Thursday, December 02, 2010

Interesting Recent Paper on Expressivism and Divine Command Ethics

Unwin, Nicholas. "Divine Hoorays: Some Parallels Between Expressivism and Religious Ethics", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research LXXVII No. 3 (November 2008), pp. 659-684.

Here's the abstract:
Divine law theories of metaethics claim that moral rightness is grounded in God’s commands, wishes and so forth. Expressivist theories, by contrast, claim that to call something morally right is to express our own attitudes, not to report on God’s. Ostensibly, such views are incompatible. However, we shall argue that a rapprochement is possible and beneficial to both sides. Expressivists need to explain the difference between reporting and expressing an attitude, and to address the Frege-Geach problem. Divine law theorists need to get past the Euthyphro dilemma, and to avoid moral externalism. This paper shows how a combined theory helps us to achieve this.

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