Compositional Semantics for Expressivists

Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):633-659 (2013)
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I here propose a hitherto unnoticed possibility of solving embedding problems for noncognitivist expressivists in metaethics by appeal to Conceptual Role Semantics. I show that claims from the latter as to what constitutes various concepts can be used to define functions from states expressed by atomic sentences to states expressed by complex sentences, thereby allowing an expressivist semantics that satisfies a rather strict compositionality constraint. The proposal can be coupled with several different types of concept individuation claim, and is shown to pave the way to novel accounts for, e.g., negation.

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Arvid Båve
University of Lisbon


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