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Publication Details

Perspectives of Semantic Inferentialism for Moral Discourse

(Original title: Perspektívy inferencializmu v sémantike morálneho diskurzu)
Filozofia, 77 (2022), 3, 205 - 221.
Type of work: Original Articles
Publication language: Slovak

The aim of the paper is to point out that semantic inferentialism is a suitable semantic theory of moral discourse. This aim is pursued by comparison of semantic inferentialism with another two popular semantic approaches to moral discourse, namely representational and expressivist approaches. While the representationalism claims that statements gain their meanings by representing certain states of affairs, the expressivist semantics claims that the meanings of moral statements consist in the emotions or desires we express by them. Thesis of this paper is that semantic inferentialism is a promising semantic theory of moral discourse because it allows us to take the position that moral statements are meaningful without assuming the existence of controversial entities in the form of objective ethical facts, and at the same time, it does not require us to interpret moral discourse merely as a means for expressing our emotions and desires.


Expressivism, Metaethics, Picture theory of meaning, Representation, Semantic inferentialism

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