Quasi-Realism, Absolutism, and Judgment-Internal Correctness Conditions

In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 96-120 (2013)
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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 of moral judges and their attitudes or standards. Thesuccess of this strategy would undermine the traditional way of understanding the distinction, and it is not obvious how it can be reformulated. In this paper, I outline the difficulty posed by quasi-realism, raise problems for some prior attempts to overcome it, and present my own suggestion, focusing on correctness conditions that are internal to the act of moral judgment.
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