Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15:195-218 (2020)

Selim Berker
Harvard University
Quasi-realists aim to account for many of the trappings of metanormative realism within an expressivist framework. Chief among these is the realist way of responding to the Euthyphro dilemma: quasi-realists want to join realists in being able to say, "It’s not the case that kicking dogs is wrong because we disapprove of it. Rather, we disapprove of kicking dogs because it’s wrong." However, the standard quasi-realist way of explaining what we are up to when we assert the first of these two sentences rests on a mistaken identification of metaphysical dependence (or grounding) with counterfactual covariation. This chapter proposes a better way for expressivists to understand such sentences, on which they serve to express complex states of mind in which an attitude bears a relation of psychological dependence (or basing) to another state of mind. It is argued that this proposal is a natural, versatile, and fruitful approach for expressivists to take that helps them secure the first half of the Euthyphro contrast—but at the cost of making it difficult to see how expressivists can make sense of that contrast’s second half.
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References found in this work BETA

Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
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The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):729-777.

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Citations of this work BETA

Is expressivism theologically acceptable?StJohn Lambert - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 90 (2):121-131.
How to Have Your Quasi-Cake and Quasi-Eat It Too.Sebastian Köhler - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.

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