • Moral realism, which states that ethical sentences may be true or false
  • Moral subjectivism, which claims that ethical sentences are true or false in their expression of an attitude
  • Error theory, which asserts that all ethical sentences are false