Irrealist cognitivism

Ratio 12 (4):436–459 (1999)
This paper argues that normative claims are truth‐apt contents of cognition – propositions about what there is reason to believe, to do or to feel – but that their truth is not a matter of correspondence or representation. We do not have to choose between realism about the normative and non‐cognitivism about it. The universality of reasons, combined with the spontaneity of normative responses, suffices to give normative claims the distinctive link to a ‘convergence commitment’ which characterises any genuine judgement; an accurate epistemology of normative discourse need postulate no faculty of receptivity to a special domain of normative fact. Some general arguments for the view that cognitivism about a domain of discourse imposes realism about it are considered and rejected.
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9329.00103
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Enzo Rossi (forthcoming). Facts, Principles, and Politics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-16.
Carla Bagnoli (2000). Value in the Guise of Regret. Philosophical Explorations 3 (2):169 – 187.
John Skorupski (2006). Propositions About Reasons. European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):26–48.

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