See Geach’s article: Ascriptivism and The Frege-Geach problem.
What are the limits of ascribing to a speech act a different role than describing?
- By reintroducing the archaic word “macarize”, we can claim that declarations that “John is happy” are not descriptions, after all, but rather just macarizing.
- What if saying that the frog is on the log isn’t describing the frog but rather is performing a froggy speech act?
Unlike imperative vocabulary, normative vocabulary can be embedded as the antecedent to a conditional.
“if john is happy, then I am happy for him” is not macarizing John, because we haven’t asserted the antecedent. All that’s left is the descriptive content.
- meta-ethical expressivism is wrong