Expressive fictionalism

Lowe, Simon (2019). Expressive fictionalism. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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In this thesis I will present a theoretical, non-realist account of moral language which I call ‘Expressive Fictionalism’. Expressive Fictionalism is a combined approach involving semantic content based on Joycean revisionary fictionalism and pragmatic expressivism with influences of projectivism and the quasi-realism of Simon Blackburn. The result is a marriage between the two which ultimately works towards mutual advantage.

The aim of this thesis is to provide a non-realist account of moral language in the form of expressive fictionalism, which, I posit, can explain a form of moral communication, on both a semantic and a pragmatic level, without compromising its own non-realism in the process, which avoids issues which are associated with the Frege-Geach problem and which is a nonerror theoretic account of moral discourse. My methodology is a combination of semantics, pragmatics, thought experiment with some influences of empiricism, references to modern studies in behavioural & cognitive psychology as well as historical analogy. The thesis ultimately rests on a portrayal of moral language as a means of communicating emotions, as well as projecting these emotions onto the world through moral utterance, using a constructed ‘morality narrative’ as a contextual platform for self-expression.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Philosophy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics


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