David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethic@ 8 (1):125-145 (2009)
It is commonly thought that the prevalence of moral dissent poses a problem for the moral cognitivist, forcing her to diagnose either a lot of misunderstanding, or a lot of unexplained observational error. Since mere misunderstanding can be ruled out in most cases of moral dissent, and since the diagnosis of widespread unexplained error is interpretively unstable, prevalent dissent has pushed many philosophers towards non-cognitivism. In this essay, I argue that once a diachronic, pragmatist theory of language along the lines of the latest Wittgenstein is employed, a third interpretive option becomes available to the cognitivist. Besides the diagnostic options of misunderstanding and factual disagreement, she can argue that a given case of moral dissent is an instance of grammatical tension. This interpretation not only saves moral cognitivism, it also has some attractive theoretical implications. Among other things, it yields an elegant way of solving the current debate around moral particularism.
|Keywords||Moral Cognitivism Inferentialism Linguistic Evolution Wittgenstein|
|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
Bert Gordijn (2001). Regulating Moral Dissent in an Open Society: The Dutch Experience with Pragmatic Tolerance. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 26 (3):225 – 244.
Nick Zangwill (2009). Non-Cognitivism and Motivation. In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave Macmillan. 416--24.
Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson (2009). Expressivism and Moral Certitude. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):202-215.
Adam M. Croom (2010). Thick Concepts, Non-Cognitivism, and Wittgenstein's Rule Following Considerations. South African Journal of Philosophy 29 (3):286-309.
John R. Wright (2006). Moral Discourse, Pluralism, and Moral Cognitivism. Metaphilosophy 37 (1):92–111.
Matti Eklund (2009). The Frege–Geach Problem and Kalderon's Moral Fictionalism. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):705-712.
David O. Brink (1999). Objectivity and Dialectical Methods in Ethics. Inquiry 42 (2):195 – 212.
Gunnar Björnsson (2012). Do 'Objectivist' Features of Moral Discourse and Thinking Support Moral Objectivism? Journal of Ethics 16 (4):367-393.
Caj Strandberg (2004). Moral Reality. A Defence of Moral Realism. Lund University.
Gunnar Björnsson & Tristram McPherson (2014). Moral Attitudes for Non-Cognitivists: Solving the Specification Problem. Mind 123 (489):1-38.
Olle Blomberg (2007). Disentangling the Thick Concept Argument. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):63-78.
Jeff Wisdom (2009). A Defense of Descriptive Moral Content. Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (3):285-300.
James Harold (2012). Cognitivism, Non-Cognitivism, and Skepticism About Folk Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 25 (2):165 - 185.
Graham Oddie & Dan Demetriou (2007). The Fictionalist's Attitude Problem. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):485 - 498.
Added to index2011-07-06
Total downloads88 ( #17,109 of 1,413,361 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #51,562 of 1,413,361 )
How can I increase my downloads?