Hybridizing Moral Expressivism and Moral Error Theory

Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (1):37-48 (2011)
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Abstract

Philosophers should consider a hybrid meta-ethical theory that includes elements of both moral expressivism and moral error theory. Proponents of such an expressivist-error theory hold that all moral utterances are either expressions of attitudes or expressions of false beliefs. Such a hybrid theory has two advantages over pure expressivism, because hybrid theorists can offer a more plausible account of the moral utterances that seem to be used to express beliefs, and hybrid theorists can provide a simpler solution to the Frege-Geach problem. The hybrid theory has three advantages over pure error theory, because hybrid theorists can offer a more plausible account of the moral utterances that seem to be used to express attitudes, hybrid theorists can more easily explain moral motivation, and hybrid theorists can avoid the implausible claim that all moral discourse is radically mistaken. Accordingly, such a hybrid theory should be more attractive than pure expressivism or pure error theory to philosophers who are skeptical about moral facts and truth.

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Toby Svoboda
Colgate University

Citations of this work

Moral anti-realism.Richardn D. Joyce - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

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Meta‐ethics and the problem of creeping minimalism.James Dreier - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):23–44.
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Attitudes and contents.Simon Blackburn - 1988 - Ethics 98 (3):501-517.
Expressive-assertivism.By Daniel R. Boisvert - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):169–203.

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