Shapelessness and the Thick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article aims to clarify the view that thick concepts are irreducibly thick. I do this by putting the disentangling argument in its place and then setting out what nonreductivists about the thick are committed to. To distinguish the view from possible reductive accounts, defenders of irreducible thickness are, I argue, committed to the claim that evaluative concepts and properties are nonevaluatively shapeless. This in turn requires a commitment to (radical) holism and particularism. Nonreductivists are also committed to the claim that a thick concept is in itself evaluative, and not evaluative because of any link to thin evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-520
JournalEthics: An International Journal of Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • metaethics
  • thick concepts
  • nonnaturalism
  • noncognitivism


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