Journal of Value Inquiry 41 (2-4):201-220 (2007)

Authors
Neil Sinclair
Nottingham University
Abstract
Many expressivists have employed a claim about the practicality of morality in support of their view that moral convictions are not purely descriptive mental states. In this paper I argue that all extant arguments of this form fail. I distinguish several versions of such arguments and argue that in each case either the sense of practicality the argument employs is too weak, in which case there is no reason to think that descriptive states cannot be practical or the sense of practicality the argument employs is too strong, in which case there is no reason to think moral convictions are practical. I also discuss and dismiss an attempted patch of such arguments provided by Humean Psychology. The conclusion is that expressivists need to look to sources other than the alleged practicality of morality to support their position. In concluding remarks I suggest one such alternative.
Keywords Expressivism  Humean Psychology
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DOI 10.1007/s10790-007-9080-x
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism.Peter Railton - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):163-207.
Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives.Philippa Foot - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (3):305-316.
The Humean Theory of Motivation.Michael Smith - 1987 - Mind 96 (381):36-61.
Direction of Fit.I. Lloyd Humberstone - 1992 - Mind 101 (401):59-83.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Pragmatics of Moral Motivation.Caj Strandberg - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (4):341-369.
Conceptual Role Semantics and the Reference of Moral Concepts.Neil Sinclair - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):95-121.

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