Plan‐based expressivism and innocent mistakes

Ethics 119 (2):310-335 (2009)
In this paper I develop an objection to the version of expressivism found in Allan Gibbard’s book Thinking How to Live, and I suggest that the difficulty faced by Gibbard’s analysis is symptomatic of a problem for expressivism more generally. The central claim is that Gibbard’s expressivism is unable to account for certain normative judgments that arise in the process of evaluating cases of innocent mistakes. I begin by considering a type of innocent mistake that Gibbard’s view is able to capture, one that can occur in situations in which our judgments of what it makes sense to do come apart from our judgments of what it makes sense to plan to do. Whether or not such mistakes are possible is a normative question, and I argue against Gibbard that we should adopt a normative stance that rules out such mistakes. This leads me to consider a second type of innocent mistake, one that can arise when an agent is constituted in such a way as to be incapable of recognizing the appropriate course of action. I argue here that our full normative assessment of the situation incorporates judgments that cannot be captured by Gibbard’s expressivism. I conclude by suggesting that any form of expressivism that shares Gibbard’s commitment to account for an intimate tie between normative judgments and action will face a similar problem.
Keywords expressivism  Allan Gibbard  objectivity  innocent mistakes
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/596458
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Steve Daskal, Plan‐based expressivism and innocent mistakes
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

66 ( #73,973 of 1,925,583 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #87,899 of 1,925,583 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.