Moral Semantics

Edited by Caleb Perl (Australian Catholic University, University of Colorado, Boulder)
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  1. A Defence of Emotivism.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    As a non-cognitivist analysis of moral language, Charles Stevenson's sophisticated emotivism is widely regarded by moral philosophers as a substantial improvement over its historical antecedent, radical emotivism. None the less, it has come in for its share of criticism. In this essay, Leslie Allan responds to the key philosophical objections to Stevenson's thesis, arguing that the criticisms levelled against his meta-ethical theory rest largely on a too hasty reading of his works.
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  2. A Taxonomy of Meta-Ethical Theories.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The author contends that classifying theories in the field of meta-ethics along a single dimension misses important nuances in each theory. With the increased sophistication and complexity of meta-ethical analyses in the modern era, the traditional cognitivist–non-cognitivist and realist–anti-realist categories no longer function adequately. The author categorizes the various meta-ethical theories along three dimensions. These dimensions focus on the linguistic analysis offered by each theory, its metaphysical commitments and its degree of normative tolerance.
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  3. Meta-Ethics: An Introduction.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    Meta-ethics is the area of philosophy in which thinkers explore the language and nature of moral discourse and its relations to other non-moral areas of life. In this introduction to the discipline written explicitly for novices, Leslie Allan outlines the key questions and areas of analysis in contemporary meta-ethics. In clear, tabular format, he summarizes the core concepts integral to each of the major meta-ethical positions and the strengths of each view. To prompt further thinking and reading, Allan explains briefly (...)
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  4. Contextualism in Ethics.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    There are various ways in which context matters in ethics. Most clearly, the context in which an action is performed might determine whether the action is morally right: though it is often wrong not to keep a promise, it might be permissible in certain contexts. More radically, proponents of moral particularism (see particularism) have argued that a reason for an action in one context is not guaranteed to be a reason in a different context: whether it is a reason against (...)
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  5. The Language of Reasons and 'Ought'.Aaron Bronfman & J. L. Dowell - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Reasons.
    Here we focus on two questions: What is the proper semantics for deontic modal expressions in English? And what is the connection between true deontic modal statements and normative reasons? Our contribution towards thinking about the first, which makes up the bulk of our paper, considers a representative sample of recent challenges to a Kratzer-style formal semantics for modal expressions, as well as the rival views—Fabrizio Cariani’s contrastivism, John MacFarlane’s relativism, and Mark Schroeder’s ambiguity theory—those challenges are thought to motivate. (...)
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  6. Semantics for Reasons, by Bryan Weaver and Kevin Scharp. [REVIEW]Daniel Fogal & Peter Van Elswyk - forthcoming - Ethics.
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  7. Inferential Expressivism and the Negation Problem.Luca Incurvati & Julian J. Schlöder - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 16.
    We develop a novel solution to the negation version of the Frege-Geach problem by taking up recent insights from the bilateral programme in logic. Bilateralists derive the meaning of negation from a primitive *B-type* inconsistency involving the attitudes of assent and dissent. Some may demand an explanation of this inconsistency in simpler terms, but we argue that bilateralism’s assumptions are no less explanatory than those of *A-type* semantics that only require a single primitive attitude, but must stipulate inconsistency elsewhere. Based (...)
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  8. Sticky Situations: 'Force' and Quantifier Domains.Matthew Mandelkern & Jonathan Phillips - forthcoming - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 28.
    When do we judge that someone was forced to do what they did? One relatively well-established finding is that subjects tend to judge that agents were not forced to do actions when those actions violate norms. A surprising discovery of Young & Phillips 2011 is that this effect seems to disappear when we frame the relevant ‘force’-claim in the active rather than passive voice ('X forced Y to φ ' vs. 'Y was forced to φ by X'). Young and Phillips (...)
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  9. Evaluational Adjectives.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:1-35.
    This paper demarcates a theoretically interesting class of "evaluational adjectives." This class includes predicates expressing various kinds of normative and epistemic evaluation, such as predicates of personal taste, aesthetic adjectives, moral adjectives, and epistemic adjectives, among others. Evaluational adjectives are distinguished, empirically, in exhibiting phenomena such as discourse-oriented use, felicitous embedding under the attitude verb `find', and sorites-susceptibility in the comparative form. A unified degree-based semantics is developed: What distinguishes evaluational adjectives, semantically, is that they denote context-dependent measure functions ("evaluational (...)
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  10. Stoic Virtue: A Contemporary Interpretation.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    The Stoic understanding of virtue is often taken to be a non-starter. Many of the Stoic claims about virtue – that a virtue requires moral perfection and that all who are not fully virtuous are vicious – are thought to be completely out of step with our commonsense notion of virtue, making the Stoic account more of an historical oddity than a seriously defended view. Despite many voices to the contrary, I will argue that there is a way of making (...)
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  11. The Demandingness of Virtue.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    How demanding is the virtuous life? Can virtue exist alongside hints of vice? Is it possible to be virtuous within a vicious society? A line of thinking running through Diogenes and the Stoics is that even a hint of corruption is inimical to virtue, that participating in a vicious society makes it impossible for a person to be virtuous. One response to this difficulty is to claim that virtue is a threshold concept, that context sets a threshold for what is (...)
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  12. Reply to Critics.Matti Eklund - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):535-561.
    Reply to Stephanie Leary’s, Kris McDaniel’s, Tristram McPherson’s and David Plunkett’s articles on Choosing Normative Concepts (OUP, 2017) in book symposium in Inquiry.
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  13. Permissibility Is the Only Feasible Deontic Primitive.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):117-133.
    Moral obligation and permissibility are usually thought to be interdefinable. Following the pattern of the duality definitions of necessity and possibility, we have that something’s being permissible could be defined as its not being obligatory to not do it. And that something’s being obligatory could be defined as its not being permissible to not do it. In this paper, I argue that neither direction of this alleged interdefinability works. Roughly, the problem is that a claim that some act is obligatory (...)
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  14. The Expansion View of Thick Concepts.Brent G. Kyle - 2020 - Noûs 54 (4):914-944.
    This paper proposes a new Separabilist account of thick concepts, called the Expansion View (or EV). According to EV, thick concepts are expanded contents of thin terms. An expanded content is, roughly, the semantic content of a predicate along with modifiers. Although EV is a form of Separabilism, it is distinct from the only kind of Separabilism discussed in the literature, and it has many features that Inseparabilists want from an account of thick concepts. EV can also give non-cognitivists a (...)
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  15. An Empirical Argument Against Moral Non-Cognitivism.Thomas Pölzler & Jen Wright - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    According to non-cognitivism, moral sentences and judgements do not aim to represent how things morally are. This paper presents an empirical argument against this view. We begin by showing that non-cognitivism entails the prediction that after some reflection competent ordinary speakers’ semantic intuitions favor that moral sentences and judgements do not aim to represent how things morally are. At first sight, this prediction may seem to have been confirmed by previous research on folk metaethics. However, a number of methodological worries (...)
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  16. "Ought" and Error.Christine Tiefensee - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (2):96-114.
    The moral error theory generally does not receive good press in metaethics. This paper adds to the bad news. In contrast to other critics, though, I do not attack error theorists’ characteristic thesis that no moral assertion is ever true. Instead, I develop a new counter-argument which questions error theorists’ ability to defend their claim that moral utterances are meaningful assertions. More precisely: Moral error theorists lack a convincing account of the meaning of deontic moral assertions, or so I will (...)
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  17. Are Moral Judgements Semantically Uniform? A Wittgensteinian Approach to the Cognitivism - Non-Cognitivism Debate.Benjamin De Mesel - 2019 - In Benjamin De Mesel & Oskari Kuusela (eds.), Ethics in the Wake of Wittgenstein. New York: Routledge. pp. 126-148.
    Cognitivists and non-cognitivists in contemporary meta-ethics tend to assume that moral judgments are semantically uniform. That is, they share the assumption that either all moral judgments express beliefs, or they all express non-beliefs. But what if some moral judgments express beliefs and others do not? Then moral judgments are not semantically uniform and the question “Cognitivist or non-cognitivist?” poses a false dilemma. I will question the assumption that moral judgments are semantically uniform. First, I will explain what I mean by (...)
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  18. A “Good” Explanation of Five Puzzles About Reasons.Stephen Finlay - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):62-104.
    This paper champions the view (REG) that the concept of a normative reason for an agent S to perform an action A is that of an explanation why it would be good (in some way, to some degree) for S to do A. REG has numerous virtues, but faces some significant challenges which prompt many philosophers to be skeptical that it can correctly account for all our reasons. I demonstrate how five different puzzles about normative reasons can be solved by (...)
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  19. Evaluative Discourse and Affective States of Mind.Nils Franzén - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1095-1126.
    It is widely held within contemporary metaethics that there is a lack of linguistic support for evaluative expressivism. On the contrary, it seems that the predictions that expressivists make about evaluative discourse are not borne out. An instance of this is the so-called problem of missing Moorean infelicity. Expressivists maintain that evaluative statements express non-cognitive states of mind in a similar manner to how ordinary descriptive language expresses beliefs. Conjoining an ordinary assertion that p with the denial of being in (...)
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  20. Thick Evaluation, by Simon Kirchin. [REVIEW]Brent G. Kyle - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):954-962.
    Thick Evaluation, by KirchinSimon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xi + 198.
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  21. The Sense of Incredibility in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):93-115.
    It is often said that normative properties are “just too different” to reduce to other kinds of properties. This suggests that many philosophers find it difficult to believe reductive theses in ethics. I argue that the distinctiveness of the normative concepts we use in thinking about reductive theses offers a more promising explanation of this psychological phenomenon than the falsity of Reductive Realism. To identify the distinctiveness of normative concepts, I use resources from familiar Hybrid views of normative language and (...)
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  22. Hybrid Dispositionalism and the Law.Teresa Marques - 2019 - In Kevin Toh, David Plunkett & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Dworkin’s famous argument from legal disagreements poses a problem for legal positivism by undermining the idea that the law can be (just) the result of the practice and attitudes of norm-applying officials. In recent work, the chapter author argued that a hybrid contextualist theory paired with a dispositional theory of value—a hybrid dispositionalism, for short—offers the resources to respond to similar disagreement- based arguments in other evaluative and normative domains. This chapter claims that the theory the author advocates can extend (...)
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  23. An Essentialist Theory of the Meaning of Slurs.Eleonore Neufeld - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    In this paper, I develop an essentialist model of the semantics of slurs. I defend the view that slurs are a species of kind terms: Slur concepts encode mini-theories which represent an essence-like element that is causally connected to a set of negatively-valenced stereotypical features of a social group. The truth-conditional contribution of slur nouns can then be captured by the following schema: For a given slur S of a social group G and a person P, S is true of (...)
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  24. James Doyle, No Morality, No Self: Anscombe’s Radical Skepticism. [REVIEW]Katharina Nieswandt - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):102-106.
    James Doyle’s book is provocative and timely. It is an important contribution to the current wave of Anscombe scholarship, and it offers valuable insights into general metaethical ques­tions, such as: In what senses might morality be “unintelligible”? Or: To what extent does a divine law ethics rest on practical reason? Here, I do not want to summarize the many ad­mirable features of Doyle’s book. I will instead focus on his two main theses, of which I re­main unconvinced.
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  25. One‐Person Moral Twin Earth Cases.Neil Sinhababu - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):16-22.
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  26. Contextualism, Moral Disagreement, and Proposition Clouds.Jussi Suikkanen - 2019 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics 14. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 47-69.
    According to contextualist theories in metaethics, when you use a moral term in a context, the context plays an ineliminable part in determining what natural property will be the semantic value of the term. Furthermore, on subjectivist and relativist versions of these views, it is either the speaker's own moral code or her moral community's moral code that constitutes the reference-fixing context. One standard objection to views of this type is that they fail to enable us to disagree in ordinary (...)
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  27. Relaxing About Moral Truths.Christine Tiefensee - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6 (31):869-890.
    As with all other moral realists, so-called relaxed moral realists believe that there are moral truths. Unlike metaphysical moral realists, they do not take themselves to be defending a substantively metaphysical position when espousing this view, but to be putting forward a moral thesis from within moral discourse. In this paper, I employ minimalism about truth to examine whether or not there is a semantic analysis of the claim ‘There are moral truths’ which can support this moral interpretation of one (...)
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  28. ‘Ought’-Contextualism Beyond the Parochial.Alex Worsnip - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):3099-3119.
    Despite increasing prominence, ‘ought’-contextualism is regarded with suspicion by most metaethicists. As I’ll argue, however, contextualism is a very weak claim, that every metaethicist can sign up to. The real controversy concerns how contextualism is developed. I then draw an oft-overlooked distinction between “parochial” contextualism—on which the contextually-relevant standards are those that the speaker, or others in her environment, subscribe to—and “aspirational” contextualism—on which the contextually-relevant standards are the objective standards for the relevant domain. However, I argue that neither view (...)
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  29. Non-Descriptive Relativism: Adding Options to the Expressivist Marketplace.Matthew Bedke - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13:48-70.
    This chapter identifies a novel family of metaethical theories that are non-descriptive and that aim to explain the action-guiding qualities of normative thought and language. The general strategy is to consider different relations language might bear to a given content, where we locate descriptivity (or lack of it) in these relations, rather than locating it in a theory that begins with the expression of states of mind, or locating it in a special kind of content that is not way-things-might-be content. (...)
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  30. Two Nondescriptivist Views of Normative and Evaluative Statements.Matthew Chrisman - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):405-424.
    The dominant route to nondescriptivist views of normative and evaluative language is through the expressivist idea that normative terms have distinctive expressive roles in conveying our attitudes. This paper explores an alternative route based on two ideas. First, a core normative term ‘ought’ is a modal operator; and second, modal operators play a distinctive nonrepresentational role in generating meanings for the statements in which they figure. I argue that this provides for an attractive alternative to expressivist forms of nondescriptivism about (...)
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  31. On Parfit’s Ontology.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (5):707-725.
    Parfit denies that the introduction of reasons into our ontology is costly for his theory. He puts forth two positions to help establish the claim: the Plural Senses View and the Argument from Empty Ontology. I argue that, first, the Plural Senses View for ‘exists’ can be expanded to allow for senses which undermine his ontological claims; second, the Argument from Empty Ontology can be debunked by Platonists. Furthermore, it is difficult to make statements about reasons true unless these statements (...)
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  32. The Case of the Disappearing Semicolon: Expressive-Assertivism and the Embedding Problem.Thorsten Sander - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):959-979.
    Expressive-Assertivism, a metaethical theory championed by Daniel Boisvert, is sometimes considered to be a particularly promising form of hybrid expressivism. One of the main virtues of Expressive-Assertivism is that it seems to offer a simple solution to the Frege-Geach problem. I argue, in contrast, that Expressive-Assertivism faces much the same challenges as pure expressivism.
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  33. A Simple Escape From Moral Twin Earth.Pekka Väyrynen - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):109-118.
    This paper offers a simple response to the Moral Twin Earth (MTE) objection to Naturalist Moral Realism (NMR). NMR typically relies on an externalist metasemantics such as a causal theory of reference. The MTE objection is that such a theory predicts that terms like ‘good’ and ‘right’ have a different reference in certain twin communities where it’s intuitively clear that the twins are talking about the same thing when using ‘good’. I argue that Boyd’s causal regulation theory, the original target (...)
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  34. The Significance of Ethical Disagreement for Theories of Ethical Thought and Talk.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 275-291.
    This chapter has two sections, each focusing on a distinct way in which ethical disagreement and variations in ethical judgment matter for theories of ethical thought and talk. In the first section, we look at how the variation poses problems for both cognitivist and non-cognitivist ways of specifying the nature of ethical judgments. In the second, we look at how disagreement phenomena have been taken to undermine cognitivist accounts, but also at how the seeming variation in cognitive and non-cognitive contents (...)
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  35. Conceptual Role Accounts of Meaning in Metaethics.Matthew Chrisman - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 260-274.
    This paper explains three ways to develop a conceptual role view of meaning in metaethics. First, it suggests that there’s a way to combine inspiration from noncognitivism with a particular form of the conceptual role view to form a noncognitivist view with distinctive advantages over other noncognitivist views. Second, it suggests that there’s also a way to combine a strong commitment to cognitivism with a different form of the conceptual role view to form a version of cognitivism with distinctive advantages (...)
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  36. Oraciones normativas y sensibilidad a la evaluación.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2017 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 43 (1):29-47.
    Nuestro lenguaje no solo describe el mundo que nos rodea: muchas expresiones que usamos habitualmente (desde predicados de gusto a expresiones como “interesante” o “divertido”) tienen por función valorar los objetos que constituyen nuestro entorno. Las oraciones que las contienen son sensibles a la evaluación: su valor de verdad depende del estándar evaluativo saliente en contexto y su emisión puede dar lugar a desacuerdos duros. El presente trabajo examina la ex- tensión de esta categoría a oraciones con predicados y verbos (...)
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  37. Thickness and Evaluation.Matti Eklund - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (1):89-104.
    This is a review essay devoted to Pekka Väyrynen’s The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty. Väyrynen’s book, concerned with thick terms and thick concepts, argues for a pragmatic view on the evaluativeness associated with these terms and concepts. The essay raises a number of critical questions regarding what Väyrynen’s arguments for his view actually show. It deals with, for example, thick properties, the fact-value distinction, what it is for terms and concepts to be (semantically) evaluative, and whether Väyrynen’s arguments (...)
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  38. Disagreement Lost and Found.Stephen Finlay - 2017 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 12. Oxford University Press. pp. 187-205.
    According to content-relativist theories of moral language, different speakers use the same moral sentences to say different things. Content-relativism faces a well-known problem of lost disagreement. Recently, numerous content-relativists (including the author) have proposed to solve this problem by appeal to various kinds of non-content-based, or broadly pragmatic, disagreement. This presents content-relativists with a new problem—of found agreement. Which (if any) of these newly identified kinds of conflict is correctly identified as the lost moral disagreement we were looking for? This (...)
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  39. Metaethical Relativism.Stojanovic Isidora - 2017 - In David Plunkett & Tristram McPherson (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Oxford: Routledge. pp. 119-134.
    Although relativism may be said to be one of the oldest doctrines in philosophy, dating back to the teachings of Protagoras in the 5th century B.C., when it comes to contemporary philosophy, there is no consensus on what makes a view qualify as "relativist". The problem is particularly accute in metaethics, since most of the views that up to a decade ago were described as “relativist” would be more accurately described as "contextualist" or even “expressivist” in light of the distinctions (...)
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  40. Empathy as the Moral Sense?Antti Kauppinen - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):867-879.
    In his recent work, Michael Slote argues that empathy is what Hutcheson called 'the moral sense'. The most innovative argument he offers for this claim is that our empathic reactions play a crucial role in fixing the reference of moral terms. I argue that Slote's bold proposal faces all the main problems of analytical naturalism, as well as some of its own. I suggest that empathy may nevertheless play a more modest and indirect role in acquiring moral knowledge.
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  41. Лінгвальне віддзеркалення оцінного ставлення до опонента в контексті перейменувальної кампанії.Olha Kyryliuk - 2017 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 3:29-35.
    У статті йдеться про особливості мовного віддзеркалення взаємного ставлення учасників дискусії в умовах обговорення суспільно-політичної ситуації. У ході аналізу окреслено основні психологічні прийоми маніпуляцій суспільною думкою за допомогою мовних одиниць. Встановлено екстра- та інтралінгвальні чинники, що впливають на вибір того чи того номінатива.
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  42. Частково фразеологізовані речення з відношеннями зумовленості.Mariya Lychuk - 2017 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 3:201-209.
    У статті досліджено частково фразеологізовані речення з семантикою зумовленості, описано засоби зв’язку між їхніми частинами. Схарактеризовано семантико-структурні різновиди двох підтипів частково фразеологізованих речень із відношеннями зумовленості. Простежено специфіку вираження дії в пре- і постпозитивних частинах цих речень, описано специфіку додаткової семантики, що нашаровується на основне значення.
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  43. Anscombe on the Sources of Normativity.Katharina Nieswandt - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (1):141-163.
    Anscombe is usually seen as a critic of “Modern Moral Philosophy.” I attempt a systematic reconstruction and a defense of Anscombe’s positive theory. Anscombe’s metaethics is a hybrid of social constructivism and Aristotelian naturalism. Her three main claims are the following: (1) We cannot trace all duties back to one moral principle; there is more than one source of normativity. (2) Whether I have a certain duty will often be determined by the social practices of my community. For instance, duties (...)
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  44. Cornell Realism, Explanation, and Natural Properties.Luis R. G. Oliveira & Timothy Perrine - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):1021-1038.
    The claim that ordinary ethical discourse is typically true and that ethical facts are typically knowable seems in tension with the claim that ordinary ethical discourse is about features of reality friendly to a scientific worldview. Cornell Realism attempts to dispel this tension by claiming that ordinary ethical discourse is, in fact, discourse about the same kinds of things that scientific discourse is about: natural properties. We offer two novel arguments in reply. First, we identify a key assumption that we (...)
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  45. Having It Both Ways: Hybrid Theories and Modern Metaethics.Alex Silk - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):197-211.
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  46. Non-Naturalism and Reference.Jussi Suikkanen - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaethical realists disagree about the nature of normative properties. Naturalists think that they are ordinary natural properties: causally efficacious, a posteriori knowable, and usable in the best explanations of natural and social sciences. Non-naturalist realists, in contrast, argue that they are sui generis: causally inert, a priori knowable and not a part of the subject matter of sciences. It has been assumed so far that naturalists can explain causally how the normative predicates manage to refer to normative properties, whereas non-naturalists (...)
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  47. Hybrid Accounts of Ethical Thought and Talk.Teemu Toppinen - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 243-259.
    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.
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  48. The Frege-Geach Problem.Jack Woods - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 226-242.
    This is an opinionated overview of the Frege-Geach problem, in both its historical and contemporary guises. Covers Higher-order Attitude approaches, Tree-tying, Gibbard-style solutions, and Schroeder's recent A-type expressivist solution.
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  49. Non-Descriptive Negation for Normative Sentences.Andrew Alwood - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):1-25.
    Frege-Geach worries about embedding and composition have plagued metaethical theories like emotivism, prescriptivism and expressivism. The sharpened point of such criticism has come to focus on whether negation and inconsistency have to be understood in descriptivist terms. Because they reject descriptivism, these theories must offer a non-standard account of the meanings of ethical and normative sentences as well as related semantic facts, such as why certain sentences are inconsistent with each other. This paper fills out such a solution to the (...)
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  50. Metanormative Theory and the Meaning of Deontic Modals.Matthew Chrisman - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 395-424.
    Philosophical debate about the meaning of normative terms has long been pulled in two directions by the apparently competing ideas: (i) ‘ought’s do not describe what is actually the case but rather prescribe possible action, thought, or feeling, (ii) all declarative sentences deserve the same general semantic treatment, e.g. in terms of compositionally specified truth conditions. In this paper, I pursue resolution of this tension by rehearsing the case for a relatively standard truth-conditionalist semantics for ‘ought’ conceived as a necessity (...)
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