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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.


Dianoia Institute of Philosophy

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Book Chapter

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