Non-Realist Cognitivism, Truthmaking, and Ontological Cheating

Ethics 132 (2):291-321 (2022)
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Derek Parfit defended Non-Realist Cognitivism. It is an open secret that this metaethical theory is often thought at best puzzling and at worst objectionably unclear. Employing truthmaker theory, I provide an account of Non-Realist Cognitivism that dispels charges of objectionable unclarity, clarifies how to assess it, and explains why, if plausible, it would be an attractive theory. I develop concerns that the theory involves cheating into an objection that ultimately reveals Non-Realist Cognitivism faces a dilemma. Whether it can escape demands further attention. In bridging metaethics and the truthmaking literature, I illustrate the importance of greater meta-metaphysical reflection in metaethics.

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Farbod Akhlaghi
Cambridge University


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