The metaethicists' mistake

Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):405–426 (2004)
Abstract
According to normative judgment internalism (NJI), normative judgments -- that is, judgments of the form 'I ought to F' and the like -- are "essentially practical", in the sense that they are in some way essentially connected to practical reasoning, or to motivation for action. Many metaethicists believe that if NJI is true, then it would cast grave doubts on any robustly realist (RR) conception of normative judgments. These metaethicists are mistaken. This mistake about the relations between NJI and RR seems to be due to hasty and undefended assumptions about the nature of belief. Any philosophical conception of belief that has the resources to deal with Frege's Puzzle (how to explain the apparent failures of referential transparency in belief ascriptions) will also have the resources to reconcile NJI and RR with respect to normative judgments.
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