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Hybrid Expressivism: Virtues and Vices

Ethics 119 (2):257-309 (2009)

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  1. Aesthetic Predicates: A Hybrid Dispositional Account.Teresa Marques - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (6):723-751, doi:10.1080/0020174X.20.
    This paper explores the possibility of developing a hybrid version of dispositional theories of aesthetic values. On such a theory, uses of aesthetic predicates express relational second-order dispositional properties. If the theory is not absolutist, it allows for the relativity of aesthetic values. But it may be objected to on the grounds that it fails to explain disagreement among subjects who are not disposed alike. This paper explores the possibility of adapting recent proposals of hybrid expressivist theories for moral predicates (...)
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  • Moral anti-realism.Richardn D. Joyce - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    It might be expected that it would suffice for the entry for “moral anti-realism” to contain only some links to other entries in this encyclopedia. It could contain a link to “moral realism” and stipulate the negation of the view there described. Alternatively, it could have links to the entries “anti-realism” and “morality” and could stipulate the conjunction of the materials contained therein. The fact that neither of these approaches would be adequate—and, more strikingly, that following the two procedures would (...)
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  • Modal Knowledge For Expressivists.Peter Hawke - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-35.
    What does ‘Smith knows that it might be raining’ mean? Expressivism here faces a challenge, as its basic forms entail a pernicious type of transparency, according to which ‘Smith knows that it might be raining’ is equivalent to ‘it is consistent with everything that Smith knows that it is raining’ or ‘Smith doesn’t know that it isn’t raining’. Pernicious transparency has direct counterexamples and undermines vanilla principles of epistemic logic, such as that knowledge entails true belief and that something can (...)
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  • Getting noncognitivism out of the Woods. [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):129-139.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  • Quasi-Realism, Absolutism, and Judgment-Internal Correctness Conditions.Gunnar Björnsson - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Almäng Jan & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations: Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 96-119.
    The traditional metaethical distinction between cognitivist absolutism,on the one hand, and speaker relativism or noncognitivism, on the other,seemed both clear and important. On the former view, moral judgmentswould be true or false independently on whose judgments they were, andmoral disagreement might be settled by the facts. Not so on the latter views. But noncognitivists and relativists, following what Simon Blackburn has called a “quasi-realist” strategy, have come a long way inmaking sense of talk about truth of moral judgments and itsindependence (...)
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  • Internalism and the Frege-Geach Problem.Caj Strandberg - 2019 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 32 (32):68-91.
    According to the established understanding of the Frege-Geach problem, it is a challenge exclusively for metaethical expressivism. In this paper, I argue that it is much wider in scope: The problem applies generally to views according to which moral sentences express moral judgments entailing that one is for or against something, irrespective of what mental states the judgments consist in. In particular, it applies to motivational internalism about moral judgments. Most noteworthy, it applies to cognitivist internalism according to which moral (...)
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  • Ecumenical expressivism and the Frege-Geach problem.Alexander Miller & Kirk Surgener - 2019 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 32 (32):7-25.
    A background assumption of much of 20th century and recent metaethics and moral psychology is that moral judgements either express beliefs rather than desire-like attitudes or express desire-like attitudes rather than beliefs. In a recent series of papers and а monograph, Michael Ridge seeks to reject this assumption, and thereby to steer the focus of metaethical debate away from the Frege-Geach problem. In particular, Ridge claims that we can formulate “ecumenical” views on which moral judgements express both beliefs and desire-like (...)
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  • It’s Not What You Said, It’s the Way You Said It: Slurs and Conventional Implicatures.Daniel Whiting - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):364-377.
    In this paper, I defend against a number of criticisms an account of slurs, according to which the same semantic content is expressed in the use of a slur as is expressed in the use of its neutral counterpart, while in addition the use of a slur conventionally implicates a negative, derogatory attitude. Along the way, I criticise competing accounts of the semantics and pragmatics of slurs, namely, Hom's 'combinatorial externalism' and Anderson and Lepore's 'prohibitionism'.
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  • Schroeder on expressivism: For – or against? [REVIEW]Ralph Wedgwood - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):117-129.
    This is a critical discussion of Mark Schroeder's book, "Being For: Evaluating the Semantic Program of Expressivism" (Oxford University Press, 2008).
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  • Teorias híbridas em metaética e folk psychology.Eduardo Vicentini de Medeiros - 2018 - Dissertatio 47 (S6):27-48.
    O artigo argumenta por um paralelismo entre o surgimento de teorias híbridas na Metaética e novas propostas de categorização para estados mentais que tomam como base conceitos da folk psychology. São discutidos três propostas de teorias híbridas e três propostas de categorizações. Esse paralelo não é acidental, antes indica uma direção profícua para a solução do confronto entre cognitivismo e não cognitivismo, desde que os novas categorizações propostas estejam integradas em teorias da psicologia ou neurociências que apresentem suporte de evidência (...)
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  • How Norms (Might) Guide Belief.Teemu Toppinen - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):396-409.
    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 (...)
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  • A Dual Aspect Account of Moral Language.Caj Strandberg - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):87-122.
    It is often observed in metaethics that moral language displays a certain duality in as much as it seems to concern both objective facts in the world and subjective attitudes that move to action. In this paper, I defend The Dual Aspect Account which is intended to capture this duality: A person’s utterance of a sentence according to which φing has a moral characteristic, such as “φing is wrong,” conveys two things: The sentence expresses, in virtue of its conventional meaning, (...)
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  • Options for Hybrid Expressivism.Caj Strandberg - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):91-111.
    In contemporary metaethics, various versions of hybrid expressivism have been proposed according to which moral sentences express both non-cognitive attitudes and beliefs. One important advantage with such positions, its proponents argue, is that they, in contrast to pure expressivism, have a straightforward way of avoiding the Frege-Geach problem. In this paper, I provide a systematic examination of different versions of hybrid expressivism with particular regard to how they are assumed to evade this problem. The major conclusion is that none of (...)
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  • Can the Embedding Problem Be Generalized?Caj Strandberg - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (1):1-15.
    One of the most discussed challenges to metaethical expressivism is the embedding problem. It is widely presumed that the reason why expressivism faces this difficulty is that it claims that moral sentences express non-cognitive states, or attitudes, which constitute their meaning. In this paper, it is argued that the reason why the embedding problem constitutes a challenge to expressivism is another than what it usually is thought to be. Further, when we have seen the real reason why expressivism is vulnerable (...)
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  • Weak Motivational Internalism, Lite: Dispositions, Moral Judgments, and What We're Motivated to Do.Jesse Steinberg - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (S1):1-24.
    I argue that there is a continuum of judgments ranging from those that are affectively rich, what might be called passionate judgments, to those that are purely cognitive and nonaffective, what might be called dispassionate judgments. The former are akin to desires and other affective states and so are necessarily motivating. Applying this schema to moral judgments, I maintain that the motivational internalist is wrong in claiming that all moral judgments are necessarily motivating, but right in regard to the subset (...)
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  • Scepticism and Perceptual Justification.Matthias Steup - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):211-224.
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  • Moral expressivism and sentential negation.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):385-411.
    This paper advances three necessary conditions on a successful account of sentential negation. First, the ability to explain the constancy of sentential meaning across negated and unnegated contexts (the Fregean Condition). Second, the ability to explain why sentences and their negations are inconsistent, and inconsistent in virtue of the meaning of negation (the Semantic Condition). Third, the ability of the account to generalize regardless of the topic of the negated sentence (the Generality Condition). The paper discusses three accounts of negation (...)
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  • How to embed an epistemic modal: Attitude problems and other defects of character.Alex Silk - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1773-1799.
    This paper develops a contextualist account of certain recalcitrant embedding phenomena with epistemic modals. I focus on three prominent objections to contextualism from embedding: first, that contextualism mischaracterizes subjects’ states of mind; second, that contextualism fails to predict how epistemic modals are obligatorily linked to the subject in attitude ascriptions; and third, that contextualism fails to explain the persisting anomalousness of so-called “epistemic contradictions” in suppositional contexts. Contextualists have inadequately appreciated the force of these objections. Drawing on a more general (...)
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  • Having it Both Ways: Hybrid Theories and Modern Metaethics.Alex Silk - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):197-211.
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  • The unity of normative judgement: On Ridge’s Impassioned Belief.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):460-471.
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  • Two Misconstruals of Frege’s Theory of Colouring.Thorsten Sander - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):374-392.
    Many scholars claim that Frege's theory of colouring is committed to a radical form of subjectivism or emotivism. Some other scholars claim that Frege's concept of colouring is a precursor to Grice's notion of conventional implicature. I argue that both of these claims are mistaken. Finally, I propose a taxonomy of Fregean colourings: for Frege, there are purely aesthetic colourings, communicative colourings or hints, non-communicative colourings.
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  • 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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  • A Frege‐Geach Style Objection to Cognitivist Judgment Internalism.Thorsten Sander - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (3):391-408.
    According to judgment internalism, there is a conceptual connection between moral judgment and motivation. This paper offers an argument against that kind of internalism that does not involve counterexamples of the amoralist sort. Instead, it is argued that these forms of judgment internalism fall prey to a Frege-Geach type argument.
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  • Expressivism without Mentalism in Meta-Ontology.Mirco Sambrotta & Pedro Antonio García Jorge - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (5):781-800.
    ABSTRACTCarnap famously argued that there are two kinds of questions and claims concerning the existence or reality of entities: internal and external ones. We focus on Carnapian external ontological claims of the form: ‘Xs really exist’, where ‘X’ stands for some traditional metaphysical category, such as ‘substance’, ‘fact’ or ‘structure’. While Carnap considered them as meaningless, we consider them as faultlessly meaningful. However, in line with an expressivist guise, we do not claim that they have the meaning they have in (...)
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  • The promise and perils of hybrid moral semantics for naturalistic moral realism.Michael Rubin - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):691-710.
    In recent years, several philosophers have recommended to moral realists that they adopt a hybrid cognitivist–expressivist moral semantics. Adopting a hybrid semantics enables the realist to account for the action-guiding character of moral discourse, and to account for the possibility of moral (dis)agreement between speakers whose moral sentences express different cognitive contents. I argue that realists should resist the temptation to embrace a hybrid moral semantics. In granting that moral judgments are partly constituted by conative attitudes, the realist concedes too (...)
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  • A User’s Guide to Hybrid Tools.Caleb Perl - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):129-158.
    Hybrid metaethical theories have significant promise; they would have important upshots if they were true. But they also face severe problems. The problems are severe enough to make many philosophers doubt that they could be true. My ambition is to show that the problems are just instances of a highly general problem: a problem about what are sometimes called ‘intensional anaphora'. I'll also show that any adequate explanation of intensional anaphora immediately solves all the problems for the hybrid theorist. We (...)
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  • Hybrid Speech Acts: A Theory of Normative Thought and Language That ‘Has It Both Ways’.Andrew Morgan - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (4).
    In this essay, I propose a novel hybrid metanormative theory. According to this theory, speakers making normative claims express both cognitive and motivational attitudes in virtue of the constitutive norms of the particular speech acts they perform. This view has four principal virtues: it is consistent with traditional semantic theories, it supports a form of motivational judgment internalism that does justice to externalist intuitions, it illuminates the connection between normative language and normative thought, and it explains how speakers can express (...)
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  • Hybrid Speech Acts: A Theory of Normative Thought and Language That ‘Has It Both Ways’.Andrew Morgan - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (3):785-807.
    In this essay, I propose a novel hybrid metanormative theory. According to this theory, speakers making normative claims express both cognitive and motivational attitudes in virtue of the constitutive norms of the particular speech acts they perform. This view has four principal virtues: it is consistent with traditional semantic theories, it supports a form of motivational judgment internalism that does justice to externalist intuitions, it illuminates the connection between normative language and normative thought, and it explains how speakers can express (...)
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  • How ecumenical expressivism confuses the trivial and the substantive.Andreas L. Mogensen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):666-674.
    I argue that there are cases in which ecumenical expressivism cannot distinguish between endorsement of certain trivial and substantive normative judgments. I consider the extent to which this problem generalizes across different formulations of the ecumenical view. I suggest that we may not be able to escape the problem if we hope to retain the ability to solve the Frege-Geach problem in the way promised by ecumenical expressivism.
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  • Not Just Errors: A New Interpretation of Mackie’s Error Theory.Victor Moberger - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (3).
    J. L. Mackie famously argued that a commitment to non-existent objective values permeates ordinary moral thought and discourse. According to a standard interpretation, Mackie construed this commitment as a universal and indeed essential feature of moral judgments. In this paper I argue that we should rather ascribe to Mackie a form of semantic pluralism, according to which not all moral judgments involve the commitment to objective values. This interpretation not only makes better sense of what Mackie actually says, but also (...)
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  • What is at Stake in Debates among Normative Realists?Tristram McPherson - 2013 - Noûs 49 (1):123-146.
    One class of central debates between normative realists appears to concern whether we should be naturalists or reductionists about the normative. However, metaethical discussion of naturalism and reduction is often inconsistent, murky, or uninformative. This can make it hard to see why commitments relative to these metaphysical categories should matter to normative realists. This paper aims to clarify the nature of these categories, and their significance in debates between normative realists. I develop and defend what I call the joint-carving taxonomy, (...)
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  • Semantic Challenges to Normative Realism.Tristram McPherson - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (2):126-136.
    Normative realists might be assumed to have few worries about semantics. After all, a realist might initially hope to simply adopt the best semantic theory about ordinary descriptive language. However, beginning with the non-cognitivist appropriation of the open question argument, a number of philosophers have posed serious objections to the realist’s ability to offer a plausible semantic theory. This paper introduces the two most influential semantic challenges to normative realism: the open question argument, and the Moral Twin Earth argument. It (...)
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  • Moralities are a sign-language of the affects.Brian Leiter - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):237-258.
    This essay offers an interpretation and partial defense of Nietzsche's idea that moralities and moral judgments are “sign-languages” or “symptoms” of our affects, that is, of our emotions or feelings. According to Nietzsche, as I reconstruct his view, moral judgments result from the interaction of two kinds of affective responses: first, a “basic affect” of inclination toward or aversion from certain acts, and then a further affective response to that basic affect. I argue that Nietzsche views basic affects asnoncognitive, that (...)
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  • 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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  • Knowledge as a thick concept: explaining why the Gettier problem arises.Brent G. Kyle - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):1-27.
    The Gettier problem has stymied epistemologists. But, whether or not this problem is resolvable, we still must face an important question: Why does the Gettier problem arise in the first place? So far, philosophers have seen it as either a problem peculiar to the concept of knowledge, or else an instance of a general problem about conceptual analysis. But I would like to steer a middle course. I argue that the Gettier problem arises because knowledge is a thick concept, and (...)
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  • Logic for morals, morals from logic.Charlie Kurth - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):161-180.
    The need to distinguish between logical and extra-logical varieties of inference, entailment, validity, and consistency has played a prominent role in meta-ethical debates between expressivists and descriptivists. But, to date, the importance that matters of logical form play in these distinctions has been overlooked. That’s a mistake given the foundational place that logical form plays in our understanding of the difference between the logical and the extra-logical. This essay argues that descriptivists are better positioned than their expressivist rivals to provide (...)
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  • The Empirical Identity of Moral Judgment.Victor Kumar - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):783-804.
    I argue that moral judgement is a natural kind on the grounds that it plays a causal/explanatory role in psychological generalizations. I then develop an empirically grounded theory of its identity as a natural kind. I argue that moral judgement is a hybrid state of moral belief and moral emotion. This hybrid theory supports the role of moral judgement in explanations of reasoning and action and also supports its role in a dual process model of moral cognition. Although it is (...)
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  • Honor and Moral Revolution.Victor Kumar & Richmond Campbell - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):147-59.
    Western philosophers have generally neglected honor as a moral phenomenon worthy of serious study. Appiah’s recent work on honor in moral revolutions is an important exception, but even he is careful to separate honor from morality, regarding it as only “an ally” of morality. In this paper we take Appiah to be right about the psychological, social, and historical role honor has played in three notable moral revolutions, but wrong about the moral nature of honor. We defend two new theses: (...)
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  • Proper Function and Ethical Judgment Towards A Biosemantic Theory of Ethical Thought and Discourse.Drew Johnson - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (7):2867-2891.
    This paper employs Ruth Millikan’s biosemantic theory of representation to develop a proposal about the function of ethical claims and judgments. I propose that ethical claims and judgments (or ethical ‘affirmations’) have the function of simultaneously tracking the morally salient features of social situations and directing behavior that coordinates in a collectively beneficial way around those features. Thus, ethical affirmations count as a species of what Millikan labels ‘Pushmi-Pullyu’ representations that simultaneously have a descriptive and a directive direction of fit. (...)
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  • Proper Function and Ethical Judgment Towards A Biosemantic Theory of Ethical Thought and Discourse.Drew Johnson - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (7):2867-2891.
    This paper employs Ruth Millikan’s biosemantic theory of representation to develop a proposal about the function of ethical claims and judgments. I propose that ethical claims and judgments (or ethical ‘affirmations’) have the function of simultaneously tracking the morally salient features of social situations and directing behavior that coordinates in a collectively beneficial way around those features. Thus, ethical affirmations count as a species of what Millikan labels ‘Pushmi-Pullyu’ representations that simultaneously have a descriptive and a directive direction of fit. (...)
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  • Unity and the Frege–Geach problem.Christopher Hom & Jeremy Schwartz - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):15-24.
    The problem of the unity of the proposition asks what binds together the constituents of a proposition into a fully formed proposition that provides truth conditions for the assertoric sentence that expresses it, rather than merely a set of objects. Hanks’ solution is to reject the traditional distinction between content and force. If his theory is successful, then there is a plausible extension of it that readily solves the Frege–Geach problem for normative propositions. Unfortunately Hanks’ theory isn’t successful, but it (...)
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  • Moral Realism and Two-Dimensional Semantics.Tim Henning - 2011 - Ethics 121 (4):717-748.
    Moral realists can, and should, allow that the truth-conditional content of moral judgments is in part attitudinal. I develop a two-dimensional semantics that embraces attitudinal content while preserving realist convictions about the independence of moral facts from our attitudes. Relative to worlds “considered as counterfactual,” moral terms rigidly track objective, response-independent properties. But relative to different ways the actual world turns out to be, they nonrigidly track whatever properties turn out to be the objects of our relevant attitudes. This theory (...)
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  • Hybrid Expressivism and the Analogy between Pejoratives and Moral Language.Ryan J. Hay - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):450-474.
    : In recent literature supporting a hybrid view between metaethical cognitivism and noncognitivist expressivism, much has been made of an analogy between moral terms and pejoratives. The analogy is based on the plausible idea that pejorative slurs are used to express both a descriptive belief and a negative attitude. The analogy looks promising insofar as it encourages the kinds of features we should want from a hybrid expressivist view for moral language. But the analogy between moral terms and pejorative slurs (...)
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  • Contexts as Shared Commitments.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    Contemporary semantics assumes two influential notions of context: one coming from Kaplan (1989), on which contexts are sets of predetermined parameters, and another originating in Stalnaker (1978), on which contexts are sets of propositions that are “common ground”. The latter is deservedly more popular, given its flexibility in accounting for context-dependent aspects of language beyond manifest indexicals, such as epistemic modals, predicates of taste, and so on and so forth; in fact, properly dealing with demonstratives (perhaps ultimately all indexicals) requires (...)
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  • Recent work on normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Analysis 70 (2):331-346.
    Survey of some recent literature on normativity, including nonreductionist, neo-Aristotelian, neo-Humean, expressivist, and constructivist views.
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  • Explaining Disagreement: A Problem for (Some) Hybrid Expressivists.John Eriksson - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):39-53.
    Hybrid expressivists depart from pure expressivists by claiming that moral sentences express beliefs and desires. Daniel Boisvert and Michael Ridge, two prominent defenders of hybrid views, also depart from pure expressivists by claiming that moral sentences express general attitudes rather than an attitude towards the subject of the sentence. This article argues that even if the shift to general attitudes helps solve some of the traditional problems associated with pure expressivism, a view like Ridge's, according to which the descriptive meaning (...)
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  • Can there be a global, interesting, coherent constructivism about practical reason?David Enoch - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):319-339.
    More and more people seem to think that constructivism - in political philosophy, in moral philosophy, and perhaps in practical reasoning most generally - is the way to go. And yet it is surprisingly hard to even characterize the view. In this paper, I go to some lengths trying to capture the essence of a constructivist position - mostly in the realm of practical reason - and to pinpoint its theoretical attractions. I then give some reason to suspect that there (...)
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  • Nothing New in Ecumenia? Hare, Hybrid Expressivism and de dicto Beliefs.Daniel Eggers - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (4):831-847.
    One important trend in the debate over expressivism and cognitivism is the emergence of ‘hybrid’ or ‘ecumenical’ theories. According to such theories, moral sentences express both beliefs, as cognitivism has it, and desire-like states, as expressivism has it. One may wonder, though, whether the hybrid move is as novel as its advocates seem to take it to be—or whether it simply leads us back to the conceptions of early expressivists, such as Charles Stevenson or Richard Hare. Michael Ridge has recently (...)
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  • Jesse Prinz, The Emotional Construction of Morals (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007): Prinz's Subjectivist Moral Realism1.David Copp - 2011 - Noûs 45 (3):577-594.
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  • Slurring Perspectives.Elisabeth Camp - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):330-349.
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