This is a draft of a chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Metaethics, edited by David Plunkett and Tristram McPherson. I offer an overview of hybrid views in metaethics, with main focus on hybrid cognitivist views such as those defended by Daniel Boisvert and David Copp, and on hybrid expressivist views such as those defended by Michael Ridge and myself.
Many philosophers believe that judgments about propositional attitudes, or about which mental states are expressed by which sentences, are normative judgments. If this is so, then metanormative expressivism must be given expressivist treatment. This might seem to make expressivism self-defeating or worrisomely circular, or to frustrate the explanatory ambitions central to the view. I argue that recent objections along these lines to giving an expressivist account of expressivism are not successful. I shall also suggest that in order to deal with (...) these worries, Dreier's influential response to the so-called ‘problem of creeping minimalism’ must be slightly revised. (shrink)
I argue that Jonas Olson’s argument from irreducible normativity is not a secure basis for an argument for error theory and that a better basis is provided by the argument from supervenience, which has more bite against non-naturalist moral realism than Olson is willing to allow. I suggest there may be a view which can allow for the existence of irreducibly normative facts while remaining unaffected by the kinds of arguments that work against non-naturalist realism. This view is expressivism. Interestingly, (...) James Dreier has recently suggested that expressivism may not escape these arguments. I very briefly outline possible response strategies for expressivists. I close by discussing Olson’s argument against expressivism. Olson suggests, somewhat surprisingly, that expressivism is a bad fit with a plausible evolutionary explanation of our moral thought. I argue that Olson’s argument does not succeed. (shrink)
In this paper the 'moral fetishism' argument originally presented by Michael Smith against moral judgment externalism is defended. I argue that only the internalist views on the relation of moral judgment and motivation can combine two attractive theses: first, that the morally admirable are motivated to act on the reasons they take to ground actions' being right, and second, that their virtuousness need not be diminished by their acting on their thinking something right. Lastly, some possibilities are envisaged for internalists (...) in light of a worry to the effect that the argument, if successful, undermines the internalist theories, too. (shrink)
A common worry regarding normative supervenience theses is that they are easily trivialized unless we somehow restrict the set of descriptive base properties on which the normative properties supervene. The idea is that if all descriptive properties are included in the base, any two individuals that share all their base properties must be the same individual in the same world, from which it follows that they have the same normative properties. We argue that this trivial explanation for unrestricted normative supervenience (...) fails. Moreover, we argue that even if it succeeded, this wouldn’t undermine the explanation challenges associated with normative supervenience. (shrink)
Belief normativism is roughly the view that judgments about beliefs are normative judgments. Kathrin Glüer and Åsa Wikforss suggest that there are two ways one could defend this view: by appeal to what might be called ‘truth-norms’, or by appeal to what might be called ‘norms of rationality’ or ‘epistemic norms’. According to G&W, whichever way the normativist takes, she ends up being unable to account for the idea that the norms in question would guide belief formation. Plausibly, if belief (...) normativism were true, the relevant norms would have to offer such guidance. I argue that G&W’s case against belief normativism is not successful. In section 1, I defend the idea that truth-norms can guide belief formation indirectly via epistemic norms. In section 2, I outline an account of how the epistemic norms might guide belief. Interestingly, this account may involve a commitment to a certain kind of expressivist view concerning judgments about epistemic norms. (shrink)
Non-naturalism—roughly the view that normative properties and facts are sui generis—may be combined either with cognitivism or with non-cognitivism. The chapter starts by explaining how the metaphysically necessary connections between the natural and the normative raise an explanatory challenge for realist non-naturalism, and how it is not at all obvious that quasi-realism offers a way of escaping the challenge. Having briefly explored different kinds of accounts of what it is to have thoughts concerning metaphysical necessity, it then proceeds to argue (...) that once we understand the explanatory challenge in the light of a quasi-realist take on normative judgments, this challenge takes the shape of a first-order normative issue, and will be answerable by the quasi-realists’ lights. When it comes to explaining the necessary connections between the normative and the natural, all will be fine, it seems, if non-naturalists just go a little quasi. (shrink)
I explore the prospects of capturing and explaining, within a non-cognitivist framework, the enkratic principle of rationality, according to which rationality requires of N that, if N believes that she herself ought to perform an action, φ, N intends to φ. Capturing this principle involves making sense of both the possibility and irrationality of akrasia – of failing to intend in accordance with one’s ought thought. In the first section, I argue that the existing non-cognitivist treatments of enkrasia/akrasia by Allan (...) Gibbard and Michael Ridge are not satisfying. In the second section, I propose that non-cognitivists should perhaps say roughly the following: to think that one ought to φ is to prefer φ-ing to the alternative courses of action, or to have a stronger desire to φ than to choose any alternative action. I outline an account of the strength of desire, which allows for the possibility of intending to act against one’s strongest desires, and makes it intelligible why rationality would nevertheless require that one’s strongest desires and intentions be aligned. This would allow the non-cognitivist to explain how akrasia is both possible and irrational. In the last section, I briefly suggest that this leaves non-cognitivists in a nice position in comparison to at least some of the competition, when it comes to capturing enkrasia. (shrink)