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.
I had to choose between two mutually exclusive courses of action, A and B. I judged that doing A was better, all things considered, than doing B, that I had more reason to do A than to do B, yet I did B. This is troubling. How might we make sense of it?