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Terence Horgan & Mark Timmons (1992). Troubles for New Wave Moral Semantics: The 'Open Question Argument' Revived.

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  1.  88
    Quasi Indexicals.Justin Khoo - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    I argue that not all context dependent expressions are alike. Pure (or ordinary) indexicals behave more or less as Kaplan thought. But quasi indexicals behave in some ways like indexicals and in other ways not like indexicals. A quasi indexical sentence φ allows for cases in which one party utters φ and the other its negation, and neither party’s claim has to be false. In this sense, quasi indexicals are like pure indexicals (think: “I am a doctor”/“I am not a (...)
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  2.  19
    Willing Belief.Mark Schroeder - forthcoming - Brill.
    _ Source: _Page Count 22 In _Unbelievable Errors_, Bart Streumer offers resourceful arguments against each of non-reductive realism, reductive realism, and non-cognitivism, in order to motivate his version of the normative error theory, according to which normative predicates ascribe properties that do not exist. In this contribution, I argue that none of the steps of this master argument succeed, and that Streumer’s arguments leave puzzles about what it means to ascribe a property at all.
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  3.  8
    Explaining Practical Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2018 - Topoi 37 (4):621-630.
    Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a (...)
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  4.  58
    Brute Necessity.James Van Cleve - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12516.
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  5. A Simple Escape From Moral Twin Earth.Pekka Väyrynen - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):109-118.
    This paper offers a simple response to the Moral Twin Earth (MTE) objection to Naturalist Moral Realism (NMR). NMR typically relies on an externalist metasemantics such as a causal theory of reference. The MTE objection is that such a theory predicts that terms like ‘good’ and ‘right’ have a different reference in certain twin communities where it’s intuitively clear that the twins are talking about the same thing when using ‘good’. I argue that Boyd’s causal regulation theory, the original target (...)
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  6.  62
    Believing In Twin Earth: New Evidence for the Normativity of Belief.Seyed Ali Kalantari & Alexander Miller - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1327-1339.
    According to many philosophers, the notion of belief is constitutively normative ; Shah ; Shah and Velleman (); Gibbard (); Wedgwood ). In a series of widely discussed papers, Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons have developed an ingenious ‘Moral Twin Earth’ argument against ‘Cornell Realist’ metaethical views which hold that moral terms have synthetic natural definitions in the manner of natural kind terms. In this paper we shall suggest that an adaptation of the Moral Twin Earth argument to the doxastic (...)
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  7. Conceptual Role Semantics and the Reference of Moral Concepts.Neil Sinclair - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy (1):95-121.
    This paper examines the prospects for a conceptual or functional role theory of moral concepts. It is argued that such an account is well-placed to explain both the irreducibility and practicality of moral concepts. Several versions of conceptual role semantics for moral concepts are distinguished, depending on whether the concept-constitutive conceptual roles are wide or narrow normative or non-normative and purely doxastic or conative. It is argued that the most plausible version of conceptual role semantics for moral concepts involves only (...)
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  8. Moral Disagreement and Moral Semantics.Justin Khoo & Joshua Knobe - 2016 - Noûs:109-143.
    When speakers utter conflicting moral sentences, it seems clear that they disagree. It has often been suggested that the fact that the speakers disagree gives us evidence for a claim about the semantics of the sentences they are uttering. Specifically, it has been suggested that the existence of the disagreement gives us reason to infer that there must be an incompatibility between the contents of these sentences. This inference then plays a key role in a now-standard argument against certain theories (...)
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  9.  34
    Moral Disagreement and Moral Semantics.Justin Khoo & Joshua Knobe - 2016 - Noûs:109-143.
    When speakers utter conflicting moral sentences, it seems clear that they disagree. It has often been suggested that the fact that the speakers disagree gives us evidence for a claim about the semantics of the sentences they are uttering. Specifically, it has been suggested that the existence of the disagreement gives us reason to infer that there must be an incompatibility between the contents of these sentences. This inference then plays a key role in a now-standard argument against certain theories (...)
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  10.  61
    Explaining Practical Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2016 - Topoi:1-10.
    Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a (...)
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  11.  81
    Rescuing Tracking Theories of Morality.Marc Artiga - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3357-3374.
    Street’s :109–166, 2006) Darwinian Dilemma purports to show that evolutionary considerations are in tension with realist theories of value, which include moral realism. According to this argument, moral realism can only be defended by assuming an implausible tracking relation between moral attitudes and moral facts. In this essay, I argue that this tracking relation is not as implausible as most people have assumed by showing that the three main objections against it are flawed. Since this is a key premise in (...)
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  12.  9
    A Popperian Approach to Rational Argumentation in Applied Ethics.Fabio Bacchini - 2015 - Journal of Argumentation in Context 4 (3):243-285.
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  13.  42
    Explaining Disagreement: A Problem for Hybrid Expressivists.John Eriksson - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):39-53.
    Hybrid expressivists depart from pure expressivists by claiming that moral sentences express beliefs and desires. Daniel Boisvert and Michael Ridge, two prominent defenders of hybrid views, also depart from pure expressivists by claiming that moral sentences express general attitudes rather than an attitude towards the subject of the sentence. This article argues that even if the shift to general attitudes helps solve some of the traditional problems associated with pure expressivism, a view like Ridge's, according to which the descriptive meaning (...)
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  14.  72
    Exploring Intuitions on Moral Twin Earth: A Reply to Sonderholm.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons - 2015 - Theoria 81 (4):355-375.
    In his 2013 Theoria article, “Unreliable Intuitions: A New Reply to the Moral Twin-Earth Argument,” Jorn Sonderholm attempts to undermine our moral twin earth argument against Richard Boyd's moral semantics by debunking the semantic intuitions that are prompted by reflection on the thought experiment featured in the MTE argument. We divide our reply into three main sections. In section 1, we briefly review Boyd's moral semantics and our MTE argument against this view. In section 2, we set forth what we (...)
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  15.  68
    Goodness and Moral Twin Earth.Christopher Freiman - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):445-460.
    Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons’s “Moral Twin Earth” thought experiment allegedly undercuts virtually any form of naturalist moral realism. I argue that a neo-Aristotelian conception of moral properties defeats Moral Twin Earth. Developing themes in the work of Peter Geach, Philippa Foot, and Rosalind Hursthouse, I sketch an Aristotelian moral semantics that is unique in construing terms like ‘right’ and ‘good’ exclusively as attributive adjectives that denote relational properties. On this view, moral goodness is a relational property predicated of those (...)
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  16.  44
    Thaddeus Metz Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study. Oxford University Press, 2013. Xi + 269 Pp. Isbn 978‐0‐19‐959931‐8. [REVIEW]Frans Svensson - 2014 - Theoria 80 (4):377-384.
  17.  42
    The Eligibility of Ethical Naturalism.Douglas Edwards - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):1-18.
    Perhaps the two main contemporary formulations of ethical naturalism – Synthetic Ethical Naturalism (SEN) and Analytical Descriptivism – seem to conflict with plausible views about cases where moral debate and disagreement is possible. Both lack safeguards to avoid divergence of reference across different communities, which can scupper the prospects for genuine moral disagreement. I explore the prospects for supplementing both views with Lewis's notion of eligibility, arguing that this can solve the problem for a modified form of analytical descriptivism, and (...)
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  18. Teleosemantics and Productivity.Manolo Martinez - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):47-68.
    There has been much discussion of so-called teleosemantic approaches to the naturalization of content. Such discussion, though, has been largely confined to simple, innate mental states with contents such as ?There is a fly here.? Even assuming we can solve the issues that crop up at this stage, an account of the content of human mental states will not get too far without an account of productivity: the ability to entertain indefinitely many thoughts. The best-known teleosemantic theory, Millikan's biosemantics, offers (...)
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  19.  82
    Semantic Challenges to Normative Realism.Tristram McPherson - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (2):126-136.
    Normative realists might be assumed to have few worries about semantics. After all, a realist might initially hope to simply adopt the best semantic theory about ordinary descriptive language. However, beginning with the non‐cognitivist appropriation of the open question argument, a number of philosophers have posed serious objections to the realist’s ability to offer a plausible semantic theory. This paper introduces the two most influential semantic challenges to normative realism: the open question argument, and the Moral Twin Earth argument. It (...)
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  20.  55
    Direct Reference and the Open Question Argument.Niklas Möller - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):383-402.
    Moore's Open Question Argument has been heavily debated ever since it was presented over 100 years ago. In the current paper, it is argued that for the realist, and contrary to the received view by many theorists in the debate, the argument in fact lends strong support for non-naturalism. In particular, David Brink's naturalist defense utilizing direct reference theory is scrutinized. It is argued that an application of direct reference to moral kinds, rather than defusing the Open Question Argument, actually (...)
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  21. Unreliable Intuitions: A New Reply to the Moral Twin-Earth Argument.Jorn Sonderholm - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):76-88.
    This article is concerned with Mark Timmons and Terence Horgan's influential twin - earth argument against the semantic views of that school of thought in metaethics that has come to be known as “Cornell realism”. The semantic views of Cornell realism have been developed in greatest detail by Richard Boyd, and it is Boyd's view that is targeted by Timmons and Horgan. In the first part of the article, the twin - earth argument is introduced and two versions of it (...)
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  22. Mind-Body Meets Metaethics: A Moral Concept Strategy.Helen Yetter-Chappell & Richard Yetter Chappell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):865-878.
    The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between anti-physicalist arguments in the philosophy of mind and anti-naturalist arguments in metaethics, and to show how the literature on the mind-body problem can inform metaethics. Among the questions we will consider are: (1) whether a moral parallel of the knowledge argument can be constructed to create trouble for naturalists, (2) the relationship between such a "Moral Knowledge Argument" and the familiar Open Question Argument, and (3) how naturalists can respond (...)
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  23. Do 'Objectivist' Features of Moral Discourse and Thinking Support Moral Objectivism?Gunnar Björnsson - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (4):367-393.
    Many philosophers think that moral objectivism is supported by stable features of moral discourse and thinking. When engaged in moral reasoning and discourse, people behave ‘as if’ objectivism were correct, and the seemingly most straightforward way of making sense of this is to assume that objectivism is correct; this is how we think that such behavior is explained in paradigmatically objectivist domains. By comparison, relativist, error-theoretic or non-cognitivist accounts of this behavior seem contrived and ad hoc. After explaining why this (...)
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  24. Alternative Normative Concepts.Matti Eklund - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (2):139-157.
  25. How to Prove That Some Acts Are Wrong.Christian Coons - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (1):83-98.
    I first argue that there are many true claims of the form: x-ing would be morally required, if anything is. I then explain why the following conditional-type is true: If x-ing would be morally required, if anything is, then x-ing is actually morally required. These results allow us to construct valid proofs for the existence of some substantive moral facts—proofs that some particular acts really are morally required. Most importantly, none of my argumentation presupposes any substantive moral claim; I use (...)
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  26. Moore on Twin Earth.Neil Levy - 2011 - Erkenntnis 75 (1):137-146.
    In a series of articles, Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons have argued that Richard Boyd’s defence of moral realism, utilizing a causal theory of reference, fails. Horgan and Timmons construct a twin Earth-style thought experiment which, they claim, generates intuitions inconsistent with the realist account. In their thought experiment, the use of (allegedly) moral terms at a world is causally regulated by some property distinct from that regulating their use here on Earth; nevertheless, Horgan and Timmons claim, it is intuitive (...)
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  27. Are Normative Properties Descriptive Properties?Bart Streumer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (3):325 - 348.
    Some philosophers think that normative properties are identical to descriptive properties. In this paper, I argue that this entails that it is possible to say which descriptive properties normative properties are identical to. I argue that Frank Jackson's argument to show that this is possible fails, and that the objections to this argument show that it is impossible to say which descriptive properties normative properties are identical to. I conclude that normative properties are not identical to descriptive properties. I then (...)
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  28. Preempting Principles: Recent Debates in Moral Particularism.Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1177-1192.
    Moral particularism, as recently defended, charges that traditional moral theorizing unduly privileges moral principles. Moral generalism defends a prominent place for moral principles. Because moral principles are often asked to play multiple roles, moral particularism aims at multiple targets. We distinguish two leading roles for moral principles, the role of standard and the role of guide. We critically survey some of the leading arguments both for and against principles so conceived.
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  29. Sound Intuitions on Moral Twin Earth.Michael Rubin - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (3):307-327.
    A number of philosophers defend naturalistic moral realism by appeal to an externalist semantics for moral predicates. The application of semantic externalism to moral predicates has been attacked by Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons in a series of papers that make use of their “ Moral Twin Earth ” thought experiment. In response, several defenders of naturalistic moral realism have claimed that the Moral Twin Earth thought experiment is misleading and yields distorted and inaccurate semantic intuitions. If they are right, (...)
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  30. Reply to Copp: Naturalism, Normativity, and the Varieties of Realism Worth Worrying About.Sharon Street - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):207-228.
  31. Ethical Naturalism and Moral Twin Earth.Andrea Viggiano - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (2):213-224.
    In order to rebut G. E. Moore’s open question argument, ethical naturalists adopt a theory of direct reference for our moral terms. T. Horgan and M. Timmons have argued that this theory cannot be applied to moral terms, on the ground that it clashes with competent speakers’ linguistic intuitions. While Putnam’s Twin Earth thought experiment shows that our linguistic intuitions confirm the theory of direct reference, as applied to ‘water’, Horgan and Timmons devise a parallel thought experiment about moral terms, (...)
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  32.  85
    An Argument Against Reduction in Morality and Epistemology.Jeremy Randel Koons - 2006 - Philosophical Investigations 29 (3):250–274.
    Many naturalistically-minded philosophers want to accomplish a naturalistic reduction of normative (e.g. moral and epistemic) claims. Mindful of avoiding the naturalistic fallacy, such philosophers claim that they are not reducing moral and epistemic concepts or definitions. Rather, they are only reducing the extension of these normative terms, while admitting that the concepts possess a normative content that cannot be naturalistically reduced. But these philosophers run into a serious problem. I will argue that normative claims possess two dimensions of normativity. I (...)
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  33. Naturalism, Reduction and Normativity: Pressing From Below.John F. Post - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):1–27.
    David Papineau’s model of scientific reduction, contrary to his intent, appears to enable a naturalist realist account of the primitive normativity involved in a biological adaptation’s being “for” this or that (say the eye’s being for seeing). By disabling the crucial anti-naturalist arguments against any such reduction, his model would support a cognitivist semantics for normative claims like “The heart is for pumping blood, and defective if it doesn’t.” No moral claim would follow, certainly. Nonetheless, by thus “pressing from below” (...)
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  34. A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
    Contemporary realist theories of value claim to be compatible with natural science. In this paper, I call this claim into question by arguing that Darwinian considerations pose a dilemma for these theories. The main thrust of my argument is this. Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes. The challenge for realist theories of value is to explain the relation between these evolutionary influences on our evaluative attitudes, on the one hand, and the (...)
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  35. De Dicto Internalist Cognitivism.Jon Tresan - 2006 - Noûs 40 (1):143–165.
  36. The Open Question Argument: What It Isn't; and What It Is.Fred Feldman - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):22–43.
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  37. Open Questions and the Manifest Image.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):251–289.
    The essay argues that, on their usual metalinguistic reconstructions, the open question argument and Frege’s puzzle are variants of the same argument. Each are arguments to a conclusion about a difference in meaning; each deploy compositionality as a premise; and each deploy a premise linking epistemic features of sentences with their meaning (which, given certain meaning-platonist assumptions, can be interpreted as a universal instantiation of Leibniz’s law). Given these parallels, each is sound just in case the other is. They are, (...)
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  38. Nondescriptivist Cognitivism: Framework for a New Metaethic.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons - 2000 - Philosophical Papers 29 (2):121-153.
    Abstract We propose a metaethical view that combines the cognitivist idea that moral judgments are genuine beliefs and moral utterances express genuine assertions with the idea that such beliefs and utterances are nondescriptive in their overall content. This sort of view has not been recognized among the standard metaethical options because it is generally assumed that all genuine beliefs and assertions must have descriptive content. We challenge this assumption and thereby open up conceptual space for a new kind of metaethical (...)
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  39. Naturalism and the Problem of Moral Knowledge.Michael Huemer - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):575-597.
    Ethical naturalists interpret moral knowledge as analogous to scientific knowledge and not dependent on intuition. For their account to succeed, moral truths must explain observable phenomena, and these explanations (i) must be better than any explanations framed in non-moral terms, (ii) must not rely on ad hoc posits about the causal powers of moral properties, and (iii) must not presuppose the existence of an independent means of awareness of moral truths. No moral explanations satisfy these criteria.
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  40.  51
    Ethics, Reference, and Natural Kinds.Eric H. Gampel - 1997 - Philosophical Papers 26 (2):147-63.
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  41.  42
    On the Epistemic Status of Considered Moral Judgments.Mark Timmons - 1991 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (S1):97-129.
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