Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here


No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Philosophia Reformata

In my book God’s Call1 I gave an historical account of the debate within twentieth century analytic philosophy between moral realism and expressivism. Moral realism is the view that moral properties like goodness or cruelty exist independently of our making judgements that things have such properties. Such judgements are, on this theory, objectively true when the things referred to have the specified properties and objectively false when they do not. Expressivism is the view that when a person makes a moral judgment, she is expressing emotion or desire or will. I used the term ‘orectic’ (from the Greek orexis) to refer to these mental states, because we do not have in English a sufficiently general term. In God’s Call, I started with a moral realist whom I called a ‘platonist’, G. E. Moore, and then I traced the argument through the emotivists, A. J. Ayer and Charles Stevenson, and the prescriptivist, R. M. Hare, and Iris Murdoch, whom I called a ‘humble platonist’, and J. L. Mackie’s ‘error theory’, and John McDowell, whose theory I call ‘disposition theory’, and David Brink, the ‘new-wave realist’, and Allan Gibbard, who calls his own theory ‘norm expressivism’. My project was to collect together the concessions that the two sides of the debate have made to each other over the course of this history, and then to construct a position which molds these concessions into a single coherent theory. I called this theory ‘prescriptive realism’.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Philosophia Reformata — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation