Emotivism and the verification principle

Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (2):103–124 (1998)
In chapter VI of Language, Truth, and Logic, A.J. Ayer argues that ethical statements are not literally significant. Unlike metaphysical statements, however, ethical statements are not nonsensical: even though they are not literally significant, Ayer thinks that they possess some other sort of significance. This raises the question: by what principle or criterion can we distinguish, among the class of statements that are not literally significant, between those which are genuinely meaningless and those which possess some other, non-literal form of significance. I suggest that Ayer needs a generalised version of the verification principle in order to answer this question. However, when we formulate the generalised version, it turns out that ethical statements do not satisfy it, so that the emotivist is committed to viewing ethics, like metaphysics, as meaningless verbiage
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/4545277
 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: 16,774
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Matthew Chrisman (2008). Expressivism, Inferentialism, and Saving the Debate. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):334 - 358.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

46 ( #74,008 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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