James Mahon
Lehman College (CUNY)
In this review I examine Cuneo's comparison of the non-normative, perlocutionary-intention theory of speech acts (Grice) with the normative theory of speech acts (Searle and Alston) and the moral theory of speech acts (Wolterstorff, Cuneo) in his transcendental argument for moral realism (since moral facts are among the necessary conditions for the possibility of speech acts, and since there are speech acts (asserting, promising, asking questions, issuing commands, etc.), it follows that moral facts exist). I argue that Cuneo does not establish that moral facts are among the necessary conditions for the possibility of speech acts. I also argue that the moral realism he defends is less moral than most, since he denies that moral reasons must be categorical or necessarily motivating.
Keywords Moral Realism  Speech Act  Lying  Meta-ethics  Non-cognitivism  Grice  Searle  Assertion  Categorical Reasons  Motivation
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