Olle Blomberg
University of Gothenburg
Critics argue that non-cognitivism cannot adequately account for the existence and nature of some thick moral concepts. They use the existence of thick concepts as a lever in an argument against non-cognitivism, here called the Thick Concept Argument (TCA). While TCA is frequently invoked, it is unfortunately rarely articulated. In this paper, TCA is first reconstructed on the basis of John McDowell’s formulation of the argument (from 1981), and then evaluated in the light of several possible non-cognitivist responses. In general, TCA assumes too much about what a non-cognitivist is (or must be) committed to. There are several non-cognitivist theories, and only some fit the view attacked by TCA. Furthermore, TCA rests on a contestable intuition about a thought experiment, here called the External Standpoint Experiment (ESE). It is concluded that TCA is remarkably weak, given how frequently the argument is invoked
Keywords thick concepts  moral concepts  non-cognitivism  disentangling  John McDowell  Simon Blackburn
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/sats.2007.63
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Language of Morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1952 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

View all 46 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Practicing Management Wisely.Matthias P. Hühn, André Habisch, Edwin M. Hartman & Alejo José G. Sison - 2020 - Business Ethics: A European Review 29 (S1):1-5.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

From Thick to Thin: Two Moral Reduction Plans.Daniel Y. Elstein & Thomas Hurka - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):pp. 515-535.
Shapelessness and the Thick.Debbie Roberts - 2011 - Ethics 121 (3):489-520.
Objectionable Thick Concepts in Denials.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):439-469.
What Are Thick Concepts?Matti Eklund - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):25-49.


Added to PP index

Total views
1,034 ( #6,125 of 2,518,488 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
47 ( #17,916 of 2,518,488 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes