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Expressivism and the practicality of moral convictions

Sinclair, Neil

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Abstract

Many expressivists have employed a claim about the practicality of morality in support of their view that moral convictions are not purely descriptive mental states. In this paper I argue that all extant arguments of this form fail. I distinguish six versions of such arguments and argue that in each case either the sense of practicality the argument employs is too weak, in which case there is no reason to think that descriptive states cannot be practical or the sense of practicality the argument employs is too strong, in which case there is no reason to think moral convictions are practical. I also discuss and dismiss an attempted patch of such arguments provided by Humean Psychology. The conclusion is that expressivists need to look to sources other than the alleged practicality of morality to support their position. In concluding remarks I suggest one such alternative.

Citation

Sinclair, N. (2007). Expressivism and the practicality of moral convictions. Journal of Value Inquiry, 41(2-4), doi:10.1007/s10790-007-9080-x

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2007
Deposit Date Mar 14, 2012
Publicly Available Date Mar 14, 2012
Journal The Journal of Value Inquiry
Electronic ISSN 0022-5363
Publisher Humana Press
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 2-4
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10790-007-9080-x
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/1600
Publisher URL http://www.springerlink.com/content/3q322g7625n72646/
Additional Information The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com

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