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Why don’t we separate the semantic from the metaphysic question? In the question "is morality preference?" 'morality' can mean "moral language" or "moral facts". So there are two possible questions: (i) what is the nature and status of moral claims? do moral claims have truth values at all or are they just expressions of preference which like exlamations ("boo!") do not have truth values. (ii) are there moral facts or are there just 'brute', natural facts?

Both questions are related but can be separated.

(i) Do moral statements make claims to truth? (ii) Are there moral facts?

Now there are four possible combinations of answers to the two questions:

1) yes yes 2) no no 3) yes no 4) no yes

1) is the classic realist position of Platonism and Realism; our moral statements do have truth value and there are moral facts; 2) is expressivist non-cognitivism; our moral language is just an expression of our preferences, and does not even have truth value; "murder is morally bad" is equivalent to "boo murder!"; to speak of moral facts is thus nonsensical 3) is Mackies error theory: if we understand our moral language correctly it does make truth claims but since there are no moral facts all such claims are false); 4) is an unlikely position for anyone to hold - the claim that there are moral facts but our moral language does not even try to express them.