Advice for Noncognitivists

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):174–207 (2017)

Abstract

Metaethical noncognitivists have trouble arriving at a respectable semantic theory for moral language. The goal of this article is to make substantial progress toward demonstrating that these problems may be overcome. Replacing the predominant expressivist semantic agenda in metaethics with a dynamic perspective on meaning and communication allows noncognitivists to provide a satisfying analysis of negation and other constructions that have been argued to be problematic for metaethical noncognitivism, including disjunctions. The resulting proposal preserves some of the key insights from recent work on the semantics of expressivism while highlighting the widely neglected early noncognitivists' sympathies to the kind of dynamic story I intend to tell here. A comparison between the advertised dynamic semantic story and current proposals that treat expressivism as a pragmatic rather than semantic theory about moral language is provided.

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Author's Profile

Malte Willer
University of Chicago

Citations of this work

Semantic expressivism for epistemic modals.Peter Hawke & Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):475-511.
Assertion, Expression, Experience.Christopher Kennedy & Malte Willer - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):821-857.

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