Essay In Quasi Realism

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Some further argumentation is needed, which this paper will endeavor to provide.Simon Blackburn re-joined our faculty in the Fall 2008 and will be with us one semester each year.In addition to his position here, Blackburn is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge.In so doing, it underscores the affinities between Blackburnian quasi-realism and moral realism as a moral doctrine.Finally, this paper contends—in line with my earlier work on these matters—that moral realism as a moral doctrine points to the need for some reorienting of meta-ethical enquiries rather than for the abandoning of them..In the second half of the paper, I will move even further away from Dworkin.Although he was right to think that expressivism as he understood it is a moral doctrine, there is an alternative version of expressivism that is not in itself such a doctrine.In maintaining as much, I will neither be siding with Smith nor be retreating in any other way from the view—which I share with Dworkin—that meta-ethical matters are ethical matters (usually at very high levels of abstraction).There will be no such retreat, because expressivism properly understood is not about morality but is instead about the activity of moral discourse.We may believe that affirmative action programs are morally wrong, or that they are morally required, or that they are neither wrong nor required.If they are neither required nor morally wrong, which is what many educators think, then a university is morally free to make a judgment one way or the other on non-moral grounds: to serve optional educational goals, for example.

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