Metasemantics, Moral Realism and Moral Doctrines

In Visa A. J. Kurki & Mark Mcbride (eds.), Without Trimmings: The Legal, Moral, and Political Philosophy of Matthew Kramer. Oxford, Vereinigtes Königreich: Oxford University Press. pp. 189-204 (2022)
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In this paper, I consider the relationship between Matthew Kramer’s moral realism as a moral doctrine and expressivism, understood as a distinctly non-representationalist metasemantic theory of moral vocabulary. More precisely, I will argue that Kramer is right in stating that moral realism as a moral doctrine does not stand in conflict with expressivism. But I will also go further, by submitting that advocates of moral realism as a moral doctrine must adopt theories such as expressivism in some shape or form. Accordingly, if you do not want to accept positions such as expressivism, you cannot defend moral realism as a moral doctrine. Similarly, if you want moral realism to compete with expressivism, you cannot accept Kramer’s take on moral realism either. Hence, moral realism as a moral doctrine stands and falls with theories such as expressivism, or so I shall argue.

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Christine Tiefensee
Frankfurt School of Finance & Management


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