Noûs:109-143 (2016)

Authors
Joshua Knobe
Yale University
Justin Khoo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Abstract
When speakers utter conflicting moral sentences, it seems clear that they disagree. It has often been suggested that the fact that the speakers disagree gives us evidence for a claim about the semantics of the sentences they are uttering. Specifically, it has been suggested that the existence of the disagreement gives us reason to infer that there must be an incompatibility between the contents of these sentences. This inference then plays a key role in a now-standard argument against certain theories in moral semantics. In this paper, we introduce new evidence that bears on this debate. We show that there are moral conflict cases in which people are inclined to say both that the two speakers disagree and that it is not the case at least one of them must be saying something incorrect. We then explore how we might understand such disagreements. As a proof of concept, we sketch an account of the concept of disagreement and an independently motivated theory of moral semantics which, together, explain the possibility of such cases.
Keywords philosophy of language  meta-ethics  disagreement  contextualism  relativism  expressivism  experimental philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016, 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1111/nous.12151
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Ifs and Oughts.Niko Kolodny & John MacFarlane - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (3):115-143.

View all 74 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano, Don Loeb & Alex Plakias - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-32.
How to Do Things with Modals.Matthew Mandelkern - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):115-138.
‘Ought’-Contextualism Beyond the Parochial.Alex Worsnip - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):3099-3119.
Disagreement Lost and Found.Stephen Finlay - 2017 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 12. Oxford University Press. pp. 187-205.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Possessing Moral Concepts.David Merli - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (3):535-556.
Moral Disagreement and Moral Skepticism.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):302-333.
Moral Disagreement Among Philosophers.Ralph Wedgwood - 2014 - In Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (eds.), Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution. Oxford University Press. pp. 23-39.
The Moral Evil Demons.Ralph Wedgwood - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford University Press.
How is Moral Disagreement a Problem for Realism?David Enoch - 2009 - Journal of Ethics 13 (1):15-50.
Disagreement and Dispute.Delia Belleri - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):289-307.
Moral Intuitionism and Disagreement.Brian Besong - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2767-2789.
Moral Deadlock: Ronald D. Milo.Ronald D. Milo - 1986 - Philosophy 61 (238):453-471.
Faultless Moral Disagreement.Alison Hills - 2013 - Ratio 26 (4):410-427.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-09-22

Total views
1,118 ( #2,898 of 2,330,046 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
128 ( #3,514 of 2,330,046 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes