|Abstract||Metaethical expressivism takes moral utterances to express non-cognitive attitudes in just the same way that ordinary factual utterances express belief.1 In doing so, it promises to solve three central metaethical problems at a stroke. First, it avoids the worry (most famously expressed by Mackie 1977) that moral facts and properties would be unacceptable additions to our ontology. Second, it promises to explain the seemingly close relation between one’s judging that one ought morally to ! and one’s having a motive to ! by understanding the attitude expressed as ‘conative’, i.e. as an intrinsically motivating desire-like state.2 Finally, and perhaps most importantly, expressivism promises a solution to the univocality problem, the problem of explaining how people with systematically different ethical views are nevertheless concerned with a common topic. Attempts to substantively explain intuitions of ethical agreement and disagreement between parties in terms of their employment of co-referring ethical concepts have faced a series of counterexamples. Expressivism understands univocality in terms of agreement and disagreement in non-cognitive attitude, thus circumventing the need to characterize a univocal cognitive content.3 Expressivism itself faces two central explanatory challenges. Most famously, the expressivist needs to solve the so-called ‘Frege-Geach problem’: to explain why moral beliefs and moral statements seem to have much the same sort of logical and inferential properties as ordinary factual beliefs and statements.4 Much less famously, the expressivist faces the challenge of specifying what sort of attitude is expressed by moral utterances. This task, dubbed the ‘moral attitude problem’ by Alexander Miller (2003, 43), has received surprisingly little attention compared with that lavished on the Frege- Geach problem. However, solving this problem is a central and non-trivial task for the expressivist program in metaethics: the truth of expressivism requires some answer to this question, and a recent paper by David Merli (2008) suggests that, besides its intrinsic....|
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