more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 6968

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / b. Defining ethics]

Full Idea

If someone wishes to say that ethical statements are statements of fact, only it is a queer sort of fact, he is welcome to do so.

Gist of Idea

Some people think there are ethical facts, but of a 'queer' sort


A.J. Ayer (On the analysis of moral judgements [1949], p.233)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'Philosophical Essays' [Macmillan 1965], p.233

A Reaction

The word 'queer' was picked up by Mackie and developed into his error theory, that moral facts are a misunderstanding. Personally I think that moral facts might be teleological facts, but that is rather hard to demonstrate.