David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 43 (1):1-30 (2009)
What does it take to count as competent with the meaning of a thin evaluative predicate like 'is the right thing to do'? According to minimalists like Allan Gibbard and Ralph Wedgwood, competent speakers must simply use the predicate to express their own motivational states. According to analytic descriptivists like Frank Jackson, Philip Pettit and Christopher Peacocke, competent speakers must grasp a particular criterion for identifying the property picked out by the term. Both approaches face serious difficulties. We suggest that these difficulties derive from a shared background assumption that competence conditions must be explained in terms of a determinate conceptual role. We propose a new way of characterizing competence with evaluative terms: what's required for competence is participation in a shared epistemic practice with a term. Our approach, we argue, better explains the nature of evaluative inquiry and the extent of disagreement about evaluative questions.
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Citations of this work BETA
Gunnar Björnsson (2012). Do 'Objectivist' Features of Moral Discourse and Thinking Support Moral Objectivism? Journal of Ethics 16 (4):367-393.
Jonathan McKeown‐Green, Glen Pettigrove & Aness Webster (2015). Conjuring Ethics From Words. Noûs 49 (1):71-93.
Laura Schroeter (2013). Two-Dimensional Semantics and Sameness of Meaning. Philosophy Compass 8 (1):84-99.
Bart Streumer (2011). Are Normative Properties Descriptive Properties? Philosophical Studies 154 (3):325 - 348.
Laura Schroeter & Francois Schroeter (2009). Reasons as Right-Makers. Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):279-296.
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