Was Mill a Noncognitivist?

Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):206-223 (2013)
Abstract
In this paper, I examine the presumption that Mill endorses a form of metaethical noncognitivism. I argue that the evidence traditionally cited for this interpretation is not convincing and suggest that we should instead remain open to a cognitivist reading. I begin by laying out the “received view” of Mill on the status of practical norms, as given by Alan Ryan in the 1970s. I then argue that there is no firm textual evidence for this reading of Mill: his remarks on “art” and “science” do not show the metaethical commitments they have been taken to. Neither is there firm textual evidence for a cognitivist reading. However, a noncognitivist interpretation suffers from the fault of anachronism and is difficult to reconcile with the clear commitment in Utilitarianism to the possibility of evidence being given for the desirability of pleasure. A cognitivist reading would not suffer from these faults, and on that basis, I conclude that we should think further about what a cognitivist reading of Mill might amount to
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Nadeem J. Z. Hussain (2012). Nietzsche and Non-Cognitivism. In Simon Robertson & Christopher Janaway (eds.), Nietzsche, Naturalism & Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    S. Evan Kreider (2011). Mill on Happiness. Philosophical Papers 39 (1):53-68.
    Jonathan Riley (2003). Interpreting Mill's Qualitative Hedonism. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):410–418.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

    Added to index

    2012-10-26

    Total downloads

    1 ( #306,128 of 1,088,404 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,404 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.