, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp 829–852 | Cite as

Expression and Guidance in Schroeder’s Expressivist Semantics

  • Derek BakerEmail author
Original Research


Mark Schroeder’s expressivist program has made substantial progress in providing a compositional semantics for normative terms. This paper argues that it risks achieving this semantic progress at the cost of abandoning a key theoretical motivation for embracing expressivism in the first place. The problem can be summarized as a dilemma. Either Schroeder must allow that there are cases in which agents are in disagreement with one another, or can make valid inferences, but that these disagreements or inferences are not expressible in natural language; or his version of expressivism must abandon one of the key theoretical advantages expressivist theories seemed to possess over cognitivism, the ability to provide a very straightforward explanation of the action- and attitude-guiding role of normative judgments.



Thanks to Jack Woods and anonymous referees for extensive comments and criticism. Research appearing in this paper was partially funded by a grant from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, China (LU342612).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyLingnan UniversityTuen MunHong Kong SAR

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