Jordi Fairhurst
University of Cologne
The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it analyses the similarities that stem from Wittgenstein’s (Philosophical Investigations (1953)) and Brandom’s (Making it Explicit (1994)) commitment to pragmatics in the philosophy of language to account for moral utterances. That is, the study of the meaning of moral utterances is carried out resorting to the study of the acts being performed in producing or exhibiting these utterances. Both authors offer, therefore, a pragmatic solution in order to account for the meaning of our moral vocabulary and discursive practices. Secondly, it argues that both approaches lead to differing understandings of the role of “truth” and “falsity” in moral discourse. On the one hand, Wittgenstein’s remarks on ethics demonstrate a dismissive attitude towards the notions of truth and falsity in moral discourse. On the other hand, Brandom seems to be committed to a weak version of moral cognitivism: he takes assertions (which express beliefs, i.e. doxastic commitments) as the fundamental linguistic activity in the game of giving and asking for reasons and provides an anaphoric theory of truth to account for “truth” and “falsity” in our discourse. Additionally, it analyses how these differences bear on the Frege–Geach problem.
Keywords Morals  Truth  Meaning  Pragmatics
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
Zettel.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1967 - Berkeley and Los Angeles: Blackwell.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
Making It Explicit.Isaac Levi & Robert B. Brandom - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):145.

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