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Impassioned Belief$
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Michael Ridge

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682669.001.0001

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Locating Normative Thought and Discourse

Locating Normative Thought and Discourse

(p.15) 1 Locating Normative Thought and Discourse
Impassioned Belief

Michael Ridge

Oxford University Press

This chapter situates normative discourse in a broader semantic framework. It argues that normative claims are typically made with context-sensitive words, which are also used to make non-normative claims. Recognizing this context-sensitivity helps build the case that normative judgments are well understood in terms of standards, which in turn provides a new framework for Ecumenical Expressivism. The chapter proposes that normative judgments be understood in terms of their distinctive function, arguing that it is judgments about what any acceptable standard of practical reasoning would permit, encourage, require, rank highly, etc. which constitute our normative judgments. Crucially, the debate between cognitivists and expressivists can then be understood as a debate about the meta-semantics for claims about what any such acceptable standards would be like.

Keywords:   normative discourse, normative claims, semantics, Ecumenical Expressivism, normative judgments, meta-semantics

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