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Noncognitivists maintain that moral judgments are more appropriately viewed as expressions of attitudes, preferences, or desires rather than propositional claims about factual states of affairs. They typically subscribe to two related notions: First, moral statements are linguistically incapable of being true or false, and second, psychologically speaking, moral judgments are not reports of belief but indicators of other affective states of mind. Noncognitivism in ethics, thus, is a metaethical thesis regarding the truth aptness of moral judgments.

There are three principal forms of noncognitivism. Emotivism is the noncognitivist view that holds that moral utterances about good, bad, right, wrong, virtue, and vice (along with judgments concerning so-called thick moral concepts like justice, bravery, and beneficence) are emotional expressions of supportive or negative attitudes toward actions and ...

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