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Global Expressivism by the Method of Differences

  • Huw Price (a1)

Abstract

In this piece I characterise global expressivism, as I understand it, by contrasting it with five other views: the so-called Canberra Plan; Moorean non-naturalism and platonism; ‘relaxed realism’ and quietism; local expressivism; and response-dependent realism. Some other familiar positions, including fictionalism, error theories, and idealism, are also mentioned, but as sub-cases to one of these five.

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1 Dummett, Michael, ‘What is a Theory of Meaning? (II)’, in Evans, Gareth and McDowell, John, eds., Truth and Meaning (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976), 67137, at 83.

2 See, e.g., Macarthur, David and Price, Huw, ‘Pragmatism, Quasi-realism and the Global Challenge’, in Misak, Cheryl, ed., The New Pragmatists (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 91120.

3 See Price, Huw, ‘Expressivism for Two Voices’, in Knowles, J. and Rydenfelt, H., eds., Pragmatism, Science and Naturalism (Zürich: Peter Lang, 2011), 87113.

4 For example, Schroeder, Mark, Being For: Evaluating the Semantic Program of Expressivism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).

5 For example, Gert, Joshua, ‘Neo-pragmatism, Representationalism and the Emotions’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2018), 454478.

6 See Jackson, Frank, From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), and the essays in Braddon-Mitchell, David and Nola, Robert, eds., Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009).

7 Haukioja, J., Review of Braddon-Mitchell, David and Nola, Robert (eds.), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism, MIT Press, 2009. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 14.08.2009.

8 Price, Huw, Naturalism Without Mirrors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), at 14.

9 Huw Price, op cit, 15; Blackburn, Simon, Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 78.

10 Peter Menzies and Huw Price, ‘Is Semantics in the Plan?’, in D. Braddon-Mitchell and R. Nola, op. cit. note 2; Price, Huw, ‘The Semantic Foundations of Metaphysics’, in Ravenscroft, Ian, ed., Minds, Worlds and Conditionals: Essays in Honour of Frank Jackson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 111140.

11 Williams, Michael, ‘How Pragmatists Can Be Local Expressivists’, in Price, Huw, Blackburn, Simon, Brandom, Robert, Horwich, Paul, and Williams, Michael, Expressivism, Pragmatism and Representationalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 128144.

12 Blackburn, Simon, Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 319.

13 Price, Huw, ‘Naturalism without Representationalism’, in Macarthur, David and de Caro, Mario, eds., Naturalism in Question (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), 7188.

14 Blackburn, Simon, ‘Morals and Modals’, in Essays in Quasi-Realism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 5274, at 57.

15 Ramsey, F. P., ‘General Propositions and Causality’, in Mellor, D. H., ed., Foundations: Essays in Philosophy, Logic, Mathematics and Economics (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978), 133–51, at 134.

16 McGrath, Sarah, ‘Relax? Don't Do It! Why Moral Realism Won't Come Cheap’, Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9 (2014), 186214, at 187. The works cited are Dworkin, Ronald, Justice for Hedgehogs (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011); Parfit, Derek, On What Matters, Volume 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011); and Scanlon, Thomas, Being Realistic About Reasons (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

17 Op. cit., 187.

18 See McDowell, John, Mind and World (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994); Campbell, John, ‘A simple view of colour’, in Haldane, J. and Wright, C., eds., Reality: Representation and Projection. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 257268; Caro, Mario De and Macarthur, David, eds., Naturalism and Normativity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010); and Hale, Bob and Wright, Crispin, The Reason's Proper Study : Essays Towards a Neo-Fregean Philosophy of Mathematics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

19 See Price, Huw, ‘Idling and Sidling toward Philosophical Peace’, in Gross, Steven, Tebben, Nicholas, and Williams, Michael, eds., Meaning without Representation: Essays on Truth, Expression, Normativity, and Naturalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 307330.

20 McDowell, John, ‘Values and Secondary Qualities’, in Mind, Value, and Reality (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), 131–50, at 146.

21 For related criticism of relaexed realism, see Ridge, Michael, ‘Relaxing Realism or Deferring Debate?’, Journal of Philosophy 116 (2019), 149173.

22 Kraut, Robert, ‘Varieties of Pragmatism’, Mind 99 (1990), 157183, at 159.

23 Macarthur, David and Price, Huw, ‘Pragmatism, Quasi-realism and the Global Challenge’, in Misak, Cheryl, ed., The New Pragmatists (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 91120.

24 See, for example, O'Leary-Hawthorne, John and Price, Huw, ‘How to Stand Up for Non-cognitivists’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (1996), 275292.

25 Versions of that argument may be found in McDowell, John, ‘Anti-realism and the Epistemology of Understanding’, in Bouveresse, J. and Parret, H., eds, Meaning and Understanding (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1981), 225248; Boghossian, Paul, ‘The Status of Content’, Philosophical Review 99 (1990), 157184; Wright, Crispin, Truth and Objectivity (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1992); and Humberstone, Lloyd, ‘Critical Notice of F. Jackson, Conditionals’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (1991), 227234.

26 As I put it in Facts and the Function of Truth (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988), the problem isn't in getting the projectivist project (as we then called it) on the road; it is in stopping it anywhere short of a global conclusion.

27 A powerful framework to develop this idea is that of Brandom, Robert, Between Saying and Doing: Towards an Analytic Pragmatism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). When Brandom asks what one has to be able to do, in order to say particular things, this is an enquiry about the pragmatic grounds of a discourse, in my terminology.

28 Price, Huw, ‘Two Paths to Pragmatism’, in Menzies, Peter, ed., Response-Dependent Concepts (Canberra: Philosophy Program, RSSS, ANU), 4682; updated version reprinted as ‘Two Paths to Pragmatism II’, in R. Casati and C. Tappolet, eds., European Review of Philosophy 3 (1998), 109–147.

29 See also the discussion in Price, HuwEpilogue: Ramsey's Ubiquitous Pragmatism’, in Misak, Cheryl and Price, Huw, eds., The Practical Turn: Pragmatism in the British Long Twentieth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 149162, at 155–156.

30 See my ‘Prospects for Global Expressivism’, in Price, Huw, Blackburn, Simon, Brandom, Robert, Horwich, Paul, and Williams, Michael, Expressivism, Pragmatism and Representationalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 147194, especially Section 5; and Price, Huw, ‘Wilfrid Sellars meets Cambridge Pragmatism’, in Pereplyotchik, David and Barnbaum, Deborah, eds., Sellars and Contemporary Philosophy (New York and London: Routledge, 2017), 123140.

31 There may be more to be said about whether the response of this section leaves any real disagreement between GE and LE. Matthew Simpson, ‘What is Global Expressivism?’, Philosophical Quarterly, forthcoming, argues that it does not. In one sense this conclusion is congenial to me, for I don't want there to be a coherent alternative to GE in this neighbourhood. But it does seem overly charitable to traditional proponents of LE, who didn't have the e-representation/i-representation distinction on which the irenic resolution depends.

32 See their respective contributions to Haldane, J. and Wright, C., eds., Reality, Representation, and Projection, (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993): Wright's ‘Realism: The Contemporary Debate—W(h)ither Now?’, 63–84; and Johnston's ‘Objectivity Refigured: Pragmatism Without Verificationism’, 85–130.

33 Blackburn, Simon, Essays in Quasi-Realism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 1011.

34 Huw Price, ‘Two Paths to Pragmatism’, op. cit., note 28.

35 Brandom, Robert, Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000), 4.

36 Op. cit., 4.

37 Op. cit., 12.

38 In Huw Price ‘Epilogue: Ramsey's Ubiquitous Pragmatism’, op. cit. note 29, and ‘Wilfrid Sellars meets Cambridge Pragmatism’, op. cit. note 30.

39 Op. cit. note 13, 141.

40 Misak, Cheryl, ‘Ramsey's 1929 Pragmatism’, in Misak, Cheryl and Price, Huw, eds., The Practical Turn: Pragmatism in the British Long Twentieth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 1128.

41 See Huw Price ‘Epilogue: Ramsey's Ubiquitous Pragmatism’, op. cit. note 28, 152–156.

42 Holton, Richard and Price, Huw, ‘Ramsey on Saying and Whistling: a Discordant Note’, Noûs 37 (2003), 325341.

Global Expressivism by the Method of Differences

  • Huw Price (a1)

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