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Term used for those theories of ethical discourse that contrast ethical sentences with expressions of belief. Such theories locate the primary function of ethical sentences in the expression of attitudes, emotions, or other practical states, or in the issuing of commands, or the putting of pressure on action (see prescriptivism). The older term covering much of the ground was ‘emotivism’, but this doctrine became linked with naïve views about the state of mind expressed, and naïve views about the consequences of the theory for notions such as truth and objectivity. See also projectivism, quasi-realism.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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