What is meta-ethics?
studying of ethical language
What do ethical naturalists believe?
We can define good in a non-moral, natural way
We cannot define good in a non-moral, natural way
What do ethical non-naturalists believe?
We can define good in a non-moral, natural way.
We cannot define good in a non-moral, natural way.
How would ethical naturalists describe moral truths?
cognitive and objective
factual and realist
How would ethical non-naturalists describe moral truths?
non-cognitive, subjective, anti-realist
What is Hume's book called?
Language, Truth and Logic
Dialogues of Natural Religion
A Treatise of Human Nature
Hume was an ethical non-naturalist
Explain the 'is-ought' gap?
You can't move from a descriptive (is) statement to a prescriptive (ought) statement. This would be logically invalid because factual statements don't lead to value judgements.
Explains how there is no moral knowledge because it is neither synthetic or analytic.
Moral knowledge does exist but we cannot jump from 'is' to 'ought'. We have to go from 'ought' to 'is'
Explain Hume's Fork.
What Hume used to eat dinner.
Hume's Fork demonstrates Hume's belief that knowledge can be either synthetic or analytic. Since morality is neither, it cannot be knowledge. Thus morality is only a belief and has no place on the fork.
Descriptive statements do not lead to a prescriptive statement.
We cannot intuit good
What is the oranges example by Tyler and what does it show?
The example of oranges says that we should eat oranges because they contain vitamin C.
The oranges examples demonstrates the is-ought gap. Just because oranges contain vitamin C (descriptive statement) doesn't meant that we ought to eat them (prescriptive statement).
Tyler argues that we shouldn't have to eat oranges because some people are allergic.
The oranges example explains how simple terms, such as orange, cannot be reduced or broken down into separate definitions.
What is Moore's book called?
The God Delusion
Moore is an ethical naturalist.
Explain the naturalistic fallacy.
We commit the naturalistic fallacy when we try to define good. Good is a unique term that cannot be defined.
It is illogical to move from a factual statement to a value judgement because they are unrelated.
We commit the naturalistic fallacy when we define good because good is a complex term that can be defined.
We commit the naturalistic fallacy when we try to define bad, since it cannot be defined.
What is Moore's quote about good?
"Good is good and that is the end of the matter"
"self-control is essential"
"This change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence."
"Good is good and that is that"
"Good is an illusion"
Explain Moore's Open Question Argument.
The Open Question Argument is used to challenge ethical naturalism.
A closed question, such as is a bachelor an unmarried man?, has the answer contained in the question.
An open question, such as is pleasure really good?, has the answer contained in the question.
An open question, such as is pleasure really good?, doesn't have the answer within the question.
Moore uses Open Questions to support his argument.
Every attempt at defining good leaves us with an open question and this shows the failure of ethical naturalism.
Despite being an ethical non-naturalist, what does Moore believe that is different from Hume?
Objective moral truths exist.
Good can be defined.
Moral knowledge exists.
Objective moral truths don't exist.
Moral knowledge is cognitive, realist and propositional.
Moore believes that we intuit what is good and thus although we cannot define good, we can understand good.
Objective moral truths exists, according to Moore.
What is Moore's quote about intuitionism and moral knowledge.
"good is rather like yellow"
"always look on the bright side of life"
"infallible, intuitive knowledge"
"intuitive, infallible knowledge"
Moore believes that we can define good because it is a simple term.
What colour does Moore compare with good in order to explain simple terms?
What is Moore's example of a complex term that can be reduced down into a definition?
Intuitionism is a cognitive theory.
We use our intuition to work out what is good and therefore it is self-evident.
Moore is a traditional intuitionist
Tick three strengths of intuitionism.
Avoids naturalistic fallacy
We intuit differently
Intuitionism motivates us to act morally
Satisfies the moral absolutist
Intuitionism removes the confusion and ambiguity of trying to define good. Deciding on a right action is simplified as we intuit what is good.
Tick three weaknesses of Intuitionism.
We can't know if our intuition is correct.
Intuitionism doesn't satisfy the moral absolutist.
It is a form of realism.
We can't clarify what intuition is. Is it a conscience or a gut feeling?
Intuitionism doesn't motivate us morally.
We have a common intuition.
Who created emotivism?
Tick two things that Ayer believed about intuitionism.
Ayer disagrees with intuitionism because it is subjective.
Intuitionism can be verified.
Intuitionism cannot be empirically verified.
Ayer preferred Hume's Fork.
What was Ayer's book called?
Language, Logic and Truth
Truth, Logic and Language
Truth, Language and Logic
Ayer believes ethical terms cannot be verified because they are "pseudo-concepts" and cannot be analysed.
According to Ayer, ethical terms add something to factual content because they are valuable.
Tick two quotes by Ayer that describe what ethical terms are.
Explain the Ayer's 'boo-hurrah' theory.
Ethical terms are just expressions of our emotions. For example, saying stealing is wrong is just a 'boo' and saying sharing is right is a 'hurrah'. There is no factual value to ethical terms.
Ayer believes that intuitionism is 'boo' and emotivism is 'hurrah'
The 'boo-hurrah' theory is used to demonstrate how ethical terms can be verified and have emotional value.
Stevenson developed Ayer's emotivism.
What is Stevenson's essay called?
The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms
Modern Moral Philosophy
Emotivism: The Book
The Emotional Meaning of Ethical Terms
Stevenson believes that ethical statements have two purposes. Tick the correct two purposes.
Ethical statements add to factual content.
Ethical statements express our own psychological beliefs/attitudes.
Ethical statements are unverifiable.
Ethical statements are an attempt to persuade others of our feeling.
Ethical statements are an attempt to discourage people thinking.
Stevenson's theory is different from Ayer's emotivism because it gives meaning to ethical language.
Tick three strengths of emotivism.
Emotivism is just a shouting match of emotions.
Emotivism acknowledges different moral views.
Stevenson gives purpose and meaning to ethical language and his argument makes sense.
We are able to remove reason from moral judgements.
Emotivism explains why moral disputes are impossible to resolve because they are impossible to prove/verify
Tick three weaknesses of emotivism. (Hint: This can include any criticisms made by scholars)
Barclay believes we need laws in our society to avoid chaos so we cannot just rely on emotion.
Emotivism helps us express ourselves.
MacIntyre criticises emotivism because it is just a shouting match of emotivism
Emotivism rejects moral absolutes and is subjective
Emotivism is boring and doesn't make sense.
Ayer's quote criticising intuitionism.
"Good is good and that is the end of that"
"a mere appeal to intuition is worthless as a test of a proposition's validity"
"Verification is the only way"