Why the Negation Problem Is Not a Problem for Expressivism

Noûs 48 (2):824-845 (2014)
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Abstract

The Negation Problem states that expressivism has insufficient structure to account for the various ways in which a moral sentence can be negated. We argue that the Negation Problem does not arise for expressivist accounts of all normative language but arises only for the specific examples on which expressivists usually focus. In support of this claim, we argue for the following three theses: 1) a problem that is structurally identical to the Negation Problem arises in non-normative cases, and this problem is solved once the hidden quantificational structure involved in such cases is uncovered; 2) the terms ‘required’, ‘permissible’, and ‘forbidden’ can also be analyzed in terms of hidden quantificational structure, and the Negation Problem disappears once this hidden structure is uncovered; 3) the Negation Problem does not arise for normative language that has no hidden quantificational structure. We conclude that the Negation Problem is not really a problem about expressivism at all but is rather a feature of the quantificational structure of the required, permitted, and forbidden

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Author Profiles

Jeremy Schwartz
Texas Tech University
Christopher Hom
Texas Tech University

Citations of this work

Advice for Noncognitivists.Malte Willer - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):174–207.
A Primitive Solution to the Negation Problem.Derek Shiller - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (3):725-740.

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References found in this work

The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
The methods of ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1874 - Bristol, U.K.: Thoemmes Press. Edited by Emily Elizabeth Constance Jones.
Thinking how to live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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