Expressivism, Anti-Archimedeanism and Supervenience

Author(s): Tiefensee, Christine
Title of the Journal: Res Publica : a journal of moral, legal and political philosophy
ISSN: 1572-8692, 1356-4765
Publisher Information: Springer
Year of publication: 2014
Volume: 20
Issue: 2
Pages: 163-181
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1007/s11158-014-9239-9
Metaethics is traditionally understood as a non-moral discipline that examines moral judgements from a standpoint outside of ethics. This orthodox understanding has recently come under pressure from anti-Archimedeans, such as Ronald Dworkin and Matthew Kramer, who proclaim that rather than assessing morality from an external perspective, metaethical theses are themselves substantive moral claims. In this paper, I scrutinise this anti-Archimedean challenge as applied to the metaethical position of expressivism. More precisely, I examine the claim that expressivists do not avoid moral commitments when accounting for moral thought, but instead presuppose them; they do not look at ethics from the outside, but operate from within ethics. This paper defends the non-moral status of expressivism against anti-Archimedeanism by rejecting a new anti-Archimedean challenge which, on the basis of Hume’s Law, aims to exploit expressivist explanations of supervenience in order to show that expressivism is a substantive moral position.
Keywords: Expressivism, Minimalism, Anti-Archimedeanism, Supervenience, Metaethics
Type: Article
Release Date: 11. May 2022