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There are no thin concepts

Chappell, Timothy (2013). There are no thin concepts. In: Kirchin, Simon ed. Thick concepts. Mind Association Occasional Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 182–196.

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“Thin concepts” are dubious entities. Careful analysis of the usual examples of thick and thin raises serious doubts about both their conceptuality and their thinness. Confusions aside, there is little obvious use for them in ethics or metaethics. The very idea that there could be a naturally-occurring purely evaluative moral concept, with no descriptive content, no cultural setting, and no capacity for distanced or ironic use, is as chimerical as any other ahistorical illusion. Our concentration on thick and thin has distracted us from thinking about other interesting and important ethical distinctions—evidential/ verdictive, evaluative/ prescriptive, determinable/ determinate, Zangwill’s because-relation, Anscombe’s brute-relative-to relation—which have something genuine and non-illusory on both sides of them.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2013 The several contributors
ISBN: 0-19-967234-2, 978-0-19-967234-9
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 37708
Depositing User: Sophie Grace Chappell
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2013 09:48
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 12:36
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