Ecumenical cognitivism, ecumenical expressivism and moral disagreement
Op De Beke, Lukas
In this paper I compare ecumenical cognitivism (EC) and ecumenical expressivism (EE) to find out which of these explains moral disagreement best. After narrowing this down to fundamental moral disagreement, I argue that EE and EC are equally well-placed to resort to typical expressivist explanatory strategies of moral disagreement such as disagreement in attitude. Following this, I confront both theories with a challenge. First, I take up the charge that EC fails to preserve the required links between talk of truth/falsity of moral claims and talk of moral disagreement. Drawing on a synthetic reductionist version of EC, I argue that EC can survive this challenge unscathed. Second, I present the charge that EE cannot account for the propriety of standing your ground in moral disagreement because in conflicts that bottom out in preferences, such a move is not allowed. I argue that a response suggesting that some preferences are psychologically ‘special’ and therefore do allow ground-standing, fails and that therefore EE does not survive the challenge.