David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 104 (1):81 - 108 (2001)
Emotivists hold that moral opinions are wishes and desires, and that the function of moral language is to “express” such states. But if moral opinions were but wishes or desires, why would we see certain opinions as inconsistent with, or following from other opinions? And why should our reasoning include complex opinions such as the opinion that a person ought to be blamed only if he has done something wrong? Indeed, why would we think that anything is conditional on his doing something wrong unless “doing something wrong” signifies a real kind of action? -/- Many have believed, and seemingly on good grounds, that these questions lack good answers, and that emotivism is doomed for that very reason. What I will argue, however, is that once emotivism is recognized for what it is, namely an empirical theory about the psychological nature of moral opinions, and once we relate it to a general theory of human reasoning, moral reasoning and intuitions of inconsistency and consequence are only to be expected. Recent objections to earlier emotivist or “expressivist” accounts can thus be met, and the phenomena of inconsistency and consequence fully embraced by emotivists.
|Keywords||emotivism expressivism frege-geach problem|
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Citations of this work BETA
Mark Schroeder (2008). What is the Frege-Geach Problem? Philosophy Compass 3 (4):703-720.
Neil Sinclair (2011). Moral Expressivism and Sentential Negation. Philosophical Studies 152 (3):385-411.
Neil Sinclair (2009). Recent Work in Expressivism. Analysis 69 (1):136-147.
Gunnar Bjömsson (2002). How Emotivism Survives Immoralists, Irrationality, and Depression. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):327-344.
Caj Strandberg (2015). Can the Embedding Problem Be Generalized? Acta Analytica 30 (1):1-15.
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