What Metalinguistic Negotiations Can’t Do
Philosophers of language and metaethicists are concerned with persistent normative and evaluative disagreements – how can we explain persistent intelligible disagreements in spite of agreement over the described facts? Tim Sundell recently argued that evaluative aesthetic and personal taste disputes could be explained as metalinguistic negotiations – conversations where interlocutors negotiate how best to use a word relative to a context. I argue here that metalinguistic negotiations are neither necessary nor sufficient for genuine evaluative and normative disputes to occur. A comprehensive account of value talk requires stronger metanormative commitments than metalinguistic negotiations afford.
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