Metaethics, teleosemantics and the function of moral judgements

Sinclair, Neil (2012) Metaethics, teleosemantics and the function of moral judgements. Biology and Philosophy . ISSN 0169-3867

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This paper applies the theory of teleosemantics to the issue of moral content. Two versions of teleosemantics are distinguished: input-based and output-based. It is argued that applying either to the case of moral judgements generates the conclusion that such judgements have both descriptive (belief-like) and directive (desire-like) content, intimately entwined. This conclusion directly validates neither descriptivism nor expressivism, but the application of teleosemantics to moral content does leave the descriptivist with explanatory challenges which the expressivist does not face. Since teleosemantics ties content to function, the paper also offers an account of the evolutionary function of moral judgements.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The original publication is available at
Schools/Departments:Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities > Department of Philosophy
ID Code:1608
Deposited By:Sinclair, Dr Neil
Deposited On:12 Apr 2012 10:11
Last Modified:12 Apr 2012 10:11

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