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Flashcards in Ethical Language Deck (16):

How does A.J Ayer perceive ethical statements?

He sees them as purely an expression of emotion, holding no meaning, saying as much as ‘hurray’ or ‘boo’


What does Ayer say is meaningful?

Only synthetic and analytic statements


What are strengths of emotivism?

- allows freedom of action
- part of being human is to express emotions, especially in moral situations
- everyone’s opinions are equally valid


What are the weaknesses of emotivism?

- it is merely subjectivism
- moral judgements appear to reasoning, not just expressions of feelings


What does R. M Hare say about moral statements?

They are more than just expressions of emotion- they are designed to influence others into adopting your emotive response as an ethical statement.


How does G. E Moore view ethical statements?

He believes that ethical statements do have meaning and can be checked by well- tuned intuition


What does H.A Prichard view ethics?

He believes we developed moral thinking based upon immediate intuition and reason


How does W.D Ross view ethics?

He believes that any idea of ‘right’, ‘obligation’ or ‘good’ is undefinable and that we have prima facie duties and intuition decided which to prioritise


What are weaknesses of intuitionism?

- no justification of why intuition is good
-how can we decide between intuitions?
- intuition stems from cultures and society and so is subjective and unreliable
- J.L Mackie argues that morality about not just what a person believes is intuitively right, but what one is going to do about it


What is naturalism?

The belief that a statement can only be factual and have meaning if it can be verified empirically


What are strengths of naturalism?

- based on what is natural - everyone can experience it
- natural is universal- supports absolute morality


What are weaknesses of naturalism?

- right and wrong are subjective- need humans to exist to determine how we should live
- which evidence do we accept/ ignore - contradictions


Who presented the naturalistic fallacy?

G.E Moore and David Hume


What is the naturalistic fallacy?

We cannot work out what is moral by observing what is around us. You cannot establish An ought from an us.


How does John searle present the exception to the is/ ought gap?

Saying that if it is the case that you promise, you ought to follow and honour a promise


What did searle compare good to?

The colour yellow- you can’t describe it you just know it