Confusion of Tongues: An Analysis of Evaluative Discourse


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships




Our moral and evaluative capacities have been viewed as the elements in humanity that elevate us above mere Nature and toward Reason or God, but they are also implicated in our conflicts and discord. This project advances an original theory of what evaluative language means, what value itself is, and why it matters to us. It challenges the present consensus in moral philosophy that analyzing moral language is either impossible or fruitless by exploring the complex dynamics of how we use this language in conversation. By attending to this subject a distinction can be drawn between two different kinds of evaluative dispute, calling for two different kinds of resolution, and thereby offering more rational strategies for managing our conflicts.