Journal article

A slim semantics for thin moral terms?

L Schroeter, F Schroeter

Australasian Journal of Philosophy | Published : 2003


This paper is a critique of Ralph Wedgwood's recent attempt to use the framework of conceptual role semantics in metaethics. Wedgwood's central idea is that the action-guiding role of moral terms suffices to determine genuine properties as their semantic values. We argue that Wedgwood cannot get so much for so little. We explore two interpretations of Wedgwood's account of what it takes to be competent with a thin moral term. On the first interpretation, the account does not warrant the assignment of a normative property as the semantic value of the target expression. On the second interpretation, the account presupposes that the subject has a prior understanding of normative notions.

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