David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Ethics 8 (3):205-223 (2004)
Analyses of moral value judgements must meet a practicality requirement: moral speech acts characteristically express pro- or con-attitudes, indicate that speakers are motivated in certain ways, and exert influence on others' motivations. Nondescriptivists including Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard claim that no descriptivist analysis can satisfy this requirement. I argue first that while the practicality requirement is defeasible, it indeed demands a connection between value judgement and motivation that resembles a semantic or conceptual rather than merely contingent psychological link. I then show how a form of descriptivism, the interest-relational theory, satisfies the requirement as a pragmatic and conversational feature of value judgement – thereby also accommodating its defeasibility. The word ``good'' is always indexed to some set of motivations: when this index is unarticulated in many contexts the speaker conversationally implicates possession of those motivations.
|Keywords||cognitivism and noncognitivism conversational implicature descriptivism and nondescriptivism motivational internalism relational theory of value semantics and pragmatics value judgement|
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Citations of this work BETA
Caj Strandberg (2012). A Dual Aspect Account of Moral Language. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):87-122.
James Beebe (2010). Moral Relativism in Context. Noûs 44 (4):691-724.
Stephen Finlay (2006). The Reasons That Matter. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
Stephen Finlay (2010). What Ought Probably Means, and Why You Can't Detach It. Synthese 177 (1):67 - 89.
Stephen Finlay (2009). Oughts and Ends. Philosophical Studies 143 (3):315 - 340.
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