Disputatio 6 (38):139-145 (2014)

Michael Byron
Kent State University
The causal theory of reference (CTR) provides a well-articulated and widely-accepted account of the reference relation. On CTR the reference of a term is fixed by whatever property causally regulates the competent use of that term. CTR poses a metaethical challenge to realists by demanding an account of the properties that regulate the competent use of normative predicates. CTR might pose a challenge to ethical theorists as well. Long argues that CTR entails the falsity of any normative ethical theory. First-order theory attempts to specify what purely descriptive property is a fundamental right-making property (FRM). Long contends that the notion that the FRM causally regulates competent use of the predicate ‘right’ leads to a reductio. The failure of this argument is nevertheless instructive concerning a point at which ethics and metaethics overlap.
Keywords Normative property  descriptive property  causal theory of reference
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.2478/disp-2014-0010
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
Justice for Hedgehogs.Ronald Dworkin - 2011 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.

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Citations of this work BETA

Counterfactuals as Strict Conditionals.Andrea Iacona - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (41):165-191.
Rightness = Right-Maker.Long Joseph - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (41):193-206.

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