Two nondescriptivist views of normative and evaluative statements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The dominant route to nondescriptivist views of normative and evaluative language is through the expressivist idea that normative terms have distinctive expressive roles in conveying our attitudes. This paper explores an alternative route based on two ideas. First, a core normative term ‘ought’ is a modal operator; and second, modal operators play a distinctive nonrepresentational role in generating meanings for the statements in which they figure. I argue that this provides for an attractive alternative to expressivist forms of nondescriptivism about normative language. In the final section of the paper, I explore ways it might be extended to evaluative language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Early online date15 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • metaethics
  • expressivism
  • inferentialism
  • representationalism
  • modals


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