Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):651-666 (2020)

N. D. Cannon
Florida State University
In this paper, I criticize the pairing of irreducible thickness with the traditional view of evaluation which says evaluation is a matter of encoding good or bad in some way. To do this, I first explicate the determination view, which holds that irreducibly thick concepts are to thin concepts as determinates are to determinables. I then show that, even if the determination view did establish irreducible thickness, it would not have proven that the evaluative is well understood as being an instance of the determination relation; in order to do that, the determination view needs to show how the evaluative fit a general analysis of the determination relation. However, when the determination view attempts to fill in the analysis, we get implausible results—so implausible, I claim, that we should see the results as a reductio to the view. To generalize the criticism to any view like the determination view, I show that the same results ensue when we model the evaluative on mereology. Finally, I diagnose the general failure by claiming that the evaluative domain, as conceived by the defender of irreducible thickness, just does not have the structure to secure the tight connection between thick and thin concepts while also carving up our conceptual economy in a plausible way.
Keywords Metaethics  Thick Concepts  Evaluation  Irreducible Thickness  Determinate-Determinable Relation
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-020-10108-w
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References found in this work BETA

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Thick Concepts.Debbie Roberts - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):677-688.
The Logical Structure of Kinds.Eric Funkhouser - 2014 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Thick Ethical Concepts.Pekka Väyrynen - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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