Expressivist Moral Abolitionism
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Type of Work21 pages
journal articles postprints
Citation of Original PublicationCampbell, Eric; Expressivist Moral Abolitionism; Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2020); https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00048402.2020.1815065?
RightsThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Australasian Journal of Philosophy on 2020-09-22, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00048402.2020.1815065?
Moral abolitionists argue that ordinary moral discourse has downsides substantial enough to warrant abandoning the discourse in favour of some replacement(s). Their most common critique is that the ‘realist’ character of moral discourse inhibits important forms of self-awareness. Until recently, metaethicists had operated on the assumption that abolitionism depends on error theory. To this day, there has been no discernible recognition that well-established metaethical views might strongly support abolitionism, despite rejecting error theory. Here I argue that expressivism supports abolitionism and fits very poorly with quasi-realism. That is because (1) the quasi-realist strategy for defeating error theory helps abolitionists by entailing that they have no need of error theory, (2) expressivist interpretations of belief in realism strongly support abolitionist critiques from self-awareness, and (3) there is an inherent instability between expressivism and quasi-realism, while abolitionism and expressivism fit very nicely together.