Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Julius Sensat

Committee Members

Stanislaus Husi, Michael N. Liston


Constructivism, Meta-Ethics, Semantics


This thesis consists of two loosely-connected essays about Sharon Street's "Humean" metanormative constructivism. In the first chapter, I examines a lacuna in Street's account--namely, that she owes us a semantic theory as a necessary condition for getting her metanormative theory off the ground--and argue that Brandom's inferentialist semantic theory is the best option for filling the lacuna. I then show that Michael Ridge's reading of Street as a reductive realist is mistaken. In the second chapter, I examine the vulnerability of Street's account to certain epistemic "reliability challenges," including one she herself makes against realist theories of value. I then argue, using Davidson's strategy, that the coherentist impulses in Street's theory are sufficient to answer the challenges in question.

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