Defending Moral Mind-Independence: The Expressivist's Precarious Turn

Philosophia 42 (3):861-69 (2014)
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A central feature of ordinary moral thought is that moral judgment is mind-independent in the following sense: judging something to be morally wrong does not thereby make it morally wrong. To deny this would be to accept a form of subjectivism. Neil Sinclair (2008) makes a novel attempt to show how expressivism is simultaneously committed to (1) an understanding of moral judgments as expressions of attitudes and (2) the rejection of subjectivism. In this paper, I discuss Sinclair’s defense of anti-subjectivist moral mind-independence on behalf of the expressivist, and I argue that the account does not fully succeed. An examination of why it does not is instructive, and it reveals a fundamental dilemma for the expressivist. I offer a suggestion for how the expressivist might respond to the dilemma and so uphold Sinclair’s defense
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Thinking How to Live.Gibbard, Allan
Essays in Quasi-Realism.Blackburn, Simon
Normativity.Thomson, Judith Jarvis

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