Review essay on moral fictionalism by mark E. Kalderon (oup, 2005)
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The popular expedient of identifying noncognitivism with the claim that moral judgments are neither true nor false leaves open the question of what kind of thing a moral judgment is—an indeterminacy that has led to decades of confusion as to what the noncognitivist is more precisely committed to. Sometimes noncognitivism is presented as a claim about mental states (“Moral judgments are not beliefs”), sometimes as a claim about meaning (“X is morally good” means no more than “X: hurray!”), sometimes as a claim about speech acts (“Moral judgments are not assertions”). Focus on the last two possibilities. The former calls for a translation schema from a propositional surface grammar to a non-propositional deep structure. Such schemata from the noncognitivist are familiar to students of metaethics. (Cf. A.J. Ayer’s claim that in saying “You acted wrongly in stealing that money” one is “not saying anything more than … ‘You stole that money,’ [but] in a peculiar tone of horror.”) It is less widely realized that the noncognitivist is not obliged to offer any such translation schema, for she might instead plump for the last option, of formulating noncognitivism as a theory not of meaning but of use. Perhaps the moral cognitivist is correct about the meaning of moral sentences (there is a wide range of possibilities here) but wrong about the way people use moral sentences: perhaps people do not assert moral sentences, perhaps the nature of acceptance of a moral claim is not belief.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jeff Wisdom (2009). A Defense of Descriptive Moral Content. Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (3):285-300.
Matthew Chrisman (2008). A Dilemma for Moral Fictionalism. Philosophical Books 49 (1):4-13.
Graham Oddie & Dan Demetriou (2007). The Fictionalist's Attitude Problem. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):485 - 498.
Mark Eli Kalderon (2005). Moral Fictionalism. Oxford University Press.
Richard Garner (2007). Abolishing Morality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):499 - 513.
Mark Eli Kalderon (2008). Moral Fictionalism, the Frege-Geach Problem, and Reasonable Inference. Analysis 68 (298):133–143.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads3 ( #461,235 of 1,724,733 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?