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The metaphysical component of metaethics involves discovering specifically whether moral values are eternal truths that exist in a spirit-like realm, or simply human conventions.
Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics.
The most dramatic example of this view is Plato, who was inspired by the field of mathematics.
When we look at numbers and mathematical relations, such as 1 1=2, they seem to be timeless concepts that never change, and apply everywhere in the universe.
investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean. Do they involve more than expressions of our individual emotions?
Metaethical answers to these questions focus on the issues of universal truths, the will of God, the role of reason in ethical judgments, and the meaning of ethical terms themselves.