Moral Judgment Matjaž Potrč


Mixed proposals: overcoming separation of pure cognitivism and pure expressivism along various dimensions



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Mixed proposals: overcoming separation of pure cognitivism and pure expressivism along various dimensions.


Cognitivist expressivism, fictionalism, quasi-realism, error theory. They each try to overcome pure cognitivist/realist and pure expressivist/irrealist approaches to moral judgment along various dimensions. We call them mixed theories, in respect to the cognitivism/expressivism duality.

In fact, there are several proposals that put under question separatist agenda in respect to judgments, in moral philosophy. We may call them mixed proposals. One such clearly mixed proposal, as its name indicates, is cognitivist expressivism (Horgan Timmons....), which holds it that moral judgments are genuine beliefs, indeed, but also that they do not support realism, and that they rather embrace expressivist phenomenology. Both genuine beliefs and underlying phenomenology come together in order to support this account of judgment. But there are other mixed proposals as well.

Fictionalism, for example, takes moral judgments not to be genuine beliefs, and it rather treats them as fictions, whose truth thus depends upon the overall story inside which they happen to be spelled out. Fictionalism is thus another mixed proposal.

Quasi-realism does not take realism of common sense supported judgment commitments to be genuine. Again, as its name indicates, it is a mixed proposal, involving both cognitivist and expressivist ingredients.

Finally, we mention error theory. This one subscribes to common sense realism of moral judgments, but then goes on to claim that they are all false, as there do not really exist such entities as Goodness or Badness that they indicate.




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