Cognitivist Expressivism and the Nature of Belief

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):279-293 (2008)
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The paper is a critical examination of the metaethical position taken up recently by Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons, called ‘cognitivist expressivism’. The key component of the position is their insistence that some beliefs are nondescriptive. The paper argues against this thesis in two ways: First by sketching an independently plausible account of belief, on which belief is essentially a certain kind of descriptive representational state; and second by rebutting Horgan and Timmons’ positive arguments in favor of their account. The final section argues that Horgan and Timmons’ view cannot survive abandonment of the thesis that moral beliefs are nondescriptive in character.



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Brad Majors
Baker University

Citations of this work

How to Change People’s Beliefs? Doxastic Coercion vs. Evidential Persuasion.Gheorghe-Ilie Farte - 2016 - Argumentum. Journal of the Seminar of Discursive Logic, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric 14 (2):47-76.

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References found in this work

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Thinking How to Live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Harvard University Press.

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