Producing a Justification: Waismann on Ethics and Science

Constantine Sandis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Constantine Sandis takes on a very first evaluation of Waismann’s essay and shows that Waismann’s discussion of the scientific constrains on ethics is very much not anti-scientistic. Unlike Wittgenstein, Waismann does not dismiss morality as nonsense. Sandis associates Waismann’s view with expressivism, similar to the emotivism defended by his contemporary C.L. Stevenson, and points out a shared motivation with Derek Parfit’s more recent On What Matters. In an existentialist fashion Waismann invokes one’s freedom and responsibility in opting for different ethical systems, once one stops asking for moral truth and starts to choose and decide. In a detailed criticism of Waismann’s essay Sandis asks what our choosing and deciding could be based on if not in turn a normative discourse based on reasons.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFriedrich Waismann
Subtitle of host publicationThe Open Texture of Analytic Philosophy
EditorsStewart Shapiro, Dejan Makovec
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-25008-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-25007-2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Sept 2019

Publication series

Name History of Analytic Philosophy
ISSN (Print)2634-5994
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6001


Dive into the research topics of 'Producing a Justification: Waismann on Ethics and Science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this