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On What MattersVolume Three$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778608.001.0001

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Quasi-Realist Expressivism

Quasi-Realist Expressivism

Chapter:
(p.165) 45 Quasi-Realist Expressivism
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0010

This chapter explains how, for quasi-realism to be a distinctive meta-ethical view, quasi-realists must use the word ‘true’ in some stronger, more-than-minimal sense. It demonstrates this sense through an assumption that, when we make some claims which seem to be meta-ethical, we are really making first-order, normative claims. In addition, the chapter argues that, when we believe that some act is wrong, most of us assume that our belief is, or at least might be, true. If expressivists deny that such beliefs might be true, they should become error theorists. Quasi-realist expressivists could instead claim that, when we say that some act is wrong, we both express an attitude of being against such acts, and claim that, in having this attitude, we are getting things right. If we are getting things right, such claims would be true. This wider version of quasi-realism would be one form of cognitivism.

Keywords:   quasi-realism, quasi-realist expressivism, meta-ethical views, expressivism, cognitivism, moral truth

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