Having it Both Ways: Hybrid Theories and Modern Metaethics

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A recent trend in metaethics has been to reject the apparent choice between pure cognitivism, where moral (and other normative) judgments are understood as representational or belief-like states, and pure non-cognitivism, where they are understood as non-representational or desire-like states. Rather, philosophers have adopted views which seek in some way to combine the strengths of each side while avoiding the standard problems for each. Some such views claim that moral judgments are complexes of belief-like and desire-like components. Other views claim that normative language serves both to ascribe properties and to express desire-like attitudes. This collection of twelve new essays examines the prospects for such 'hybrid views' of normative thought and language. The papers, which focus mainly on moral thought and talk, provide a guide to this debate while also pushing it forward along numerous fronts.