Some remarks on the Frege-Geach embedding problem

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Keywords: 
Frege, Gottlob. 1848-1925
Language and languages -- Philosophy.
Frege-Geach
Embedding problem
Meta-ethical expressivism
Normative logic.
Abstract: 

Expressivist theories of moral discourse deny that moral judgments express truth-apt propositions or that they correspond to moral facts. Rather, moral judgments are taken to express non-truth-apt and action-guiding attitudes of approval or disapproval. As a result, the classical accounts of validity, consistency and logical consequence cannot be directly applied to moral discourse. These logical limitations are exploited by the Frege-Geach embedding problem, which challenges expressivism to account for the fact that moral sentences can be embedded into truth-functional contexts, and that they can figure as premises in valid arguments. This thesis examines the embedding problem in detail, and analyzes two prominent expressivist responses to it: Simon Blackburn's logic of attitudes, and Allan Gibbard's normative logic. It will be argued that neither response presents a complete solution to the embedding problem. Then some alternative proposals will be investigated.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
Senior supervisor: 
F
Department: 
Dept. of Philosophy - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)
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