Meta Ethics

Katie Browell
Mind Map by Katie Browell, updated more than 1 year ago
Katie Browell
Created by Katie Browell over 5 years ago
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A Level Ethics A2 (Meta Ethics) Mind Map on Meta Ethics, created by Katie Browell on 09/29/2014.

Resource summary

Meta Ethics
1 Cognitivist
1.1 Naturalism
1.1.1 Aquinas, Moore, Bradley
1.1.2 Theological Naturalism - goodness is linked to Gods will, which defines morality and things are right or wrong dependant on what God commands
1.1.2.1 Aquinas
1.1.3 Hedonistic Naturalism - goodness is a fact of pleasure or happiness. Good means being of favourable interest and right means being conductive to harmonious happiness.
1.1.3.1 Perry
1.1.4 Attempts to link morals with scientific fact, ethics can be explained using the same terms as science or logic. Scene perceptions and logic are the only ways to reach an ethical conclusion to an issue
1.1.4.1 Bradley
1.1.4.1.1 believed a moral perspective is determined upon self-realisation and from observing ones own position in society.
1.1.4.1.1.1 He rejected hedonism as pleasure provides no self realisation and Kants duty to duties sake does not guide us in morality or give human satisfaction.
1.1.4.1.1.1.1 He therefore concluded that we must pursue self realisation within our own community in order to provide a satisfying life. In order to be a good person we must know our position and duty in our society, it is all about hard work and obedience.
1.1.4.1.2 tl:dr - Social understandings can give us moral goodness though observation
1.1.4.2 tl:dr - good is based on evidence
1.1.5 Moore
1.1.5.1 argued against naturalism due to
1.1.5.1.1 Humes naturalist fallacy
1.1.5.1.1.1 It is illogically invalid to derive an ought statement from and is statment
1.1.5.1.1.1.1 Eg 'Euthanasia end suffering'
1.1.5.1.1.1.1.1 IS
1.1.5.1.1.1.2 'Euthanasia should be legal'
1.1.5.1.1.1.2.1 OUGHT
1.1.5.2 Moore used what is described as the 'Open Question argument'
1.1.5.2.1 If we claim that happiness is a naturally good thing we can always ask 'Is happiness good?' but if happiness is naturally good this question makes no more sense than 'Does happiness make people happy? 'Moving from a factual objective statement to and ethical statement of value does not work because it leave an open question that has not been answered.
1.2 Intuitionism
1.2.1 Moore, Prichard, Ross
1.2.1.1 We cannot use our senses to tell what is right or wrong, we just know though our moral intuion
1.2.1.1.1 Ross
1.2.1.1.1.1 agreed with Moore and Prichard that 'right' and 'obligatory' are in indefinable as 'good' but as a deontologist argued that it was obvious that certain types of actions (prima facie duties) were right
1.2.1.1.1.1.1 Prima Facie duties
1.2.1.1.1.1.1.1 fidelity, reparation, gratitude, justice, beneficence, self improvement, non-maleficence
1.2.1.1.2 tl:dr Basic intuition tells us what is good
1.2.2 Moore
1.2.2.1 called this simple notion
1.2.2.1.1 trying to define 'good' is like trying to define the colour yellow, it can only be explained though example
1.2.2.1.1.1 Moore, Princicpa Ethica
1.2.2.1.1.1.1 'We know what 'yellow' is and can recognise it whenever it is seen but we cannot actually define yellow. In the same way, we know what good is but we cannot actually define it'
1.2.2.1.1.1.2 'everything is what it is and not another thing'
1.2.2.1.1.1.2.1 good cant be identified with a metaphysical entity such as God,
1.2.2.1.1.2 moral judgements can never be proved empirically
1.2.3 Prichard
1.2.3.1 develops Moore's ideas by stating we all recognise goods properties and what we ought to do in certain situations, making moral obligation obvious.
1.2.3.1.1 he believed there were two types of thinking
1.2.3.1.1.1 Reason
1.2.3.1.1.1.1 looks at the facts in the suituation
1.2.3.1.1.2 Intuition
1.2.3.1.1.2.1 decided what to do
1.2.3.1.1.2.2 shows which particular action was right and where our moral obligations lie
1.2.3.1.2 He recognised peoples morals were different and said tis was because some people has developed their moral thinking more than others
1.2.3.1.2.1 Where there is a conflict of obligation he says he must look at the situation to decide which obligation is greater. How we decide this is unclear
2 Non-Cognitivist
2.1 Emotivism
2.1.1 Ayer, Stevenson
2.1.2 Moral statements cannot be true or false but are simply our expression of personal feeling
2.1.2.1 Hurray/Boo theory
2.1.2.1.1 Ayer stated 'If I say to someone 'You acted wrongly in stealing that money,' I am not saying anything more than you stole that money.' I am simply evincing my moral disprovement of it'
2.1.2.1.1.1 His Hurray/Boo theory sates that ethical/moral statement are not verifiable, so are meaningless. He believed they are simply an expression of emotions and feelings in regard to a matter
2.1.2.1.1.1.1 eg in saying 'murder is wrong' we are saying 'boo to murder' Words such was 'murder' or 'good' invoke an immediate emotional response of positivity or negativity
2.1.2.1.1.1.1.1 Drawing pin analogy
2.1.2.2 Stevenson developed Ayers ideas on emotivism by discussing the emotive meanings of words
2.1.2.2.1 Moral terms, such as 'honestly' respect' 'steal and 'murder' are both descriptive and emotive. Expressing how we feel about them while describing them. When an individual is making an ethical statement they're expressing their feelings while also trying to influence others to believe the same.
2.1.2.2.1.1 Emotivism connects 'caring 'approving' 'disapproving' with the very meaning of the ethical words. Ethical statements may be based on our emotions, but this does not make them arbitrary - they are based on our experience of the world and how we want it to be
2.1.2.3 tl:dr good is what our emotions tell us
2.1.3 Logical positivism
2.1.3.1 the theory that only statement that can be tested by sense experience are meaningful
2.1.3.2 Analytical Statements
2.1.3.2.1 Apriori, 'All bachelors are unmarried men'
2.1.3.3 Synthetic statements
2.1.3.3.1 Aposteriori, 'It is raining outside'
2.1.3.4 Meaningless
2.1.3.4.1 any statement that is not analytic or synthetic, statements of faith, religion, morality, not true by definition or sense perception, not a fact or knowledge.
2.2 Prescriptivism
2.2.1 Hare
2.2.2 Ethical statements prescribe what ought to be done, universally
2.2.2.1 tl: dr Good is that which commands universal action
2.2.2.2 Hare believed moral statements were both prescriptive and universal. He stated the only coherent way to behave morally was to act on judgements you're prepared to universalise, moral statements have a prescriptive quality because they command our behaviour guiding our actions.
2.2.2.2.1 He rejected the subjective idea of morality in emotivism and how it reduced moral statements to nothing more than ordinary statements
2.2.2.2.2 Hare believed reason has a role to play in moral statements, they have a universal character surrounding them
2.2.2.2.2.1 If I say a thing is red I'm committed to the view that anything like it in colour is also red. Descriptive + Universal
2.2.2.2.2.2 The 'Golden Rule' states 'Do onto others as you would have done unto yourself'
2.2.2.2.2.2.1 Kant writes 'Act only on the maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should be a universal law'
2.2.2.2.2.3 When we use ‘good’ to mean ‘morally good’, we are appealing to a set of standards that apply to someone as a person. If we say that an action is a good action or a right action, we mean it is an action that complies with the standards for how someone should act to be a good person
2.2.2.2.3 Moral statements have commanding meaning 'eating meat is wrong' is just the command 'Don't eat meat'
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