Have another PEAR!

I really liked BEARS, though it seems to be extinct now.  Uriah and Josh contributed a few juicy PEARs some weeks ago.  I like this idea and think we should do more Pea-Soup Electronic Article Reviews.

William Alston’s essay, "Moral Attitudes and Moral Judgments" (Nous 2:1 (1968), 1-23) is fairly old by the standards of work in metaethics, but one of the ideas he discusses has been gaining some recent popularity, and I’ve never seen his argument discussed.  He argues that the most plausible attempt to analyze moral judgment along expressivist lines leads to a dilemma for expressivists: the analysis is either circular, or the expressivist has to give up non-cognitivism.

He says that according to expressivists (all the following numbered propositions are Alston’s, but the numbering is different in the article),

1.  ‘x made a moral judgment about O’ =df. ‘x expressed a moral attitude toward O, [and x asserted (implied, presupposed, committed himself to its being the case that P]’.

The problem is providing an analysis of the right-hand side, what a moral attitude is.  He offers the following:

2.  ‘x has a moral attitude toward O’ =df. ‘(a) x is disposed to act for or against O, (b) x has affective dispositions that naturally go with (a), (c) x is prepared to make a moral judgment about O’.

The third condition, (c), gives rise to the first horn of the dilemma.  Moral judgment is analyzed in terms of the expression of a moral attitude (plus, perhaps, something else).  But a moral attitude involves the disposition to make a moral judgment, either pro- or con-, about the intentional object of the judgment.  But why think that (c) should be part of the analysis of moral attitude?

Alston’s answer is that (a) and (b) can’t provide sufficient conditions.  He writes:

I take it to be perfectly clear and uncontroversial that the class of moral attitudes is narrower than the class of "attitudes".  My preference for Munster cheese and my desire to be liked by people are clearly not moral attitudes (though of course it is conceivable that I may also morally approve of eating Muster cheese and that I may take it to be my duty to act so as to be liked by people).  Having pro-or-con dispositions toward an object is not sufficient for having a moral attitude toward that object (10).

(c) would just be the simplest way to distinguish between moral attitudes and all the other non-moral ones.

What else could replace (c) and help distinguish morally disapproving an object from simply disliking it, being annoyed by it, or thinking it very foolish?  Is there a way to make the distinction without having at some point to introduce the notion of a moral judgment?  Alston considers the idea that we pick out the moral attitudes by considering the kinds of feelings, emotions, or affective states involved in the attitude.  But how do we do that?  What’s the phenomenal difference between moral and non-moral emotions?  He doesn’t think there is one.  The only way to distinguish, e.g., moral indignation from annoyance is to notice that in the former one is prepared to judge the object as morally wrong.  So, we’ve only made the circle slightly bigger:  moral judgment is analyzed in terms of moral attitudes; moral attitudes are analyzed in terms of moral emotions; but, an analysis of moral emotions invokes moral judgments or the dispositions to make them.

A final attempt to make the distinction leads to the second horn of the dilemma.  He suggests that an attitude is a moral attitude if only moral considerations are relevant to its assessment or justification.  What makes a consideration or reason a moral one?  He offers a simple interest-based account:

3.  ‘x gave a moral reason for A’ =df. ‘x attempted to justify A by citing facts about the interests, needs, or desires of other people’.

Given this account, the following replaces (2):

4.  ‘x has a moral attitude toward O’ =df. ‘(a) x is disposed to act for or against O, (b) x has affective dispositions that naturally go with (a), (c) only considerations concerning the interests of others are relevant to the assessment of (a) and (b)’.

(4) allows (1) to escape circularity, but it gives up much of what typically makes (1) a kind of non-cognitivism.  This is because (4) entails that there are objective criteria for determining whether reasons given for or against moral judgments are relevant.  But (4) incorporated into (1) is still recognizable as a form of expressivism:

5.  ‘x made a moral judgment about O’ =df. ‘(a) x expressed pro-or-con action and affective dispositions towards O, [(b) x asserted (implied…) that P], (c) what x said, insofar as it goes beyond (b), can be justified only by considerations that have to do with the interests of others’.

So, if the most plausible account of expressivism is to be non-circular, it must build into the concept of moral attitude a set of objective criteria for their fittingness, like (5) does.

There’s lots of things to say, I think.  I’ll restrict myself to just one observation here.  It’s the analysis of moral judgment in (1) that leads to the dilemma.  Alston says that moral judgment is most plausibly analyzed in terms of moral attitudes.  He thinks that for the same reason having pro-or-con dispositions toward an object isn’t sufficient for having a moral attitude toward that object, expressing pro-or-con attitudes toward an object is not sufficient for having made a moral judgment about it. 

What about the following account?  According to expressivism, if x made a moral judgment about O, then x expressed an attitude toward O, [and x asserted (implied, etc.) that P]. Alston would apparently complain that this leaves moral judgment unanalyzed.

29 Replies to “Have another PEAR!

  1. BEARS is moribund but not quite dead.
    Dave Estlund and I intend to turn it into a section of JESP (which seems to be down at the moment).
    In its guise a a wholly owned subsidiary, BEARS will be all-symposia in format. The basic article review service just never took off — we never got to the stage we were hoping for, where lots of people would send unsolicited article reviews. (If more philosophers were like PEA Soupers we would have reached that stage long ago, I might add.)
    PEA Soup might very well succeed where BEARS has failed. I hope so. Good idea, Kyle.

  2. One widely accepted and distinctive feature of moral considerations is that they are overriding. Couldn’t you distinguish a moral attitude by adding a condition specifying that the agent is disposed to provide overriding significance to acting for or against O? So, as a first approximation, something like (2). In any case it avoids the circularity problem.
    2. ‘x has a moral attitude toward O’ =df. ‘(a) x is disposed to act for or against O, (b) x has affective dispositions that naturally go with (a), (c) x is disposed to provide overriding importance to acting for or against O.

  3. Nothing big to add here, except to note that it seems like Alston’s argument is a version of an arugment that I associate with Phillipa Foot (The paper was ‘Moral beliefs,’ I think): Expressivists (Foot was staking emotivists in particular) can’t claim that moral judgments are expressions of attitudes without discriminating among the various evaluative attitudes (cf. etiquette) that could be expressed in moral judgments. Hence, expressivists cannot deny that moral judgments msut have some descriptive content, since it is this descriptive content that will differentiate moral attitudes from other attitudes.

  4. Mike,
    Thanks. Your (c) is seems to be just a strengthened version of (a). It might could just replace (a). But I wonder whether it works. I think disgust would be just one example of a non-moral attitude that seems to fit the analysis in your (2).

  5. Kyle,
    I myself think that Gibbard has this about right, in WCAF, that ‘moral attitudes’ are psychological states of accepting norms for guilt, shame, and so on, regarding O. (His analysis itself is much more subtle, natch.)
    Regarding Alston’s proposal, he is right that moral attitudes are a subset of attitudes. But (from the quote anyway) he is wrong about the alternatives. Too primitive. It seems he’s working with much too small a set, as though the only choice is between ‘pro and con’ attidudes, and emotions with full-blown cognitive judgments of right and wrong attached. But Gibbard has shown we can do better.
    I think Mike’s notion of overridingness can be cast in these terms, viz., as the overridingness of norms.

  6. It would have to be moral disgust, wouldn’t it? You’d have to find some action/event/state of affairs disgusting from a moral point of view. That, I take it, would give you an overiding reason to avoid it; even if from a purely self-interested point of view you did not find it so unappealing. Marketing cigarettes to minors might evoke this.
    Small point, I’m less sure that (c) is a strenghtened version of (a). (c) does not describe a disposition to act, but a disposition to provide an overriding importance to certain acts. But (a) describes a disposition to act.

  7. I’m sorry Kyle, I misread your reply and so missed your point entirely. I don’t think non-moral disgust is overriding. You can be disgusted at what you are morally required to do. You might be disgusted at binding a severe wound, for instance, but moral requirements trump non-moral disgust.

  8. Some thoughts:
    Robert: A worry about taking the Gibbard route and associating moral attitudes with (roughly) acceptance of norms for apt reactive emotions. One question then is: which reactive emotions make an attitude moral? To illustrate: Gary Watson argued, in his essay on Strawson, that people like ML King and Gandhi can be understood as aspiring to an ideal that involves holding others morally responsible without expressing moralistic emotions such as indignation, resentment, guilt, etc. Jay Wallace responded (roughly) that people of that sort are not aspiring to a moral idea – they are aspiring to an ethical idea, but it is hard to see how that response is open to an expressivist. Watson’s point seems to tell against a simple stipulation of the moral-making sentiments by an expressivist.
    Mike: On the overridingness suggestion, it seems odd to me to say that someone pursuing, in overriding fashion, something like Kierkegaard’s aesthetic life is trying to live up to an alternative morality – like Kierkegaard, I would say he is pursuing an alternative to morality.

  9. As I recall (imperfectly, since I don’t have the book before me) Gibbard’s is not at all a simple view view of how guilt and resentment, etc. are the relevant emotions moral norms. He has a basically Millian view of ‘wrong’ as ‘what it makes sense to blame’; norms for what it makes sense to blame are, in turn, norms for what it makes sense to feel guilt, resentment, etc., for. These emotions are located by their roles vis-a-vis ‘normative governance’. The key move is to just reject the unargued assertion by cognitivists (as seems to show up in the Alston quote) that guilt feelings require (‘conceptually’) judging you’ve violated some norm.

  10. Fair enough about Gibbard having a much more subtle story. I meant to raise a doubt about this move: “norms for what it makes sense to blame are, in turn, norms for what it makes sense to feel guilt, resentment, etc., for.”
    You suggest that, “these emotions are located by their roles vis-a-vis ‘normative governance’.” Fair enough, but I think the point of the King/Gandhi example is to raise doubts about the *empirical* claim that guilt, indignation, etc. are the emotions that best fit these roles. If Gibbard (or anyone for that matter) can be wrong about the specific emotions that best fit the roles, then shouldn’t the view be put in terms of acceptance of whatever norms govern whatever behavior, emotions, etc. best fits the roles vis-a-vis normative governance?
    On guilt not involving cognitive moral judgments: how do we then distinguish moral guilt from non-moral guilt? The answer might well be: re-read WCAP.

  11. “. . . it seems odd to me to say that someone pursuing, in overriding fashion, something like Kierkegaard’s aesthetic life is trying to live up to an alternative morality”
    I think I don’t know what it means for someone to pursue an aesthetic life in an overriding fashion. But if you’re suggesting that reasons R for pursuing an aesthetic choice might override reasons R’ for fulfilling a moral obligation, then I suppose I would deny it.
    I guess that puts me in opposition to K, and I’m not happy about that. On the other hand, if it counts for anything, moral considerations are generally regarded (if not universally regarded) as distinctively overriding.

  12. Well I do not of course personally endorse the idea; I was just saying I don’t see why the idea is incoherent. I was assuming that the first part of Either/Or – the seducer section – gives us a picture of what it would be to treat the wrong kind of thing as overriding (it has been a long time since I read it).
    To clarify: my thought is that IF we take (a, b, & c) as being sufficient for an attitude’s being moral, THEN we are forced to interpret people who treat odd things as overriding as having odd *moral* views.
    Nonetheless, I agree that not many (thankfully) have such views and those who do have bad views – I just doubt their views a bad moral views.

  13. Thanks, Robert. I was hoping this would come up. So this is the view:
    2. ‘x has a moral attitude toward O’ =df. ‘(a) x is disposed to act for or against O, (b) x has affective dispositions that naturally go with (a), (c*) x accepts a system of norms that prescribes guilt or anger concerning O’.
    And maybe (c*) is even sufficient for ‘x has a moral attitude toward O’.
    Given the way Alston has argued, the question is whether this amounts to smuggling in the notion of a moral judgment again. This isn’t to say that it’s a full-blown cognitive judgment. Alston can allow that it’s not. But if the analysis of ‘x accepts a system of norms’ includes some notion of a moral judgment, then the analysis of moral judgment in (1) is ultimately circular.
    It’s hard for me to say one way or the other, though, because Gibbard doesn’t give an analysis of ‘x accepts a system of norms’; he says this can’t be done. And this part of Gibbard’s account isn’t too clear to me.

  14. For what it’s worth, I think Gibbard believes it’s an empirical (viz., psychological) question what the state of ‘norm acceptance’ is. That is probably why he doesn’t go in for much in the way of analysis of it. He just thinks (admittedly, deploying a ‘just so’ story and some healthy emprical assumptions about human beings) that there is some state that plays this role in our psychology. That state (the state that plays that role) is the state we express when we make moral judgments.

  15. “(c*) x accepts a system of norms that prescribes guilt or anger concerning O’.
    Given the way Alston has argued, the question is whether this amounts to smuggling in the notion of a moral judgment again.”
    I don’t see how a moral judgment gets “smuggled in”. Making a moral judgment consists partly in accepting a set of norms specifying when it is appropriate or inappropriate to feel guilt, anger, etc. That is part of what it is to make a moral judgment. But that is a far cry from claiming that making a moral judgment consists partly in accepting norms specifying when it is morally required to feel guilt, anger, etc.
    On a different point, you say of Alston’s account that,
    “…if the analysis of ‘x accepts a system of norms’ includes *some notion of a moral judgment*, then the analysis of moral judgment in (1) is ultimately circular”(my emphasis).
    I doubt it. To take one example, Colin McGuinn (cf. The Subjective View, OUP)
    noncircularly analyzes secondary qualities Q in such a way that [](x is Q iff. x (standardly) seems Q). So, on McGuinn’s account, being red consists simply in looking red. The analysandum occurs in the analysans unproblematically. I don’t see why things should be so different for Alston.

  16. Mike,
    Ok, right. I shouldn’t have put it that way because “includes some notion of” is way too broad. Rather, I think that if it ultimately turns out that ‘x accepts a system of norms that prescribes guilt or anger concerning O’ means ‘x is disposed to make a (negative) moral judgment about O’, then the account is circular. This is because (1) analyzes moral judgment in terms of moral attitudes, the new (2) analyzes moral attitudes in terms of this norm-acceptance state of mind, and we’ve now analyzed norm acceptance in terms of this disposition to make a moral judgment. I haven’t learned anything new or interesting about what a moral judgment is (but if McGuinn’s analysis of secondary qualities is right, I have learned something new and interesting about secondary qualities).
    I’m not saying Gibbard does this. I don’t know if he does, since I don’t know what he thinks norm acceptance is.

  17. You’ll need to read the book to get the subtleties of the view, but the basic idea is that there is an ordinary idea of what it is to accept a norm that marks out the area of our psychology. To accept a norm of etiquette — say, ‘Don’t belch at the table’ — is in part to be motivated not to belch at the table. One’s state, however, belongs to a system of motivation that is dedicated to planning and coordination with others (as opposed to systems that include bare cravings and the like.) That system allows us to control our behavior for the purpose of such coordination and planning. Acceptance of a norm, on the other hand, falls short of being in its grip, for instance, as when trivial norms overwhelm those with more weight (say, we refuse to violate norms of etiquette in order to conform to norms of not harming others). There’s more detail on how to sort out those norms with more and less authority. In any event, whatever psychological state plays that role is ‘norm acceptance’. It’s speculative psychology, but it’s enough to rebut the a priori objection. Or at least it seems so to me.

  18. Maybe Alston would argue Gibbard falls on the second horn or the dilemma:
    Given that Gibbard picks out the relevant norm system by appeal to the role it plays in planning and coordination with others, couldn’t Alston argue this is another version of the move discussed as proposition 5 in the original post above? Alston could say that Gibbard is importeding objective criteria that track our pre-theoretic conception of what a moral norm system is for.
    I do not, however, see exactly how this is a serious problem for the non-cognitivist. The theorist, not the person making the moral judgment, needs to advert to the objective criteria.

  19. I think you’re right that a defender of Alston might well make that move, and I think you’re also right why it’s not really a problem. One distinguishes moral from other normative judgments by looking at what the norms govern and how they govern it. Moral norms govern what it makes sense to blame, for instance. So moral judgments express acceptance of norms about such things. Sharpening is needed, of course, But not too much; there aren’t very sharp boundaries around these areas.

  20. Comment on proposal (4) from the original post:

    4. ‘x has a moral attitude toward O’ =df. ‘(a) x is disposed to act for or against O, (b) x has affective dispositions that naturally go with (a), (c) only considerations concerning the interests of others are relevant to the assessment of (a) and (b)’.

    I think (4c) must be misstated, because I think it would have the result that there probably are no moral attitudes. I can’t think of any example of a disposition to act such that only considerations about the interests of others are relevant to assessing it — so that, e.g., whether the action causes suffering or death to the agent is not even relevant to evaluating the disposition.
    A more defensible idea in the vicinity would be that a moral attitude is one that the subject takes to be justified by considerations involving the interests of others. However — and this is the point I really wanted to make — this is a very unusual view of morality. Very few people, apart from contemporary analytic ethicists, take their moral attitudes to be justifiable solely in terms of the interests of others. For example, about half of Americans believe homosexuality to be “immoral”, but this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the interests of others. The psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done some research showing that plenty of moral attitudes, like that one, have little or nothing to do with judgements about harms or benefits.
    Haidt has some other interesting cases involving such things as eating the family dog after it dies of natural causes, cleaning the toilet with the national flag, and harmless brother-sister incest.

  21. Comments about overridingness:
    a) It seems like it would be possible to have an amoral egoist: a person who has no moral judgements or motivations, and who takes his own interests as the only thing that matters. I don’t think the two parts of that are inconsistent.
    b) It also seems that it would be possible to have a person who accepts some moral judgements but does not attach overriding importance to them. Actually, some analytic ethicists fall into this category. I think Peter Singer is one–he doesn’t think that it is always most rational to do what is moral.

  22. As they stand, I don’t think I’d deny either (a) or (b). The fact that moral reasons are overriding does not entail that an amoralist cannot ignore them. Nor does it entail, as far as I can see, any form of internalism, so the amoralist might fail to be motivated by the overriding reasons.
    My physician’s considered reasons prescribing daily exercise surely outweigh my palm reader’s considered reasons prescribing that I forgo any further exercise. But I can certainly ignore the physician. I can even believe (falsely) that the palm reader’s reasons are weightier. I can even believe falsely and justifiably that the palm reader’s reasons are weightier. Same for the egoist, when it comes to ignoring moral obligations.
    Concerning (b), I agree that it’s possible not to place overriding significance on moral considerations. For instance, I don’t think any weaker moral consideration outweighs any prudential consideration, however great. I don’t deny, for example, that there is some moral reason to give all of what you own to charity. But that reason doesn’t outweigh your prudential reasons against giving all of what you own to charity. There are in short moral reasons for supererogatory actions that are not overriding.
    What I do affirm is that your all-things-considered moral obligations to give something to charity outweigh any counterveiling prudential reasons or legal reasons or cultural reasons, etc. But I am prepared to agree that someone might fail to believe even that and might place greater weight on prudential reasons in this case too. But in this case I’d argue that they simply have a false belief.

  23. Robert: I understand all that about Gibbard’s account, but none of that was helping me pin the view down relative to Alston’s worries. This helps: “One distinguishes moral from other normative judgments by looking at what the norms govern and how they govern it. Moral norms govern what it makes sense to blame, for instance. So moral judgments express acceptance of norms about such things.” But then this really does sound like the distinction is made by saying that someone accepts a norm about such things when his state of feeling is in some suitable relation to his preparedness to make a moral judgment about something. But that does seem to make the account of moral judgment circular. Or, if it’s not, then we need to invoke some objective criteria, perhaps about what it makes sense to blame.
    Brad: Can you say more explicitly what the objective criteria that you say Gibbard might have to import are criteria for? I think I missed that. Also, I’m not grasping the relevance of the distinction between the person making the judgment and the theorist here.
    Michael H.: I understood Alston’s (4c) to suggest that a (negative) attitude towards an act causing suffering or death is a moral attitude when the person’s con-attitude towards the act is justified in light of the fact that the action harmed the victim’s interests (rather than other considerations, such as the act’s putatively violating God’s will, or something like that). It’s that fact that makes the con-attitude appropriate and if the con-attitude was the result of other considerations, then it’s inappropriate or not a moral attitude.

  24. 1) [Can you say more explicitly what the objective criteria that you say Gibbard might have to import are criteria for?]
    Gibbard seems to follow “common sense” to pick out the concerns and emotions that are moral and then identifies (roughly) the moral system as the system that ideally governs & answers to those emotions/concerns. On 255 of WCAF, he says he will not be giving an account of what makes a concern or emotion moral. But later (272-3) we find some hints: he says that, “what makes a justification moral is a tie to guilt and anger and the like,” and that, “moral concern is not all straightforward benevolence working to constrain self-interest. Other concerns too are broadly moral: they are not straight matters of self-interest, and they affect which norms for guilt and anger will look plausible to us.” A fuller discussion would have to take into account much more, e.g., Gibbard’s discussion of reciprocity and his methodological commitment to fitting his account into an evolutionary story.
    My point: Gibbard seems to be presupposing (and gesturing towards) objective criteria for whether or not a given concern or emotion is moral – what Alston, following Frankena, calls a “material” concept of morality (16). My initial comments were aimed at questioning whether he is entitled to the criteria he picks, but that is a side point.
    I think Alston would claim that Gibbard will fall in on the second horn of the dilemma because he, that is to say Gibbard, “supposes that it is inherent in the concept of morality that certain kinds of facts and not others are relevant to moral issues.” (Alston 16) Gibbard supposes that only facts bearing on the propriety of being the object of guilt, anger, etc. are relevant to moral issues.
    Hope that is clearer.
    2) [Also, I’m not grasping the relevance of the distinction between the person making the judgment and the theorist here.]
    I have now read the Alston article – my previous comment on how to respond was based on being uninformed. Alston’s point hinges on his contention that Ayer-Stevenson style non-cognitivists claim, “there are no objective criteria for the relevance of reasons given for or against moral judgments.”(18) He has an interesting discussion of how this flows from the way they contrast beliefs with non-cognitive attitudes. I do not see that Gibbard is committed to what Alston attributes to “philosophers of the Ayer-Stevenson persuasion.”

  25. Kyle,
    Norms for blame are norms for what it makes sense to feel guilt and resentment about. Is your problem that we can only feel guilt about what we judge to be a moral mistake on our part? I can see why that might seem to be the case. But in fact, isn’t it the case that we often feel guilty about stuff when we don’t think we’ve done wrong — in fact, when we’ve made no judgment at all about our behavior vis-a-vis morality? It seems in fact there’s no conceptual link between these things. If there isn’t, then it seems G’s account does not need to appeal illicitly to moral judgments.

  26. Robert,
    Is this where the problem is supposed to be?
    Making a moral judgment entails accepting certain norms. Accepting which norms? Oh, the norms governing moral judgments. So we get (very roughly),
    M. Making a moral judgment J entails accepting the norms governing moral judgments.
    Now is M supposed to threaten circularity? I don’t see it. The description ‘the norms governing moral judgments’ is surely used referentially here, so Gibbard could simply omit the description altogether and substitute a list of norms. M then becomes M’,
    M’. Making a moral judgment J entails accepting norms N1, N2,. .,Nn for your judgment J.
    There is no need to mention ‘moral’ at all in listing the relevant norms. So there seems to me no threat of circularity.

  27. Mike,
    Right, that clearly doesn’t involve circularity. My own (perhaps overly knuckle-dragging) picture of the issue is this: Emotivists say moral judgments express emotions. But which ones? If they say ‘moral emotions’, then the question is, Which emotions are ‘moral’? And the answer seems to be ‘those that involve making a moral judgment’. So moral judgments are those judments that, inter alia, express moral judgments. That is circular. This flattens a primitive expressivist picture. The question is whether this sort of worry flattens anything that more sophisticated expressivists hold. And it just seems to me that at least in the case of norm expressivism, it doesn’t.
    Sophisticated types such as gibbard (and I would include Stevenson) of course resist the first move. Moral judgments don’t express something that can only be characterized in terms of moral judgments. In particular, what they express can be characterized though a bunch of ordinary intuitinos about what the general terrain of moral thought and discourse covers, alone with some conjectures and perhaps some empirical findings about what human organisms are like (we’re social, we coordinate our activities through language, our psychological make-up is in general fitted for these things, etc.). And then we just say, ‘Moral judgments express whatever that psychological state is that fits these coordinates, so spelled out.’
    Perhaps that all survives the blur.

  28. Thanks, Robert. More or less a priori, Gibbard is not going to make the sort of mistake under discussion. But I’m a little surprised too that Ayer would do so. Instead of answering,”which emotions are ‘moral'”? with “those that involve making a moral judgment”, it seems such a plainly preferable alternative to list (to the extent possible) the relevant emotions or to refer to them under some other description. Pretty obvious ways to go. But I should go back and take a closer look at Ayer on this.

  29. Alston actually considers something like that. He quotes two longish passages from Stevenson and Brandt (12) that I won’t reproduce here, but which seem to be attempts at a relatively sophisticated form of expressivism. Alston says about them: “Now so long as we restrict ourselves to giving examples of emotions, dispositions to which are involved in moral attitudes, we may succeed in ‘roughly marking off’ moral attitudes, as Stevenson says; but this will not constitute an analysis of the term, a general account of which distinguishes moral attitudes from other psychological states….”
    This would clearly apply to Gibbard, but is it really a problem? That is, Gibbard provides the plausible evolutionary story, etc., but disavows even attempting an analysis. Alston thinks this would be a big problem — roughly, moral judgment ultimately remains unanalyzed — but I’m not sure.

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