Moral functionalism, supervenience and reductionism

Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):82-86 (1996)
We respond to Mark van Roojen's discussion of our 'Moral Functionalism and Moral Motivation', "Philosophical Quarterly", 45 (January, 1995): 20-40. There we assumed that ethical language makes claims about how things are and sought to make plausible under this assumption a view of moral language modelled on David Lewis's treatment of theoretical terms. Van Roojen finds the idea of treating ethical terms as theoretical terms attractive but doubts that we 'have succeeded in offering a reduction of evaluative properties to natural properties'. Our reply turns on what we learn from the supervenience of the ethical on the descriptive
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    Thomas W. Polger (2007). Realization and the Metaphysics of Mind. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):233 – 259.
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