Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (4):544–555 (2005)
In Ruling Passions, Simon Blackburn contends that we should reject sensibility theory because it serves to support a conservative complacency. Blackburn's strategy is attractive in that it seeks to win this metaethical dispute – which ultimately stems from a deep disagreement over antireductionism – on the basis of an uncontroversial normative consideration. Therefore, Blackburn seems to offer an easy solution to an apparently intractable debate. We will show, however, that Blackburn's argument against sensibility theory does not succeed; it is no more supportive of conservative complacency than Blackburn's noncognitivism. A victory for noncognitivism cannot be so easily won.
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