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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.


Drobnitskii, O. G., and T. A. Kuz’mina. Kritika sovremennykh burzhuaznykh eticheskikh kontseptsii. Moscow, 1967. Chapter 4.
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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.
Echoing Hume, moral emotivists concluded that moral predicates only expresses our feelings about whatever such predicates refer to.
Fletcher's soup differed from that of the positivists and emotivists in that he threw in a large handful of a sweet-smelling spice called love, somehow meant to guide us to proper moral behavior.
Fourth, the failure of liberal individualists to agree on anything other than the need to talk, allows emotivists to claim that ethics is merely some people talking, and lets amoral agendas such as profit-maximization, bureaucratic 'neutrality' and 'greed is good' hold sway in the world of business.
57] Peter Kivy makes a similar observation; he says that ~the quarrel between musical emotivists and musical cognitivists all too often seems to involve a sort of moral crusade'.
Storr's aim is to reconcile the two opposing camps of the formalists, who see music exclusively in terms of its form and structure, and of the emotivists, who concern themselves mainly with the powerful, emotional content of music.
In moral philosophy the variety of doctrines espoused by analytic philosophers is equally great: there arc the classical emotivists, the prescriptivists and the cognitivists.