Disagreement lost and found

Book chapter

Finlay, Stephen. (2017). Disagreement lost and found. In In R. Shafer-Landau (Ed.). Oxford Studies in Metaethics; Volume 12 pp. 187 - 205 Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198805076.003.0008
AuthorsFinlay, Stephen
EditorsR. Shafer-Landau

According to contextualist and other content-relativist views in metaethics, different speakers use the same moral and normative sentences to say different things. These views face a classic problem of Lost Disagreement, which they attempt to solve by identifying pragmatic, non-content-based kinds of disagreement. This chapter critically compares two broad strategies of this kind, (1) quasi-expressivist views that analyze disagreement over whether S ought to do A in terms of conflicting attitudes towards S doing A, and (2) metalinguistic views that analyze such disagreement in terms of conflicting attitudes towards how to talk about S’s doing A. While the main objection to quasi-expressivist views (concerning the felicity of semantic negation markers like “wrong,” “incorrect,” and “false”) fails, objections to metalinguistic views are argued to be decisive. Content-relativists should be quasi-expressivists about fundamental normative disagreement.

Keywordsmoral disagreement; normative disagreement; contextualism; relativism; quasi-expressivism; metalinguistic; pragmatics
Page range187 - 205
Book titleOxford Studies in Metaethics; Volume 12
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationNew York, United States of America
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198805076.003.0008
Research GroupDianoia Institute of Philosophy
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