Objectionable thick concepts in denials

Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):439-469 (2009)
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So-called "thick" moral concepts are distinctive in that they somehow "hold together" evaluation and description. But how? This paper argues against the standard view that the evaluations which thick concepts may be used to convey belong to sense or semantic content. That view cannot explain linguistic data concerning how thick concepts behave in a distinctive type of disagreements and denials which arise when one speaker regards another's thick concept as "objectionable" in a certain sense. The paper also briefly considers contextualist, presuppositional, and implicature accounts of the evaluative contents of thick concepts, but finds none clearly superior to the others.
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