Expression and Indication in Ethics and Political Philosophy

Res Publica 25 (3):387-406 (2019)
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We sometimes have reasons to perform actions due to what they would communicate. Those who have discussed such reasons have understood what an action ‘communicates’ as what it conventionally expresses. Brennan and Jaworski argue that when a convention ensures that expressing the appropriate thing would be costly, we should change or flout the convention. I argue that what really matters is often what attitudes we indicate rather than conventionally express, using social science to show that indicating our attitudes is often unavoidably costly, and sometimes worth the cost. I use this account to defend communicative arguments for egalitarian distributive policies.



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Dustin Crummett
University of Washington

Citations of this work

The Meaning of a Market and the Meaning of "Meaning".Julian D. Jonker - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2).
Taming Zootheism: On Equality, Fairness, and Incarnation.Dustin Crummett - 2021 - Journal of Analytic Theology 9:137-157.

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Against Democracy: New Preface.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.

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