The subjectivist consequences of expressivism

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):364-387 (2009)
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Abstract

Jackson and Pettit argue that expressivism in metaethics collapses into subjectivism. A sincere utterer of a moral claim must believe that she has certain attitudes to be expressed. The truth-conditions of that belief then allegedly provide truth-conditions also for the moral utterance. Thus, the expressivist cannot deny that moral claims have subjectivist truth-conditions. Critics have argued that this argument fails as stated. I try to show that expressivism does have subjectivist repercussions in a way that avoids the problems of the Jackson-Pettit argument. My argument, based on the norms for asserting moral sentences, attempts to tie expressivists to a more modest form of subjectivism than the previous arguments.

Author's Profile

Jussi Suikkanen
University of Birmingham

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