A Dual Aspect Account of Moral Language

Abstract
It is often observed in metaethics that moral language displays a certain duality in as much as it seems to concern both objective facts in the world and subjective attitudes that move to action. In this paper, I defend The Dual Aspect Account which is intended to capture this duality: A person’s utterance of a sentence according to which φing has a moral characteristic, such as “φing is wrong,” conveys two things: The sentence expresses, in virtue of its conventional meaning, the belief that φing has a moral property, and the utterance of the sentence carries a generalized conversational implicature to the effect that the person in question has an action-guiding attitude in relation to φing. This account has significant advantages over competing views: (i) As it is purely cognitivist, it does not have the difficulties of expressivism and various ecumenical positions. (ii) Yet, in spite of this, it can explain the close, “meaning-like,” connection between moral language and attitudes. (iii) In contrast to other pragmatic accounts, it is compatible with any relevant cognitivist view. (iv) It does not rest on a contentious pragmatic notion, such as conventional implicature. (v) It does not imply that utterances of complex moral sentences, such as conditionals, convey attitudes. In addition, the generalized implicature in question is fully calculable and cancellable
Keywords moral language  generalized conversational implicatures  cognitivism
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00447.x
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References found in this work BETA
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Studies in the Way of Words.H. P. Grice - 1989 - Harvard University Press.
Thinking How to Live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Options for Hybrid Expressivism.Caj Strandberg - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):91-111.
Hybrid Expressivism and Epistemic Justification.Martin Grajner - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2349-2369.
One Ought Too Many.Stephen Finlay & Justin Snedegar - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):102-124.

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