1st Edition

Normativity and the Problem of Representation

Edited By Matthew S. Bedke, Stefan Sciaraffa Copyright 2020
    340 Pages
    by Routledge

    338 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book tackles questions which revolve around the representational purport (or lack thereof) of evaluative and normative claims.

    Claims about what we ought to do, what is best, what is justified, or simply what counts as a good reason for action—in other words, evaluative or normative claims—are familiar. But when we pause to ask what these claims mean and what we are doing when we use them, puzzles arise. Are there facts of the matter about what ought to be done, much like there are facts of the matter about mathematics or the natural world? If so, "ought claims" are probably trying to represent the "ought facts". Alternatively, perhaps there are no evaluative facts, in which case evaluative claims are either trying to represent facts which do not exist, or evaluative claims are not in the representation business to begin with. The latter option is intriguing, and it is the subject of much recent work in expressivism, pragmatism, and semantic relativism. But if ought claims are not representing anything as factual, why do we think such claims are true or false, and what are we doing when we disagree with one another about them? This book sheds light on this important area of philosophy.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Philosophy.

    1. Gripped by authority

    Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons

    2. Expressivism, meaning, and all that

    Sebastian Köhler

    3. Relativism and the expressivist bifurcation

    Javier González de Prado Salas

    4. Perspectival representation and fallacies in metaethics

    Max Kölbel

    5. Two nondescriptivist views of normative and evaluative statements

    Matthew Chrisman

    6. The unity of moral attitudes: recipe semantics and credal exaptation

    Derek Shiller

    7. Neo-pragmatism, morality, and the specification problem

    Joshua Gert

    8. Building bridges with words: an inferential account of ethical univocity

    Mark Douglas Warren

    9. Keeping track of what’s right

    Laura Schroeter and François Schroeter

    10. Solving the problem of creeping minimalism

    Matthew Simpson

    11. The real and the quasi-real: problems of distinction

    Jamie Dreier

    12. Representing ethical reality: a guide for worldly non-naturalists

    William J. FitzPatrick

    13. A semantic challenge to non-realist cognitivism

    David Copp

    14. Moral supervenience

    Anandi Hattiangadi

    15. Why conceptual competence won’t help the non-naturalist epistemologist

    Preston J. Werner


    Matthew S. Bedke is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He specializes in meta-ethics and meta-normativity and his work addresses topics such as the nature and psychology of normativity, debunking arguments in ethics, and motivational internalism.

    Stefan Sciaraffa is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University, Canada. He specializes in political philosophy, the philosophy of law, and metaethics. His work addresses the institutional structures, attitudes, behaviours, practical reasoning, and discourse that constitute relationships of political community.