Emotivism Flashcards Preview

Meta Ethics > Emotivism > Flashcards

Flashcards in Emotivism Deck (16)
Loading flashcards...

Define Emotivism

The view that any moral claim is essentially an emotional plea.
It is to show a level of emotional approval or disapproval.
E.g. Abortion is murder - I think disapprove of the act of abortion.


Non-cognitive approach:

The belief that Moral truths are subjective, and are matters of personal choice, not existing independently of the human experience.
Good, bad, right and wrong dont exist.
E.g. Emotivism - Prescriptivism


Cognitive Approach:



A non-cognitivist cannot say...

Whether a moral statement is true of false.


“Ethics is a Cacophony...

Of noise”- A.J.Ayer


Emotivism issues: Unity

With Emotivism, there is no unity in morals, due to being so subjective.
Everyone has different opinions.


Emotivism issues: The only standard...

Is our opinions.
Leaving lots of uncertainties.


Emotivism Strength: No disagreement

As there are no outright morals, there be no moral disagreements.
Just emotional reactions to situations.


Naturalistic Fallacy:

This is the claim that morals are definable facts.


Emotivism Strengths: Avoids...

The Naturalistic Fallacy.
It is essentially the opposite to definable and factual morals.


Emotivism Strengths: Reconcives our understanding of ethics...

As desires.
Not reasons that move us to act.
Free from non-natural made up morals that “exist but arnt sense-able”


Emotivism Strength: Accounts of the indeterminable...

moral disputes.
Why is it that so many moral disputes never end? - Emotivism!
I.e. How can one reason that abortion is so wrong and the other that it is so good? - Emotions.


Emotivism Weakness: Reason may be the slave of passions

Yet, Emotivism is too quick to give up on moral reasoning.
Reason may be a slave to our desires but it still provides all our logic.


Emotivism Weakness: If right and wrong are just human emotion...

In our absence, nothing is right or wrong.
I.e. If i trap a rabbit, and its dying painfully but I’m not there to see it, nothings wrong.
And if i watch it die, the wrongness only lasts for as long as my feelings do.
Blandshard- There is a level of absurdity in grounding right and wrong in our feelings.


Emotivism Weakness: If good is emotionally derived, its therefore not universal, leading too...

Ethical egoism.
E.g. I’m happier w/ personal profit than alleviating global poverty.
Morality as a matter of taste, is open to persuasion and propaganda with no reason involved.


Emotivism Weakness: Emotions based on belief can be reasoned over...

if morality is a based on subjectivism/non-cog, then moral progress doesn’t exist.
Was the abolition of slavery due to a change in emotions?