Non-cognitivism and rational inference

Philosophical Studies 153 (2):243 - 259 (2011)
Non-cognitivism might seem to offer a plausible account of evaluative judgments, at least on the assumption that there is a satisfactory solution to the Frege-Geach problem. However, Cian Dorr has argued that non-cognitivism remains implausible even assuming that the Frege-Geach problem can be solved, on the grounds that non-cognitivism still has to classify some paradigmatically rational inferences as irrational. Dorr's argument is ingenious and at first glance seems decisive. However, in this paper I will show that Dorr's argument equivocates between two different notions of evidence, and that once this equivocation is noted there is no reason to doubt that non-cognitivism is consistent with the rationality of such inferences, at least if it is assumed that the Frege-Geach problem can be solved. In particular, I will show that non-cognitivists can endorse the same explanation of the rationality of such inferences that cognitivists should endorse, and that there is thus no need for non-cognitivists to offer any sort of idiosyncratic account of the epistemology of such cases, in contrast to what other commentators on Dorr's argument have thought
Keywords Non-cognitivism  Expressivism  Rationality  Frege–Geach problem  Cian Dorr
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    References found in this work BETA
    Jamie Dreier (2006). Negation for Expressivists. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 1.
    David Enoch (2003). How Noncognitivists Can Avoid Wishful Thinking. Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):527-545.

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