Hybrid Speech Acts: A Theory of Normative Thought and Language That ‘Has It Both Ways’

Academic Article


  • In this essay, I propose a novel hybrid metanormative theory. According to this theory, speakers making normative claims express both cognitive and motivational attitudes in virtue of the constitutive norms of the particular speech acts they perform. This view has four principal virtues: (1) it is consistent with traditional semantic theories, (2) it supports a form of motivational judgment internalism that does justice to externalist intuitions, (3) it illuminates the connection between normative language and normative thought, and (4) it explains how speakers can express different conative states when speaking in different normative domains. In the first section, I discuss the theories of Stephen Finlay and David Copp. I show that they each come very close to having it both ways but ultimately fail. Understanding the shortcomings of these views is instrumental to a clear presentation of my own Hybrid Speech Act theory in section two. In the final section, I demonstrate how my view achieves its four advantages.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Morgan A
  • Start Page

  • 785
  • End Page

  • 807
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 3