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Impassioned Belief

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Impassioned Belief by Ridge, Michael, 9780199682669
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  • ISBN: 9780199682669 | 0199682666
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 5/13/2014
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Impassioned Belief presents an original expressivist theory of normative judgments. According to his Ecumenical Expressivism normative judgements are hybrid states partly constituted by ordinary beliefs and partly constituted by desire-like states. Michael Ridge builds on a series of articles in which he has developed this theory, but moves beyond them in the following key respects. First, Ridge now more sharply distinguishes semantics from meta-semantics, situating Ecumenical Expressivism firmly on the meta-semantic side of this divide, thus enabling Ecumenical Expressivism to accommodate a fully truth-conditional approach to first-order semantics. Second, this distinction allows Ridge to offer a distinctive contextualist semantic framework for normative discourse. Contra orthodox presuppositions, a contextualist semantics does not entail cognitivism-at least not if we carefully heed the semantics/meta-semantics distinction. Third, because this contextualist framework is couched in terms of standards, Ridge now rejects his previous 'ideal advisor' approach and instead adopts a theory couched in terms of acceptable standards of practical reasoning. This has interesting consequences for longstanding debates over the context-sensitivity of reasons, the so-called 'buck-passing' theory of value, and the role of principles in normative thought ('particularism' versus 'generalism'). Fourth, drawing on the work of Scott Soames, Ridge develops a novel theory of normative propositions, according to which they are a certain kind of cognitive event type. Somewhat surprisingly, this conception allows that there can be irreducible normative propositions, even given expressivism. Fifth, Ridge offers a novel approach to talk of truth which enables expressivists to accommodate truth-aptness without committing themselves to deflationism about truth. In fact, the theory is flexible enough that it can elegantly be combined even with a robust correspondence conception of truth. In addition, Ridge offers an improved solution to the dreaded 'Frege-Geach' problem (one which better preserves the formal nature of logic than his previous account), a novel theory of disagreement itself, a rather different sort of 'hybrid' treatment of rationality discourse, and an independently useful taxonomy and critical survey of the bewildering variety of other 'hybrid' approaches in the literature.

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