Is it feasible to think that all moral disputes (or at least many of the key disputes) are metalinguistic? I believe the answer to this is yes. Many (perhaps all) moral disputes are fundamentally metalinguistic disputes. But the metalinguistic nature of moral disputes doesn’t make those disputes less important and it doesn’t make them less normative...Now it might seem like a debasement of the importance of the debate to say it is metalinguistic, but this reflects confusion about what metalinguistic disputes are—modulation choice is not an arbitrary decision. Everything turns on how we ultimately modulate the meaning of the words.The disputes, although metalinguistic, are no less important.
作者引用了一段别人的观点(Plunkett, D., and T. Sundell, 2012. “Disagreement and the Semantics of Normative and Evaluative Terms”，链接http://www.academia.edu/1796222/Disagreement_and_the_Semantics_of_Normative_and_Evaluative_Terms：) :Rather than arguing for the truth or falsity of a literally expressed proposition, speakers engaged in a metalinguistic dispute advocate for their preferred usage of the term given the circumstances. Understanding the meanings of words in terms of the concepts that they express, these disputes involve speakers advocating for using a particular concept by advocating for using the word in question to express that concept. Such negotiations over word usage are largely tacit and center on information that is conveyed via pragmatic rather than semantic mechanisms. And in such disagreements, it is not the case that the speakers express the same concepts by the words they utter. Indeed, by definition they do not. We argue that it is possible to understand many normative and evaluative disputes as this sort of metalinguistic dispute, while still holding that these disputes express genuine disagreements. Moreover, we argue that metalinguistic disputes can reflect substantive disagreements, disagreements well worth having, and disagreements that would continue to be recognized as such by participants in the dispute even if the metalinguistic nature of their dispute were revealed to them.