David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (3):331-353 (2010)
In the contemporary metaethical debate, expressivist (Blackburn, Gibbard) and constructivist (Korsgaard, Street) views can be viewed as inspired by irrealist ideas from Hume and Kant respectively. One realist response to these contemporary irrealist views is to argue that they are inconsistent with obvious surface-level appearances of ordinary ethical thought and discourse, especially the fact that we talk and act as if there is ethical knowledge . In this paper, I explore some constructivist and expressivist options for responding to this objection. My conclusion is that, although both constructivists and expressivists can capture other surface-level features of ethical thought and discourse, the possibility of ethical knowledge causes special problems for these versions of irrealism. I end with some comments about where I think irrealists should begin to look for a response to these special problems, which points, somewhat surprisingly, towards an alternative inferentialist form of irrealism about epistemic and ethical thought and discourse, which is inspired by Sellars
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References found in this work BETA
A. J. Ayer (1936). Language, Truth and Logic. London, V. Gollancz, Ltd..
Simon Blackburn (1993). Essays in Quasi-Realism. Oxford University Press.
Simon Blackburn (1998/2000). Ruling Passions. Oxford University Press.
Simon Blackburn (1996). Securing the Nots: Moral Epistemology for the Quasi-Realist. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong Mark Timmons (ed.), Moral Knowledge? New Readings in Moral Epistemology. Oxford University Press. 82--100.
Simon Blackburn (1984). Spreading the Word. Clarendon Press.
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