Presentation on theme: "From Last time Cognitivism vs. non-cognitivism Subjective descriptivism Cultural relativism Divine Command theory."— Presentation transcript:
From Last time Cognitivism vs. non-cognitivism Subjective descriptivism Cultural relativism Divine Command theory
Objectivism Objectivism is the view that moral statements have a truth value and the truth value does not depend on psychological states of individuals or groups or even God. If objectivism is true, “pleasure is good” would, if true, describe something about the nature of pleasure itself.
The argument from disagreement People often disagree about what is the right thing to do. Different cultures also seem to have different standards about what is right or wrong. Therefore, it is reasonable to think that there is no objective standard of what is right or wrong
Responses It is illegitimate to infer from “people disagree about x” to “there is no fact about x” Compare: People disagree about whether God exists. Therefore there is no fact of the matter whether God exists or not It may be that the differences are not as great as they seem when it comes to ultimate values: the badness of suffering, the goodness of friendship, etc.
The argument from queerness Objective moral qualities would be “qualities or relations of a very strange sort, utterly different from anything else in the universe” These properties would require “some special faculty of moral perception or intuition, utterly different from our ordinary ways of knowing everything else”
How are moral qualities strange? Objective moral qualities would be action directing. If you know x is good you would have a motive or reason to do x” But Mackie thinks there are no objective qualities that in themselves motivate behavior. Objective moral qualities are also strange in that they are not perceived by the senses and are not part of the scientific description of the world
Responses Maybe what distinguishes moral properties is just this prescriptive quality. (sometimes the apprehension of a quality seems to lead to a motivation—e.g. the awareness of pain leads to aversion. There are many other properties that do not seem to be a part of a scientific description of nature and are not perceived by the senses-- numbers, logical truths
Egoism Ethical egoism is the view that what a person ought to do is always what they judge to be in their individual best interest to do. Psychological egoism is the view that everyone, in fact, always does act from a self- interested motive
If psychological egoism is true, then ethical egoism follows if we assume that “ought implies can”—that is, if you have an obligation to do something it must be possible for you to do it. Is psychological egoism true? Is ethical egoism true?