The Frege-Geach Embedding Problem

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The Frege-Geach embedding problem is a problem that challenges expressivism, asking how it could be that moral and descriptive terms have the same semantic properties in complex sentences, but have different meanings. Expressivist theories of moral discourse deny that moral judgments express truth-apt propositions that describe states of affairs in the natural world. Instead, expressivists claim that moral judgments are taken to express non-truth-apt, or non-cognitive, attitudes of approval or disapproval. Therefore, the normative accounts of truth and consistency do not apply to non-truth-apt attitudes. In this paper, I will begin by outlining the Frege-Geach problem, and explain why it should concern the expressivist. I will then present …show more content…
Next, by premise two, if we do disapprove of lying, then by our attitude in the first premise, we must also disapprove of getting your little brother to lie. Because this last attitude of disapproval is our conclusion, then we have demonstrated how the conclusion is inferred from the first and second premises, therefore having modus ponens-like reasoning without referring to logical conditionals. For Blackburn, consistency is the traction that allows us to do things like reason through moral issues, as I look at my own sets of attitudes, and see which pairs I like. For example, one person can say, H!(H!; B!) while another can say B!(H!; B!). Consistency is a moral standard, and while Blackburn admires consistency, H!(Consistency), not everyone needs to have that attitude towards it. Therefore, to make sense of the first two premises and conclusion, you must approve of consistency. However, if one does not approve of consistency, he is contradicting himself, as he is expressing the first two premises while not accepting the conclusion. Thus, Blackburn seems to find a way out for expressivists by using a deflationary truth of acceptance, a weaker form of truth with no external standard, in the normative

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