Ethical Thought Meta-ethical approaches

Ethical Thought Meta-ethical approaches

CEDAR - DCT Meta ethics Theological voluntarism 1. God as the origin and regulator of morality 2. Right or wrong are objective truths based on Gods will 3. Moral goodness is achieved by complying with Divine Commands 4. Divine Commands are a requirement of Gods omnipotence 5. Divine Command as an objective metaphysical foundation of morality Modified DCT Robert Adams God is omnibenevolent based on Biblical teachings Jesus Evil deeds cant be done Solve the Euthyphro Dilemma Ethical Thought Meta-ethical approaches 1 d Naturalism Normative vs. Meta Ethics Meta Ethics

Normative Ethics Descriptive Ethics Explores meaning and use of ethical language. Asks what things are good and bad. What do we mean by: good, bad, right, wrong? What behaviour is right and wrong. Decides how people ought to act and how they make moral

E.G What does sex before marriage choices. is wrong mean? These decisions may be from a Where do our ethical principles group/ culture e.g. Christian tradition come from are we born with moral or may be based on a philosophical instincts or do they come from way of thinking. environment? E.G Is sex before marriage right? E.g. Natural Law, Utilitarianism, Kant Describes and compares different ways societies

have answered moral questions. Can be called moral sociology. E.G What do Christian/ Muslim traditions believe about sex before marriage? Meta Ethics Cognitive Objective Ethical naturalism F. H. Bradley Intuitionism

G.E. Moore H. A. Pritchard W. D. Ross Non Cognitive Subjective Emotivism Prescriptivism A. J. Ayer C.L Stevenson R. M. Hare Do you think ethical sentences can be true and false?

YES NO You are a cognitivist Do you think we can know that an ethical statement is true through experience? YES You are a moral naturalist. Choose from: Utilitarianism Natural Moral Law Virtue Ethics NO

You are a moral non-naturalist (an intuitionist). Choose from: Consequentialist intuitionism (Moore) Deontological intuitionism (Ross) You are a non-cognitivist Do you think ethical sentences are simply expressions of approval/disapproval? YES You are an emotivist (Ayer) NO You are a prescriptivist (Hare)

What is meta-ethics? Meta-ethics is the term used for discussion about the nature and validity of ethical statements. Meta-ethical statements are about what it means to claim that something is right or wrong; and the grounds on which it does so. True or false 1D. Meta-ethical approaches: Naturalism Candidates should be able to explain with clarity what Naturalism is (some useful information can be found in Ethical Studies 2nd edition, Chapter 6 by Robert Bowie (Nelson Thornes)); they must have a good understanding of Bradleys view on Naturalism and understand the challenges to meta-ethical theory of Naturalism. Candidates need to study the listed criticisms of Naturalism and have a clear knowledge and understanding of each criticism and why it is specifically damaging to the meta-ethical theory of Naturalism. All of the criticisms should be exemplified, in order to demonstrate understanding.

Introduction meanings of good Meanings of good What do we mean by a good guitar? Or a good knife? What makes a good person? Are the meanings of good here the same or different? Is there a prescriptive meaning of good a good person should do x? Naturalists believe goodness can be measured and translated into facts (about pleasure, happiness, human ourishing). Ethical naturalism - naturalism With this approach, goodness is something that exists and can be described. In other words here is some point at which you can explain an ethical statement in terms of a non-ethical one. What is good may be found in particular qualities, or in the ability to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number, or in something that fulfils its intended purpose. It claimed that ethical could be substantiated in the same way scientific ones were, using evidence and proofs. This means they treat ethical statements as verifiable or falsifiable e.g. It is raining outside For example Aristotle argued that everything as a final cause, the purpose for which

it had been designed and fulfilling that purpose was what made it good. Good pen . . . This lead to the Natural Law approach (which is our next topic) So, if you consider that good can be explained in terms of some feature of the world or of human life, then you can count yourself as an ethical naturalist. Summary so far moral facts arent views or opinions, likes or dislikes Brief introduction to naturalism Ethical naturalism is the view that: 1. Ethical terms can be defined or explained using the same natural terms that we would use to define mathematics or science. 2. Morals could be based on the same kind of observation of the world as used in science. Moral truths are facts like numbers or chemical properties. e.g. the wrongness of murder of an innocent I also see the fact that it is I see how the person was killed, who the killer is and what happened

despicable and wrong. The wrongness of the murder is as much a fact of the universe as the fact that a knife in the heart stops it. Different categories of naturalists Theological naturalists gods will is the non-ethical element that is the basis of ethical conclusions St Thomas Aquinas Goodness is linked to the will of God as seen in nature. Gods will defines morality murder is wrong because God commands against murder. Hedonic naturalists pleasure is the non-ethical element that is

the basis of ethical conclusions R.B. Perry Goodness is a fact of pleasure or happiness Example from Bowie Stalin helped defeat Germany What type of statement is this? Can we prove it true or false? Stalin was an evil man What type of statement is this? Can we prove it true or false? True or false Ethical Naturalism is just doing what comes naturally. Ethical Naturalism argues actions have objective moral properties Ethical Naturalism claims that ethical statements can be true or false, like mathematical statements (cognitivism)

If an Ethical Naturalist claimed lying is wrong what would they mean? For example lying causes suffering and distress we can substitute the word wrong for some natural feature of lying which we claim is observable and cognitively provable. In this way ethical statement can be verified, for example, by observing whether lying really does cause human distress. F. H. Bradley and the nature of ethical statements Ethical statements express propositions which are provable as true or false Moral judgement must involve a reference to what is real Bradleys argument is a form of cognitivism we can know objectively and test empirically ethical propositions e.g. honesty is good Naturalism F.H. Bradley (1846-1924) Bradley believed that a moral perspective was determined from self-realisation and from observing ones position in society. He rejected hedonism pleasure provides no self-understanding

He rejected Kants idea of duty for the sake of duty it doesnt guide us into morality or give human satisfaction. Bradley concluded that the better approach was to pursue self-realisation within the community: . . . We have found the end, we have found self realisation, duty and happiness in one yes, we have found ourselves, when we have found our station and its duties, our function as an organ of the social organisation Bradley, 1927 We need to learn from family, community, adopt the values of our society, know our station and its duties. The good of society is about hard work and obedience. Once your position in life is decided, you have a duty to perform the function of that station. Tasks 1. Complete tasks 1, 2 and 3 in Booklet 2 2. Create a mini mind map on Bradley on page 3 Bradley Observe society family, community

Summary Ethical terms can be defined or explained using the same natural terms that we would use to defined mathematics or science Morals could be based on the same kind of observation of the world as used in scientific observation Naturalists come to their ethical conclusions using non-ethical evidence. In the case of the hedonists, pleasure is the non-ethical element F.H. Bradley believed that a moral perspective was determined from self-realisation and observing ones position in society The good of society is about hard work and obedience. Know your station and duty. Can you think of any challenges? Regardless of whether a situation may have evidence to support that it is right (euthanasia) it may still break the law Right and wrong are subjective not objective Do ethical/ moral situations have evidence? Which evidence do we accept/ ignore?

Challenge Humes Law: Is Ought distinction We can gather information about world around us through sense experience (empiricism). We cannot move from an objective factual statement about observations to a subjective moral one. E.G forensic = a man is dead = verified but cannot find evidence of wrongness of murder. Hume believed cannot move from a fact X is Y or John is dead to Do X instead of Y or John is dead you ought not kill. No amount of facts are ever sufficient to imply ethical conclusion. Is does not imply ought. Challenge: Naturalistic Fallacy

Cannot identify goodness (ethical statement) with a natural quality statement about the world (non ethical statement) To claim moral statements can be verified or falsified = commits naturalistic fallacy. Cannot infer from a description of how the world is to how the world ought to be. Is are factual objective statements Ought are ethical statements of value. Cannot use facts to work out how we ought to act. G.E.Moore Challenges to ethical naturalism Humes Law (the is-ought problem) Hume is pointing out that factual statements and moral statements are of a

different kind Moores Naturalistic Fallacy (moral language is indefinable) Open Question argument (moral facts cannot be reduced to natural properties) Moore Answer questions 4 Explain Humes argument for an is/ought gap What is an is? What is a natural property and why do critics claim it cant apply to ethical statements? Question 5 How does Hume think moral statements and beliefs are derived?

What is an ought? What is an open question? Explain Humes argument about the missing premise What is the Naturalistic Fallacy? How are open questions used to challenge ethical naturalism? What is moral motivation? Give an example of an open question Explain the meta-ethical approach of Naturalism. Candidates could include some or all of the following, but other relevant points should be

credited. [AO1 20] Naturalism is meta-ethical theory. It explores the status, foundations, and scope of moral values and words. Naturalism concentrates on what morality itself is. Naturalism states that objective moral laws exist independently of human beings. Morality is not the result of human rational thought but is an independent reality. As morality is independent of reality, moral terms can be understood by analysing the natural world in the same way that scientific terms can be understood from analysis. Both ethical and non-ethical statements can both be regarded as cognitivist. Cognitivism is the meta-ethical view that ethical sentences express propositions and can therefore can be verified or falsified. Verified moral statements can then be accepted as objective truths in the same way that scientific statements are accepted as objective truths. As moral statements are objective truths they must also be universal i.e. apply to all in the same way. Candidates can refer to the work of F.H. Bradley on Naturalism. Bradley developed naturalism by arguing that ethical sentences express propositions. These propositions can be seen as true or false by considering objective features of the world. Therefore, meta-ethical statements can be seen in the same way as scientific terms. This is not a checklist, please remember to credit any valid alternatives.

Key terms Meta-ethics Objective Cognitivist Proposition A statement that expresses a concept that could be true or false Verified Can you think of any strengths? Based on what is natural everyone can experience it Nature is universal so supports argument that morals can be universally known factual Presents a solid guideline that ethics follow in every situation.

Evaluating Ethical Naturalism Whether ethical and non-ethical statements are the same. The extent to which ethical statements are not objective. Whether ethical and non-ethical statements are the same. They are the same They are not the same Critics complain that a good definition of "natural property" is problematic, but it would normally refer to a property which can be discovered by sense observation or experience, experiment, or through any of the available means of science, and this just does not apply in the case of ethical statements. Moral truths are facts like science and maths

Moral truths are based on observation and analysis G.E. Moore Naturalist Fallacy Cant go from an ought to an is Can see the impact of moral actions e.g. lying Hume ethical statements are not like non-ethical statements missing premise, motivation for morality is feelings and desires Cant be tested and not empirical When I observe that something is wrong it is an objective fact of the universe Moral statements are opinions, views

Moral statements are spiritual The extent to which ethical statements are not objective. what can you use from the last plan? Not objective Are objective Cognitive Hume moral motivation Opinions Based on observation e.g. lying James Rachels ethical naturalism begins by identifying goodness with satisfying our interests. Inquiry into the natural world same as science and maths

G.E. ethical statements dont have a natural property Moral facts are facts of nature Naturalistic Fallacy Bradley ethical statements are objective based on observation of society 3. (b) The Naturalistic Fallacy illustrates that ethical language can never be objective. Evaluate this view. The Naturalistic Fallacy is commonly associated with G. E. Moore. He argued ethical terms like good and bad cannot be used in objective statements. This is because you cannot define ethical words like good and bad. Any attempt to find a definition will reduce / limit the idea of these terms. Therefore, ethical terms like good' and bad' cannot be used in objective statements because ethical terms are themselves are undefinable. Ethical statements cannot be objective because the terms

used to express them are not themselves objective. Naturalism cannot illustrate ethical language as being objective because the words used in ethical statements cannot express ethical facts. The view that ethical language can never be objective is also supported by the meta-ethical theory of Emotivism. Emotivism states objective moral laws do not exist. Moral terms express personal emotional attitudes and not propositions that can be verified or falsified. Instead, ethical terms are just expressions of personal approval or disapproval. However, Naturalism states that objective moral laws do exist that are independent of human beings. Moral terms can be understood by analysing the natural world. Ethical words like 'good', 'bad', 'right' or 'wrong' are defined in the same way we define scientific terms, through observation of the natural world. Ethical statements are verified or falsified using scientific criteria. Ethical statements are cognitivist, and as a result, morality

can be defined in factual terms. This would mean that ethical statements have an absolute nature that can be applied to all moral agents equally. The idea is supported by F.H. Bradley, he stated that ethical sentences express moral propositions. It is the objective features of the world around us that can be used to decide if these propositions are true or false. Intuitionism would also argue that objective ethical statements exist. However, objective moral laws can be discovered by using our minds in an intuitive way. Intuitive ability is a universal innate ability and therefore allows for objective moral values. Overall, candidates should engage with the debate and come to a substantiated evaluation regarding the issue raised.

Recently Viewed Presentations

  • SVC10: Building Offline/Cache Mode Web Apps Using Sync Framework

    SVC10: Building Offline/Cache Mode Web Apps Using Sync Framework

    Why Build Data Caching Apps. Offline/Cached mode apps enjoy lots of value today on-prem. Client apps get better UX through . Lower latency - data access doesn't require round trips
  • Chapt. 10 - Surveying Market Pay and Compensation Practices

    Chapt. 10 - Surveying Market Pay and Compensation Practices

    Factor 1: Hiring and Retaining Competence Employees Factor 2: Promoting Worker Productivity Factor 3: Developing an Adequate and Acceptable Pay Structure Factor 4: Recognizing Pay Trends in the Market Factor 5: Defending Pay Practices in Court Chapt. 10 - Surveying...
  • The Church in Fourth Century: from Constantine to Augustine

    The Church in Fourth Century: from Constantine to Augustine

    The "Christian Year" 2nd c.: Christians observed two historic days: Easter - a time of sorrow over the death of Jesus. Pentecost - a time of rejoicing at Jesus' resurrection/sending of the Holy Spirit
  • Dave Randall University of Siegen, Germany Live data-

    Dave Randall University of Siegen, Germany Live data-

    A serendipitous relationship with 'ethnography' amis-used term, 'ethnomethodologically informed ethnography' has become common. Not interested in technical arguments about what ethnography might be. Prefer to think in terms of: Talking to people. Watching people. Trying to figure out what they're...
  • Workshop on Debt Buying: Selling in Today's Environment

    Workshop on Debt Buying: Selling in Today's Environment

    Pooled or "league" selling . Valuing the Portfolio of Debt. Appropriate data to estimate the value. Asset type. Borrower type. Characteristics of debt, including: Age of debt. Account balance. ... Workshop on Debt Buying: Selling in Today's Environment
  • Chain of Survival and EMSC

    Chain of Survival and EMSC

    Hypotension could be a late sign of shock because of a compensatory mechanism that is activated early—this is an emergency! Mottled skin on the extremities is not unusual. Infants have a large body surface area and high metabolic rate that...
  • Laryngeal Anatomy and Physiology

    Laryngeal Anatomy and Physiology

    Sub-Glottal Pressure Bernoulli Effect - set vocal folds into vibration due to the elasticity of the folds (elastic recoil - the force which restores any elastic body back to its resting place) Muscular Force - Muscles act to bring the...
  • New Dog, Old Tricks: Running Halo 3 Without

    New Dog, Old Tricks: Running Halo 3 Without

    The total size of The storm is about 1.2 GB, and after factoring in the Xbox system reserve and game overhead, we have about 335 MB of memory available for content. This is a lower bound on memory, based on...