David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):342-362 (2007)
Moral discourse is propositionally clothed, that is, it exhibits those features – such as the ability of its sentences to intelligibly embed in conditionals and other unasserted contexts – that have been taken by some philosophers to be constitutive of discourses that express propositions. If there is nothing more to a mental state being a belief than it being characteristically expressed by sentences that are propositionally clothed then the version of expressivism which accepts that moral discourse is propositionally clothed (‘quasi-realism’) is self-refuting. Fortunately for quasi-realists, this view of belief, which I label ‘minimalism’, is false. I present three arguments against it and dismiss two possible defences (the first drawn from the work of Wright, the second given by Harcourt). The conclusion is that the issue between expressivists and their opponents cannot be settled by the mere fact that moral discourse wears propositional clothing.
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References found in this work BETA
Peter Railton (1986). Moral Realism. Philosophical Review 95 (2):163-207.
Michael Ridge (2006). Ecumenical Expressivism: Finessing Frege. Ethics 116 (2):302-336.
Simon Blackburn (1988). Attitudes and Contents. Ethics 98 (3):501-517.
Frank Jackson & Philip Pettit (1998). A Problem for Expressivism. Analysis 58 (4):239–251.
Crispin Wright (1988). Realism, Antirealism, Irrealism, Quasi-Realism. Gareth Evans Memorial Lecture, Delivered in Oxford on June 2, 1987. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 12 (1):25-49.
Citations of this work BETA
Neil Sinclair (2009). Recent Work in Expressivism. Analysis 69 (1):136-147.
Simon Blackburn (2010). The Steps From Doing to Saying. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (1):1-13.
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