I want to try a tricky argument out on you guys. To motivate Rorty's anti-representalism, I mentioned a position called "emotivism" which is now called non-cognitivism. Here are the two positions:
Non-cognitivism is the view that moral judgments are neither truth nor false; they express disapproval or approval (roughly).
Cognitivism is the view that moral judgments are true or false; they represent the world as having certain moral properties.
For a non-cognitivist, "Government shutdowns are morally wrong," is simply expressing disapproval of government shutdowns. For a non-cogntivist, "Government shutdowns are morally wrong" is representing government shutdowns as having a moral property wrongness. Hence, for non-cognitivists, moral judgments are not representing facts but expressing emotions, commitments, or feelings. The most common argument against non-cognitivism is called the Frege-Geach problem since Gottlob Frege and Peter Geach co-discovered it. The problem is this; consider the following argument:
- If government shutdowns are wrong, then the US government shutdown is morally wrong.
- Government shutdowns are wrong.
- Therefore, the US government shutdown is morally wrong.
(3) doesn't follow from (1) and (2) though it would for a cognitivist. Why? Because (1) doesn't express disapproval it is merely hypothetical. If it is merely hypothetical, then not all moral claims express disapproval since (1) doesn't.
Question: What do you think about this argument?