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  1. If You're Quasi-Explaining, You're Quasi-Losing.Derek Baker - forthcoming - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics 16. Oxford University Press.
    Normative discourse frequently involves explanation. For example, we tell children that hitting is wrong because it hurts people. In a recent paper, Selim Berker argues that to account for this kind of explanation, expressivists need an account of normative grounding. Against this, I argue that expressivists should eschew grounding and stick to a more pragmatic picture of explanation, one that focuses on how we use explanatory speech acts to communicate information. I propose that the standard form of a normative explanation (...)
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  2. Moral Realism, Quasi‐Realism and Moral Steadfastness.James Chamberlain - forthcoming - Ratio:1-12.
    Some moral propositions are so obviously true that we refuse to doubt them, even where we believe that many people disagree. Following Fritz and McPherson, I call our behaviour in such cases ‘moral steadfastness’. In this paper, I argue for two metaethical implications of moral steadfastness. I first argue that morally steadfast behaviour is sufficiently prevalent to present an important challenge for some prominent analogies between moral epistemology and non-moral forms of epistemology. These analogies are often pressed by moral realists. (...)
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  3. Fallibility Without Facts.Will Gamester - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    If, as expressivists maintain, the function of normative thought and talk is not to represent or describe the world, then how can normative judgements be correct or incorrect? In particular, how can I make sense of my own normative fallibility, the possibility that my own normative judgements might be mistaken? In this paper, I construct and defend a substantive but non-representational theory of normative (in)correctness for expressivists. Inspired by Blackburn’s (1998: 318) proposal that I make sense of my fallibility in (...)
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  4. Quasi-Naturalism and the Problem of Alternative Normative Concepts.Camil Golub - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    The following scenario seems possible: a community uses concepts that play the same role in guiding actions and shaping social life as our normative concepts, and yet refer to something else. As Eklund (2017) argues, this apparent possibility poses a problem for any normative realist who aspires to vindicate the thought that reality itself favors our ways of valuing and acting. A promising approach to this challenge is to try to rule out the possibility of alternative normative concepts, by arguing (...)
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  5. Representation, Deflationism, and the Question of Realism.Camil Golub - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    How can we distinguish between quasi-realist expressivism and normative realism? The most promising answer to this question is the “explanation” explanation proposed by Dreier (2004), Simpson (2018), and others: the two views might agree in their claims about truth and objectivity, or even in their attributions of semantic content to normative sentences, but they disagree about how to explain normative meaning. Realists explain meaning by invoking normative facts and properties, or representational relations between normative language and the world, the thought (...)
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  6. Deflating the Many Attitudes Problem.Derek Baker - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):1-18.
    Attitudinal embeddings, such as ‘I hope that murder is wrong’ or ‘she is glad that eating meat is not wrong’ are a less substantial problem for expressivists than is standardly thought. If expressivists are entitled to talk of normative beliefs, they can explain what it is to for an attitude to be semantically related to a normative content in terms of being functionally related to a belief with a normative content.
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  7. Practical Expressivism.Neil Sinclair - 2021 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    What is morality? In Practical Expressivism, I argue that morality is a purely natural interpersonal co-ordination device, whereby human beings express their attitudes in order to influence the attitudes and actions of others. -/- The ultimate goal of these expressions is to find acceptable ways of living together. This 'expressivist' model for understanding morality faces well-known challenges concerning 'saving the appearances' of morality, because morality presents itself to us as a practice of objective discovery, not pure expression. -/- This book (...)
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  8. Quasirealism as semantic dispensability.Derek Baker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2313-2333.
    I argue that standard explanationist solutions to the problem of creeping minimalism are largely on the right track, but they fail to correctly specify the kind of explanation that is relevant to distinguishing realism from quasirealism. Quasirealism should not be distinguished from realism in terms of the explanations it gives of why a normative judgment—a normative sentence or attitude—has the semantic content that it has. Rather, it should be distinguished in terms of the explanations it offers of what the semantic (...)
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  9. Quasi-Dependence.Selim Berker - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15:195-218.
    Quasi-realists aim to account for many of the trappings of metanormative realism within an expressivist framework. Chief among these is the realist way of responding to the Euthyphro dilemma: quasi-realists want to join realists in being able to say, "It’s not the case that kicking dogs is wrong because we disapprove of it. Rather, we disapprove of kicking dogs because it’s wrong." However, the standard quasi-realist way of explaining what we are up to when we assert the first of these (...)
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  10. Hume’s “Projectivism” Explained.Miren Boehm - 2020 - Synthese: Humeanisms.
    Hume appeals to a mysterious mental process to explain how to world appears to possess features that are not present in sense perceptions, namely causal, moral, and aesthetic properties. He famously writes that the mind spreads itself onto the external world, and that we stain or gild natural objects with our sentiments. Projectivism is founded on these texts but it assumes a reading of Hume’s language as merely metaphorical. This assumption, however, conflicts sharply with the important explanatory role that “spreading” (...)
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  11. Strawson's Quasi-Realism: Explaining Fact-Stating From the Bottom Up.Lionel Shapiro - 2020 - Flickering Shadows: Truth in 16mm.
    In this analysis of the filmed discussion between P.F. Strawson and Gareth Evans about truth (1973), I argue that both philosophers actually agree about truth, espousing a Ramseyan minimalism. Contrary to appearances, Strawson is not defending a pluralism about truth. Where Strawson and Evans disagree is about how to explain the "extensive coverage" of "fact-stating discourse." Strawson proposes the factuality of non-"primary" discourse (mathematical, moral, etc.) should be understood by analogical extension from that of "primary" empirical discourse. Evans resists such (...)
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  12. Rampant Non‐Factualism: A Metaphysical Framework and its Treatment of Vagueness.Alexander Jackson - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (2):79-108.
    Rampant non-factualism is the view that all non-fundamental matters are non-factual, in a sense inspired by Kit Fine (2001). The first half of this paper argues that if we take non-factualism seriously for any matters, such as morality, then we should take rampant non-factualism seriously. The second half of the paper argues that rampant non-factualism makes possible an attractive theory of vagueness. We can give non-factualist accounts of non-fundamental matters that nicely characterize the vagueness they manifest (if any). I suggest (...)
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  13. On Ground as a Guide to Realism.Emad H. Atiq - 2018 - Ratio 31 (2):165-178.
    According to Fine (among others), a nonbasic factual proposition must be grounded in facts involving those of its constituents that are both real and fundamental. But the principle is vulnerable to several dialectically significant counterexamples. It entails, for example, that a logical Platonist cannot accept that true disjunctions are grounded in the truth of their disjuncts; that a Platonist about mathematical objects cannot accept that sets are grounded in their members; and that a color primitivist cannot accept that an object’s (...)
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  14. Passions and Projections: Themes From the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn, Edited by R.N. Johnson and M. Smith. [REVIEW]Camil Golub - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (5):607-610.
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  15. Review of Robert N. Johnson and Michael Smith (Eds.), Passions & Projections: Themes From the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn[REVIEW]Noell Birondo - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):171-174.
    Simon Blackburn has not shied away from the use of vivid imagery in developing, over a long and prolific career, a large-scale philosophical vision. Here one might think, for instance, of ‘Practical Tortoise Raising’ or ‘Ramsey's Ladder’ or ‘Frege's Abyss’. Blackburn develops a ‘quasi-realist’ account of many of our philosophical and everyday commitments, both theoretical (e.g., modality and causation) and practical (e.g., moral judgement and normative reasons). Quasi-realism aims to provide a naturalistic treatment of its targeted phenomena while earning the (...)
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  16. I Can't Relax! You're Driving Me Quasi!Stephen Ingram - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (3).
    Robust Realists think that there are irreducible, non-natural, and mind-independent moral properties. Quasi-Realists and Relaxed Realists think the same, but interpret these commitments differently. Robust Realists interpret them as metaphysical commitments, to be defended by metaphysical argument. Quasi-Realists and Relaxed Realists say that they can only be interpreted as moral commitments. These theories thus pose a serious threat to Robust Realism, for they apparently undermine the very possibility of articulating the robust metaphysical commitments of this theory. I clarify and respond (...)
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  17. Metaethical Quietism.Douglas Kremm & Karl Schafer - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 643-658.
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  18. From Relative Truth to Finean Non-Factualism.Alexander Jackson - 2016 - Synthese 193 (3):971-989.
    This paper compares two ‘relativist’ theories about deliciousness: truth-relativism, and Kit Fine’s non-factualism about a subject-matter. Contemporary truth-relativism is presented as a linguistic thesis; its metaphysical underpinning is often neglected. I distinguish three views about the obtaining of worldly states of affairs concerning deliciousness, and argue that none yields a satisfactory version of truth-relativism. Finean non-factualism about deliciousness is not subject to the problems with truth-relativism. I conclude that Finean non-factualism is the better relativist theory. As I explain, non-facualism about (...)
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  19. Quasi-Realismus.Christine Tiefensee - 2016 - In Markus Rüther (ed.), Grundkurs Metaethik. Münster: Mentis. pp. 81-90.
    This chapter provides an introductory overview of quasi-realism and its key challenges.
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  20. Constructivism and Three Forms of Perspective‐Dependence in Metaethics.Karl Schafer - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):68-101.
  21. On Standing One's Ground.Neil Sinclair - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):422-431.
    I provide a positive expressivist account of the permissibility of ‘standing one’s ground’ in some cases of moral conflict, based in part on an illustrative analogy with political disputes. This account suffices to undermine Enoch’s recent argument against expressivism.
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  22. Resolute Expressivism.Nicholas Smyth - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):1-12.
    Over the years, metaethicists have witnessed the rise of a cottage industry devoted to claiming that expressivist analyses cannot capture some allegedly important feature of moral language. In this paper, I show how Simon Blackburn's pragmatist method enables him to respond decisively to many of these objections. In doing so, I hope to call into question some prevailing assumptions about the linguistic phenomena that a metaethical theory should be expected to capture.
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  23. Defending Moral Mind-Independence: The Expressivist’s Precarious Turn.Lisa Warenski - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):861-69.
    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 (...)
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  24. Truthmaking, Metaethics, and Creeping Minimalism.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):213-232.
    Creeping minimalism threatens to cloud the distinction between realist and anti-realist metaethical views. When anti-realist views equip themselves with minimalist theories of truth and other semantic notions, they are able to take on more and more of the doctrines of realism (such as the existence of moral truths, facts, and beliefs). But then they start to look suspiciously like realist views. I suggest that creeping minimalism is a problem only if moral realism is understood primarily as a semantic doctrine. I (...)
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  25. 22 Ethics Makes Strange Bedfellows: Intuitions and Quasi-Realism.Matt Bedke - 2013 - In Matthew C. Haug (ed.), Philosophical Methodology: The Armchair or the Laboratory? Routledge. pp. 416.
    You know the story. You have a few intuitions. You propose a few theories that fit them. It’s a living. Of course, things are more complicated than this. We are sensitive to counterexamples raised by others and wish to accommodate or explain away an ever-wider base of intuitive starting points. And a great deal of the action occurs in rational reflection that can alter what is intuitive, and in theorizing that overturns formerly justified beliefs and moves us to new justified (...)
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  26. Quasi-Realism, Absolutism, and Judgment-Internal Correctness Conditions.Gunnar Björnsson - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 96-120.
    The traditional metaethical distinction between cognitivist absolutism,on the one hand, and speaker relativism or noncognitivism, on the other,seemed both clear and important. On the former view, moral judgmentswould be true or false independently on whose judgments they were, andmoral disagreement might be settled by the facts. Not so on the latter views. But noncognitivists and relativists, following what Simon Blackburn has called a “quasi-realist” strategy, have come a long way inmaking sense of talk about truth of moral judgments and itsindependence (...)
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  27. The Problem With (Quasi-Realist) Expressivism.Stephen Davey - 2012 - Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):33-41.
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  28. Quasi-Realism and the Problem of Unexplained Coincidence.Jamie Dreier - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (3):269-287.
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  29. Comments on Stephen Davey’s “The Problem With (Quasi-Realist) Expressivism”.Mark Silcox - 2012 - Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (2):9-13.
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  30. Expressivism and the Value of Truth.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):877-883.
    This paper is a reply to Michael Lynch's "Truth, Value and Epistemic Expressivism" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research for 2009. It argues that Lynch's argument against expressivism fails because of an ambiguity in the employed notion of an 'epistemically disengaged standpoint'.
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  31. Expressivist Explanations.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2):147-177.
    In this paper I argue that the common practice of employing moral predicates as explaining phrases can be accommodated on an expressivist account of moral practice. This account does not treat moral explanations as in any way second-rate or derivative, since it subsumes moral explanations under the general theory of program explanations (as defended by Jackson and Pettit). It follows that the phenomenon of moral explanations cannot be used to adjudicate the debate between expressivism and its rivals.
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  32. The Explanationist Argument for Moral Realism.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):1-24.
    In this paper I argue that the explanationist argument in favour of moral realism fails. According to this argument, the ability of putative moral properties to feature in good explanations provides strong evidence for, or entails, the metaphysical claims of moral realism. Some have rejected this argument by denying that moral explanations are ever good explanations. My criticism is different. I argue that even if we accept that moral explanations are (sometimes) good explanations the metaphysical claims of realism do not (...)
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  33. Moral Expressivism and Sentential Negation.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):385-411.
    This paper advances three necessary conditions on a successful account of sentential negation. First, the ability to explain the constancy of sentential meaning across negated and unnegated contexts (the Fregean Condition). Second, the ability to explain why sentences and their negations are inconsistent, and inconsistent in virtue of the meaning of negation (the Semantic Condition). Third, the ability of the account to generalize regardless of the topic of the negated sentence (the Generality Condition). The paper discusses three accounts of negation (...)
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  34. Mind-Independence Without the Mystery: Why Quasi-Realists Can’T Have It Both Ways.Sharon Street - 2011 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 6. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-32.
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  35. Truth and a Priori Possibility: Egan’s Charge Against Quasi Realism.Simon Blackburn - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):201-213.
    In this journal Andy Egan argued that, contrary to what I have claimed, quasi-realism is committed to a damaging asymmetry between the way a subject regards himself and the way he regards others. In particular, a subject must believe it to be a priori that if something is one of his stable or fundamental beliefs, then it is true. Whereas he will not hold that this is a priori true of other people. In this paper I rebut Egan's argument, and (...)
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  36. The Delicate Causalist: Reply to My Critics on "Hume's Theory of Causation: A Quasi-Realist Interpretation".Angela Coventry - 2009 - Manuscrito — Revista Internacional de Filosofia 32 (2).
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  37. Recent Work in Expressivism.Neil Sinclair - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):136-147.
    This paper is a concise survey of recent expressivist theories of discourse, focusing on the ethical case. For each topic discussed recent trends are summarised and suggestions for further reading provided. Issues covered include: the nature of the moral attitude; ‘hybrid’ views according to which moral judgements express both beliefs and attitudes; the quasi-realist programmes of Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard; the problem of creeping minimalism; the nature of the ‘expression’ relation; the Frege-Geach problem; the problem of wishful thinking; the (...)
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  38. Moral Realism, QuasiRealism, and Skepticism.Terence Cuneo - 2008 - In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press. pp. 176.
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  39. Free Thinking for Expressivists.Neil Sinclair - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (2):263-287.
    This paper elaborates and defends an expressivist account of the claims of mind-independence embedded in ordinary moral thought. In response to objections from Zangwill and Jenkins it is argued that the expressivist 'internal reading' of such claims is compatible with their conceptual status and that the only 'external reading' available doesn't commit expressivisists to any sort of subjectivism. In the process a 'commitment-theoretic' account of the semantics of conditionals and negations is defended.
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  40. Review of Angela Coventry, Hume's Theory of Causation: A Quasi-Realist Interpretation[REVIEW]John Biro - 2007 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (4).
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  41. Quasi-Realism and Fundamental Moral Error.Andy Egan - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):205 – 219.
    A common first reaction to expressivist and quasi-realist theories is the thought that, if these theories are right, there's some objectionable sense in which we can't be wrong about morality. This worry turns out to be surprisingly difficult to make stick - an account of moral error as instability under improving changes provides the quasi-realist with the resources to explain many of our concerns about moral error. The story breaks down, though, in the case of fundamental moral error. This is (...)
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  42. Pragmatism, Quasi-Realism, and the Global Challenge.Huw Price & David Macarthur - 2007 - In Cheryl Misak (ed.), New Pragmatists. Oxford University Press. pp. 91-121.
    William James said that sometimes detailed philosophical argument is irrelevant. Once a current of thought is really under way, trying to oppose it with argument is like planting a stick in a river to try to alter its course: “round your obstacle flows the water and ‘gets there just the same’”. He thought pragmatism was such a river. There is a contemporary river that sometimes calls itself pragmatism, although other titles are probably better. At any rate it is the denial (...)
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  43. Propositional Clothing and Belief.Neil Sinclair - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):342-362.
    Moral discourse is propositionally clothed, that is, it exhibits those features – such as the ability of its sentences to intelligibly embed in conditionals and other unasserted contexts – that have been taken by some philosophers to be constitutive of discourses that express propositions. If there is nothing more to a mental state being a belief than it being characteristically expressed by sentences that are propositionally clothed then the version of expressivism which accepts that moral discourse is propositionally clothed (‘quasi-realism’) (...)
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  44. Antirealist Expressivism and Quasi-Realism.Simon Blackburn - 2006 - In David Copp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 146--162.
    Expressivism is the view that the function of normative sentences is not to represent a kind of fact, but to avow attitudes, prescribe behavior, or the like. The idea can be found in David Hume. In the 20th century, G.E. Moore’s Open Question Argument provided important support for the view. Elizabeth Anscombe introduced the notion of “direction of fit,” which helped distinguish expressivism from a kind of naive subjectivism. The central advantage of expressivism is that it easily explains the motivational (...)
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  45. Hume's Theory of Causation: A Quasi-Realist Interpretation.Angela Coventry - 2006 - Continuum Books.
    Presents an interpretation of David Hume's account of what a 'cause' is. This book emphasises on the connections between Hume's theories of cause, space and time, morals, and aesthetics.
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  46. Lewis and Blackburn on Quasi-Realism and Fictionalism.C. S. Jenkins - 2006 - Analysis 66 (4):315–319.
    Lewis has argued that quasi-realism is fictionalism. Blackburn denies this, offering reasons which rely on a descriptive reading of quasi-realism. This note offers a different, more general argument against Lewis's claim, available to prescriptive as well as descriptive quasi-realists.
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  47. Saving the Ethical Appearances.Michael Ridge - 2006 - Mind 115 (459):633-650.
    An important worry about what Simon Blackburn has called ‘quasi-realism’ is that it collapses into realism full-stop. Edward Harcourt has recently pressed the worry about collapse into realism in an original way. Harcourt presents the challenge in the form of a dilemma. Either ethical discourse appears to ordinary speakers to express representational states or not. If the former then expressivism means that this appearance is not saved after all, in which case quasi-realism fails in its own terms. If the latter, (...)
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  48. The Moral Belief Problem.Neil Sinclair - 2006 - Ratio 19 (2):249–260.
    The moral belief problem is that of reconciling expressivism in ethics with both minimalism in the philosophy of language and the syntactic discipline of moral sentences. It is argued that the problem can be solved by distinguishing minimal and robust senses of belief, where a minimal belief is any state of mind expressed by sincere assertoric use of a syntactically disciplined sentence and a robust belief is a minimal belief with some additional property R. Two attempts to specify R are (...)
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  49. Quasi-Realism No Fictionalism.Simon Blackburn - 2005 - In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 322--338.
  50. Quasi-Realism and Ethical Appearances.Edward Harcourt - 2005 - Mind 114 (454):249-275.
    The paper develops an attack on quasi-realism in ethics, according to which expressivism about ethical discourse—understood as the thesis that the states that discourse expresses are non-representational—is consistent with some of the discourse's familiar surface features, thus ‘saving the ethical appearances’. A dilemma is posed for the quasi-realist. Either ethical discourse appears, thanks to those surface features, to express representational states, or else there is no such thing as its appearing to express such states. If the former then, by expressivism, (...)
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