Workshop description

Normative nihilists deny that there are irreducibly normative facts. They deny that there is anything that matters objectively regardless of what we care about: they accept the conclusion that nothing truly matters.

Normative nihilism has attracted a fair amount of attention in recent metaethical debate, and it has been subject to considerable criticisms. The workshop is part of a project that investigates whether there are plausible responses to these criticisms and whether any form of nihilism about the normative is in the end defensible.

The project examines the broader implications of normative nihilism for our normative thought and discourse and for our everyday lives: Is nihilism about what truly matters something to fear? What could, and should, moral and political discourse look like if we accept that nothing truly matters? These questions should be of interest not only to those who are attracted to nihilism. It is, after all, an epistemic possibility that nothing truly matters and even those who firmly believe otherwise should do some contingency planning for the eventuality that their belief is false.


Questions regarding the workshop or the project can be directed to


09:30–10:45 Christine Tiefensee (Frankfurt): Room for Error? How the error theory might help non-representationalists
  Comments by Jonas Olson (Stockholm)
11:00–12:15 Stina Björkholm (Stockholm): Moral disagreement and hybrid expressivism
  Comments by Ragnar Francén (Gothenburg)
13:15–14:30 Christopher Cowie (Durham): A new argument for moral error theory
  Comments by Jessica Isserow (Leeds)
14:45–16:00 Victor Moberger (Stockholm): Just too different, or just too non-existent? A quick and dirty argument for moral nihilism
  Comments by Richard Rowlands (Leeds)