How not to avoid wishful thinking

In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave-Macmillan (2010)
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Expressivists famously have important and difficult problems with semantics and logic. Their difficulties providing an adequate account of the semantics of material conditionals involving moral terms, and explaining why they have the right semantic and logical properties – for example, why they validate modus ponens – have received a great deal of attention. Cian Dorr [2002] points out that their problems do not stop here, but also extend to epistemology. The problem he poses for expressivists is the problem of wishful thinking. David Enoch [2003] has claimed that expressivists can avoid wishful thinking, and offered a fairly detailed account of how. In this paper I explain the details of Enoch’s account, and why his reasoning fails in several different places.



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Mark Schroeder
University of Southern California

Citations of this work

Prospects for an Expressivist Theory of Meaning.Nate Charlow - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15:1-43.
Are expressivists guilty of wishful thinking?Robert Mabrito - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1069-1081.

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References found in this work

The Language of Morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1952 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The language of morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1952 - Oxford,: Clarendon Press.
Wise Choices, Apt Feelings.Allan Gibbard - 1990 - Ethics 102 (2):342-356.
Language, Truth, and Logic.A. J. Ayer - 1936 - Philosophy 23 (85):173-176.

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