Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 83, No. 3, September 2005

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 83, No. 3, September 2005

Article excerpt

Moral Fictionalism versus 'The Rest', DANIEL NOLAN, GREG RESTALL, and CAROLINE WEST

In this paper a distinct methaithical position is introduced: fictionalism about morality. This position is clarified and defended, showing that it is a way to save the moral phenomena, while agreeing that there is no genuine objective prescriptivity to be described by moral terms. In particular, moral fictionalism is distinguished from moral quasi-realism, and fictionalism is shown to possesse the virtues of quasi-realism about morality, while avoiding its vices.

Considering Empty World as Actual, LAURA SCHROETER

The attitude of considering a world as actual is the cornerstone of David Chalmers's influential interpretation of two-dimensional semantics. Considering a world as actual, Chalmers argues, gives us access to a distinctively epistemic kind of modality--possibilities and necessities that capture what the world could be like, for all we can tell, wholly a priori. By basing his interpretation of 2-D semantics on this epistemic notion of modality, rather than the standard metaphysical notion, Chalmers thinks he can defend a rationalist and internalist account of meaning. In particular, he hopes to vindicate the idea that meanings forge a constitutive link between what is a priori accessible to the subject and what is objectively possible. The core thesis of Chalmers's rationalist project is that a sentence (or thought) is knowable a priori if and only if it is true in all possible worlds considered as actual.

The Ethics of Empty Worlds, ROY A. SORENSEN

Drawing inspiration from the ethical pluralism of G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica, it is here contended that one empty world can be morally better than another. By "empty" is meant that such a world is devoid of concrete entities (things that have a position in space or time). These worlds have no thickets or thimbles, no thinkers, and no thoughts. Infinitely many of these worlds have laws of nature, abstract entities, and perhaps, space and time. …

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