Saturday, March 25, 2006

Cognitivism or non-cognitivism?

I'm allied with the non-cognitivist utilitarian camp of Hare/Singer/Frey but I'm not totally convinced of my loyalty on this one. Since I believe value can be boiled down to desire-satisfaction, there would seem to be a fact of the matter about whether someone's desire is being satisfied. Hence the statements "x is good" or "x is right" might seem to be analyzable as beliefs rather than desires (or emotive utterances) themselves. On the other hand, I find myself unpersuaded by any argument for cognitivism that I've come across. I'd be curious to hear where people stand. Can anyone offer a spirited argument for or against cognitivism?