A Critique of Expressivism

Alan Thomas

in Value and Context

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780198250173
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604072 | DOI:
 A Critique of Expressivism

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This chapter examines the expressive/projective strategy, which covers a family of views with interrelated common themes. The two most highly developed themes, norm expressivism (defended by Allan Gibbard) and projectivism (defended by Simon Blackburn), are considered. Both focus on the crucial issue of how we should understand our desire to explain the ethical within a generally naturalistic framework. One way in which the theories discussed in this chapter differ from earlier forms of non-cognitivism is that they are intended to constitute a general theory of normativity, which, while it is supposed to bolster some of the intuitions underlying the prevalent conception of value, does not exactly match the extension of that term. The non-cognitivists discussed in this chapter operate with a descriptive/normative distinction, not a fact/value distinction.

Keywords: expressivism; projectivism; non-cognitivist; cognitivism; normativity; value; Allan Gibbard; Simon Blackburn

Chapter.  15946 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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