a1 Philosophy, Bowling Green State University
Moral realism and antirealist-expressivism are of course incompatible positions. They disagree fundamentally about the nature of moral states of mind, the existence of moral states of affairs and properties, and the nature and role of moral discourse. The central realist view is that a person who has or expresses a moral thought is thereby in, or thereby expresses, a cognitive state of mind; she has or expresses a belief that represents a moral state of affairs in a way that might be accurate or inaccurate. The view of antirealist-expressivism is that such a person is in, or expresses, a conative state of mind, one that consists in a certain kind of attitude or motivational stance toward something, such as an action or a person. Realism holds that moral thoughts have truth conditions and that in some cases these truth conditions are satisfied so that our moral thoughts are true. Antirealist-expressivism holds, to a first approximation, that the distinctive moral content of a moral thought does not have truth conditions.
* I am grateful for helpful comments I received on earlier versions of this essay from Kent Bach, Justin D'Arms, Steven Davis, Janice Dowell, Don Hubin, Paul Hurley, Jeffrey C. King, Steven Rieber, David Sobel, Sigrún Svavarsdóttir, David Velleman, and the contributors to this volume.