John Leslie Mackie

John Leslie Mackie


Born
in Australia
August 28, 1917

Died
December 12, 1981

Genre

Influences
John Anderson


John Leslie Mackie was an Australian philosopher, originally from Sydney. He is perhaps best known for his views on meta-ethics, especially his defence of moral skepticism. However, he has also made significant contributions to philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and philosophy of language.

Average rating: 4.02 · 15,745 ratings · 449 reviews · 14 distinct worksSimilar authors
Ethics: Inventing Right and...

3.93 avg rating — 414 ratings — published 1977 — 4 editions
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The Miracle of Theism: Argu...

4.08 avg rating — 184 ratings — published 1983 — 4 editions
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Problems from Locke

4.15 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 1976 — 4 editions
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Hume's Moral Theory

3.64 avg rating — 14 ratings — published 1980 — 9 editions
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The Cement of the Universe:...

3.45 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 1980 — 4 editions
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Truth, Probability, and Par...

4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1972
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Logic and Knowledge: Select...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 1985
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Persons and Values: Selecte...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 1985
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The Portable Atheist: Essen...

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4.02 avg rating — 15,761 ratings — published 2007 — 19 editions
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Reason And Responsibility: ...

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3.65 avg rating — 158 ratings — published 1978 — 24 editions
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More books by John Leslie Mackie…
“the abandonment of a belief in objective values can cause, at least temporarily, a decay of subjective concern and sense of purpose. That it does so is evidence that the people in whom this reaction occurs have been tending to objectify their concerns and purposes, have been giving them a fictitious external authority. A claim to objectivity has been so strongly associated with their subjective concerns and purposes that the collapse of the former seems to undermine the latter as well. This”
John Leslie Mackie, Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong

“The argument from design, therefore, can be sustained only with the help of a supposedly a priori double-barrelled principle, that mental order (at least in a god) is self-explanatory, but that all material order not only is not self-explanatory, but is positively improbable and in need of further explanation...this double-barrelled principle is recognizable as the core of the cosmological argument...The argument will not take us even as far as Kant seems to allow without borrowing the a priori thesis that there is a vicious metaphysical contingency in all natural things, and, in contrast with this, the 'transcendental' concept of a god who is self-explanatory and necessarily existent. It is only with the help of these borrowings that the design argument can introduce the required asymmetry, that any natural explanation uses data which call for further explanation, but that the theistic explanation terminates the regress. Without this asymmetry, the design argument cannot show that there is any need to go beyond the sort of hypothesis that Hume foreshadowed and that Wallace and Darwin supplied... The dependence of the argument for design on the ideas that are the core of the cosmological one is greater than Kant realized.”
John Leslie Mackie, The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and Against the Existence of God

“The traditional arguments for the existence of God have been fairly thoroughly criticised by philosophers. But the theologian can, if he wishes, accept this criticism. He can admit that no rational proof of God's existence is possible. And he can still retain all that is essential to his position, by holding that God's existence is known in some other, non-rational way. I think, however, that a more telling criticism can be made by way of the traditional problem of evil. Here it can be shown, not that religious beliefs lack rational support, but that they are positively irrational, that the several parts of the essential theological doctrine are inconsistent with one another, so that the theologian can maintain his position as a whole only by a much more extreme rejection of reason than in the former case. He must now be prepared to believe, not merely what cannot be proved, but what can be disproved from other beliefs that he also holds.”
John Leslie Mackie