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Non-Cognitivism and True Ethical Statements

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It turns out that there are non-cognitivists who think that ethical statements can be true or false.

Indeed there is no reason why a non-cognitivist should refuse to call ethical sentences ‘true’ or ‘false.’ He can say ‘”Smith is good” is true if and only if Smith is good.’ He can even say things like ‘Some of Buddha’s ethical sayings are true’, thus giving to understand that he would be in agreement with some of the attitudes expressed in Buddha’s sayings, even though he is not telling, and even may not know, which ones these are.

Source: Utilitarianism: For and Against, by J. J. C. Smart and Bernard Williams


Written by William

September 7, 2015 at 11:18 am

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