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  • Created by: Abena
  • Created on: 02-04-13 15:25

Emotivism is a non-cogntive (not subject to truth of falsity) theory

  • Emotivism is a theory which says that moral statements are just expressions of feelings
  • Emotivism holds that there is no ethical knowledge
  • Emotivism will not tell you how to live a moral life
    • It simply heps us to understand moral statements

A. J. Ayer

  • Ayer said: 'ethical terms do not serve only to express feelings. They are calculated also to arouse feeling, and so to stimulate action.'
    • When we talk about 'good' and 'bad'/ 'right' and 'wrong' - we are simply expressing emotional states of approval and disapproval 
    • Emotivism is rooted in the Vienna Cricle 
  • in Language, Truth and Logic, Ayer states that there are two types of meaningful statements: 

1) Analytic statements - statements which are true by defintion e.g. 'All bachelors are unmarried men'

2) Synthetic statements - statements that can be true or false and can be tested using senses or experience

  • Ethical statements are NOT verifiable - there are no empirical facts that can be checked to prove an ethical statement true or false 
    • However, although Ayer argues that ethical statements have no factual content, he does not believe they have no meaningful


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