Sociology Index


Books on Quasi-Realism

Quasi-realism is the meta-ethical view claiming that ethical sentences do not express propositions. Ethical sentences project emotional attitudes. Quasi-realism is a form of non-cognitivism or expressivism. Quasi-realism stands in opposition to emotivism and universal prescriptivism, including both moral realism and ethical subjectivism. Aesthetic judgements are autonomous, it is justifiable to change one's mind because several others share a different opinion.

Claims about beauty are not assertions at all, but expressions of aesthetic response. This expressivism needs combining with some analogue of cognitive command, the idea that disagreements over beuaty can occur, and when they do it is a priori that one side has infringed the norms governing aesthetic discourse. This combination can be achieved by reading Immanuel Kant's aesthetic theory in expressivist terms. The resulting view is a form of quasi-realism about beauty. This conclusion generalises to quasi-realism about other matters.

Kant, Quasi-Realism, and the Autonomy of Aesthetic Judgement - Hopkins, Robert, European Journal of Philosophy, Vol 9, Num 2, August 2001.

QUASI-REALISM, ACQUAINTANCE, AND THE NORMATIVE CLAIMS OF AESTHETIC JUDGEMENT - Cain Samuel. To outline a quasi-realist theory of aesthetic judgement. Robert Hopkins has argued against the plausibility of this project because he claims that quasi-realism cannot explain a central component of any expressivist understanding of aesthetic judgements, their supposed autonomy. Roger Scruton’s aesthetic attitude theory provides us with the means to develop a plausible quasi-realist account of aesthetic judgement.

Pragmatism, Quasi-realism and the Global Challenge
Expressivism is typically a local view. An expressivist about moral or aesthetic judgments will contrast these judgments to genuinely descriptive claims.

Minimalism versus Quasi-Realism: Why The Minimalist Has A Dialectical Advantage
Alan Thomas, King's College, London.
Minimalist and quasi-realist approaches to problematic discourses such as the causal, moral and modal are compared and contrasted. Quasi-realism can meet the challenge of reconstructing a logic of commitment to cover both "projected" and detected discourses. Thus, quasi-realism fails to meet its own standards for theory acceptance. Minimalism and quasi-realism, in their approaches to such problematic areas of discourse as the modal, the moral and the causal.

Fictionalism, Quasi-Realism and the Question of Right - Michael Hicks, Johns Hopkins University.
I argue that fictionalism about abstracta is a well-motivated anti-realist response to Blackburn’s question of right, but one that ultimately fails. The fictionalist herself ends up a subtle realist.

Quasi-Realism and Ethical Appearances
Edward Harcourt, Department of Philosophy, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent.
The paper develops an attack on quasi-realism in ethics. A dilemma is posed for the quasi-realist. Either ethical discourse appears to express representational states, or else there is no such thing as its appearing to express such states.

Quasi-realism, sensibility theory, and ethical relativism = Le quasi-réalisme, la théorie de la sensibilité et le relativisme éthique - KIRCHIN Simon, University of Sheffield, ROYAUME-UNI.
Blackburn attempts to show how his version of non-cognitivism, quasi-realist projectivism, can evade the threat of ethical relativism. Sensibility theorists can counter ethical relativism in much the same way that quasi-realist projectivists can.

Quasi-Realism, Negation and the Frege-Geach Problem - Nicholas Unwin, Bolton Institute.
An essential part of Blackburn's 'quasi-realist project', showing how we can earn the right to treat moral sentences as if they have ordinary truth-conditions, is to provide a sophisticated solution.

Quasi-realism and Relativism
A. W. Moore, St. Hugh's College

You have been developing a metaphysical program known as “quasi-realism”. How would you explain it in a few words to our readers?
The easiest way to understand my program is if we look back to people like A. J. Ayer, Language, truth and logic, Charles Stevenson, Ethics and language, and the expressivist or emotivist traditions in ethics.

Essays in Quasi-Realism
Simon Blackburn explores one of the most profound and fertile of philosophical problems: the way in which our judgments relate to the world. This debate has centered on realism. The figure of the "quasi-realist" dramatizes the difficulty of conducting these debates. The quasi-realist challenge is that we can have attachments without any metaphysic that deserves to be called realism.