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Moral realism and two-dimensional semantics


Henning, T (2011). Moral realism and two-dimensional semantics. Ethics, 121(4):717-748.

Abstract

Moral realists can, and should, allow that the truth-conditional content of moral judgments is in part attitudinal. I develop a two-dimensional semantics that embraces attitudinal content while preserving realist convictions about the independence of moral facts from our attitudes. Relative to worlds “considered as counterfactual,” moral terms rigidly track objective, response-independent properties. But relative to different ways the actual world turns out to be, they nonrigidly track whatever properties turn out to be the objects of our relevant attitudes. This theory provides realists with a satisfactory account of Moral Twin Earth cases and an improved response to Blackburn’s supervenience argument.

Moral realists can, and should, allow that the truth-conditional content of moral judgments is in part attitudinal. I develop a two-dimensional semantics that embraces attitudinal content while preserving realist convictions about the independence of moral facts from our attitudes. Relative to worlds “considered as counterfactual,” moral terms rigidly track objective, response-independent properties. But relative to different ways the actual world turns out to be, they nonrigidly track whatever properties turn out to be the objects of our relevant attitudes. This theory provides realists with a satisfactory account of Moral Twin Earth cases and an improved response to Blackburn’s supervenience argument.

Citations

4 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:31 Oct 2011 13:53
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:03
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0014-1704
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1086/660695

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