Projection and Pretence in Ethics

Philosophical Papers 41 (2):181 - 208 (2012)
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Abstract Suppose one is persuaded of the merits of noncognitivism in ethics but not those of expressivism: in such a case, a form of moral fictionalism, combining a descriptivist account of moral sentences with a noncognitivist account of the attitudes involved in their acceptance or rejection, might seem an attractive alternative. This paper argues against the use of moral fictionalism as a strategy for defending noncognitivism in ethics. It argues, first, that the view is implausible as it stands and, second, that it does not enjoy the benefits over standard?expressivist?noncognitivism both that it claims to enjoy and that make up the principal rationale for the view. The paper then turns to the grounds for noncognitivism itself before showing how far the criticisms developed extend to alternative forms of moral fictionalism and developing independent objections to each



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Edmund Dain
Providence College

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References found in this work

Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Assertion.Peter Geach - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (4):449-465.
Modal fictionalism.Gideon Rosen - 1990 - Mind 99 (395):327-354.

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