Normativity, Necessity and Tense: A Recipe for Homebaked Normativity

In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 5. Oxford University Press. 57-85 (2010)
A reductive analysis of a concept decomposes it into more basic constituent parts. Metaethicists today are in almost unanimous agreement that normative language and concepts cannot be reductively analyzed into entirely nonnormative language and concepts. Basic normative concepts are widely thought to be primitive or elemental in our thought, and therefore to admit of no further (reductive) explanation. G. E. Moore inferred from the unanalyzability of normative concepts the metaphysical doctrine that basic normative properties and relations are irreducible to complexes of entirely nonnormative properties and relations; they are metaphysical primitives or elements that cannot be further explained. On this nonreductive view, now dominant again,¹ normativity enters our world, experience, and thought only by virtue of some elemental essence that..
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