Emotivism

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Emotivism

 

an ethical theory based on the ideas and methodology of logical positivism. According to the theory, moral judgments and terms are neither true nor false; they are devoid of cognitive content, since they cannot be verified by experience. They are significant only to the extent that they express moral emotions (for example, the emotions of the speaker).

Viewing moral concepts as arbitrary, emotivism presents a nihilistic interpretation of morality. It gained currency between the 1920’s and 1940’s in Great Britain, Austria, and the USA. Its chief spokesmen have been A. Ayer, B. Russell, R. Carnap and H. Reichenbach.

REFERENCE

Drobnitskii, O. G., and T. A. Kuz’mina. Kritika sovremennykh burzhuaznykh eticheskikh kontseptsii. Moscow, 1967. Chapter 4.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Emotivists, that is, put over their "ethic of disengaged freedom" as timeless truth.
What one does hear from choreographers are statements like "What I'm trying to get at here," or "The problem [or event] that led me to take up this theme was...." Without conceding to the emotivist theory of art, audiences and critics may understand what a dance conveys, in the sense of feeling familiar or "at home" with its effect or intent, without necessarily being able to articulate its meaning.
Nolan's study outlines key themes of the therapeutic culture: (a) the emotional self as the reference point; (b) the "emotivist ethic" or an ethics which appeals to one's feelings and emotional self-esteem; (c) a "new priestly class" of psychological professionals who are authorized to guide individuals according to a psychological vision of the world; and (d) the "pathologization of human behavior" or attributing human behavior to mental conditions as opposed to traditional moral codes.
The rational struggle to grasp the elusive, but enrapturing, splendor of intelligible form has given way to ungrounded advocacy of the maximization of emotivist preference in the global bazaar of secular, social democracy.
His proposal is based on an articulation of MacIntyre's concern (1984) regarding the modern manager (and by extension, the educators) being an emotivist, and not being able to participate in the virtues she or he derives for the modern world.
Both men are arguing that we are on the wrong road: MacIntyre that we are on an emotivist road to nihilism, Hayek that we are on a totalitarian road to serfdom.
313) In this quote the individualistic and emotivist assumptions of Shabad became quite visible, as there are no explicit external or transcendent guidelines (although one might argue there are many implicit guidelines assumed by Shabad) for how one is to use their passion, openness, conscience, or personal truths.
He shows how contemporary moral fragmentation, in the form of emotivist and utilitarian culture, is connected to the loss of Aristotelian ethics together with the inability of the Enlightenment to supply any suitable substitution for it.
While critics of IBE (or of inference causation generally) may be suspicious of the inherent risk that a legal fact-finder might fudge cause-in-fact on emotivist grounds, that risk is an unavoidable concomitant of the epistemology of legal fact-finding.
What he criticizes is the "empiricist picture of the mind as a passive receptacle of experientially sourced evidence that it is the function of language to make public." (84) This 'empiricist, emotivist, non-cognitivist, amoral ethical doctrine' reduces language expressive of those moral inward realities that human inwardness enfolds to evincements of emotional states.
If I endorse liberty on, say, Aristotelian Lockean grounds and you endorse it on, say, emotivist grounds, we need not worry about the justificatory questions that divide us; we ought instead to focus on the substantive agreement that unites us.
(And notice how a utilitarian emotivist could embrace the claim that causing suffering is a wrong-making property in this normative sense, even while denying the above metaethical claim; for the emotivist, the wrongness of causing suffering metaethically will be understood in terms of the attitudes of agents toward causing suffering).