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Conceptual Role Accounts of Meaning in Metaethics

In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 260-274 (2017)

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  1. A Semantic Challenge to Non-Realist Cognitivism.David Copp - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):569-591.
    Recently, some philosophers have attempted to escape familiar challenges to orthodox nonnaturalist normative realism by abandoning the robust metaphysical commitments of the orthodox view. One such view is the ‘Non-Metaphysical Non-Naturalism’ or ‘Non-Realist Cognitivism’ proposed by Derek Parfit and a few others. The trouble is that, as it stands, Non-Realist Cognitivism seems unable to provide a substantive non-trivial account of the meaning and truth conditions of moral claims. The paper considers various strategies one might use to address the challenge. There (...)
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  • Conceptual Role Expressivism and Defective Concepts.James L. D. Brown - forthcoming - In Oxford Studies in Metaethics 17.
    This paper examines the general prospects for conceptual role expressivism, expressivist theories that embrace conceptual role semantics. It has two main aims. The first aim is to provide a general characterisation of the view. The second aim is to raise a challenge for the general view. The challenge is to explain why normative concepts are not a species of defective concepts, where defective concepts are those that cannot meaningfully embed and participate in genuine inference. After rejecting existing attempts to answer (...)
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  • 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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