Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (3):725-740 (2016)

Derek Shiller
Princeton University (PhD)
It has recently been alleged that expressivism cannot account for the obvious fact that normative sentences and their negations express inconsistent kinds of attitudes. I explain how the expressivist can respond to this objection. I offer an account of attitudinal inconsistency that takes it to be a combination of descriptive and normative relations. The account I offer to explain these relations relies on a combination of functionalism about normative judgments and expressivism about the norms governing them. It holds that the inconsistency of normative judgments is primitive. One potential problem for this view is that the large number of normative primitives that the expressivist will allegedly need to accept will render the view grossly unparsimonious. In defending this thesis, I suggest that it is a mistake to hold the lack of normative parsimony of expressivism against its core psychological claims.
Keywords Negation problem  Inconsistency  Expressivism  Parsimony
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-015-9670-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Unity of Moral Attitudes: Recipe Semantics and Credal Exaptation.Derek Shiller - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):425-446.
Tolerance as Suppressed Disapproval.Tomáš Sobek - 2022 - Télos 2022 (199):107-124.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
321 ( #33,232 of 2,520,355 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
20 ( #42,707 of 2,520,355 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes