How to Pull a Metaphysical Rabbit out of an End-Relational Semantic Hat

Res Philosophica 91 (4):589-607 (2014)
Authors
N. G. Laskowski
Universität Duisburg-Essen
Abstract
Analytic reductivism in metaethics has long been out of philosophical vogue. In Confusion of Tongues: A Theory of Normativity (2014), Stephen Finlay tries to resuscitate it by developing an analytic metaethical reductive naturalistic semantics for ‘good.’ He argues that an end-relational semantics is the simplest account that can explain all of the data concerning the term, and hence the most plausible theory of it. I argue that there are several assumptions that a reductive naturalist would need to make about contextual parameter completion to derive reductive naturalism from an end-relational semantics—assumptions that nonnaturalists might forcefully resist. I also argue for the claim that an end-relational semantics could provide surprising resources for nonnaturalists to address semantic worries about their views—the upshot of which paints the way for a new and sophisticated nonnaturalism about the semantics of moral discourse. Nonnaturalists have long suspected that they need not worry about semantics and this paper lends support to that suspicion.
Keywords Naturalism  Normativity  Contextualism  Parfit  Non-naturalism  Moral Concepts
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DOI 10.11612/resphil.2014.91.4.2
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Thinking How to Live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Sense of Incredibility in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):93-115.

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