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Flashcards in Meta Ethics Deck (53)
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1
Q

what is meta ethics

A

The consideration of second order questions about the nature and purpose of morality.

Such as what is the meaning of “good”, “bad”, “right”, “wrong”.

2
Q

What are second order questions?

A

Questions about first order questions and the answers given to those questions.

3
Q

What is A priori

A

Knowledge prior to evidence.

Knowledge in not dependant on sense experience.

4
Q

What is A posteriori

A

Argument based on observations of the world.

Uses empirical facts and draws conclusions from them.

5
Q

Named scholars for Utilitarianism

A

Mill
Bentham

6
Q

Named scholars for Intuitionism

A

G.E.Moore
W.D.Ross

7
Q

Named scholars for Divine Command Theory

A

Karl Barth
John Calvin

8
Q

What is cognitivism

A

Claims that ethical judgements state facts so are objectively true or false.

9
Q

What is non-cognitivism

A

Claims that ethical judgements are not statements of facts therefore cannot be objectively true or false

Implies that moral knowledge is impossible.

10
Q

Ethical Subjectivism

A

The view that moral judgements merely state or express the emotions or preferences of the speaker.

11
Q

Ethical objectivism

A

The view that moral values are intrinsic and not dependent on anything outside them

12
Q

What would NML define good as

A

Abiding to precepts/Ten Commandments/word of God
Following what is natural

13
Q

What would SE define good as

A

What brings about Agapeic love

14
Q

What would VE define good as

A

Reaching Eudaimonia (happiness)
What is virtuous

15
Q

Analytic truth

A

True by definition
E.g. “A bachelor is an unmarried man” or “triangles have three sides”

16
Q

Synthetic truth

A

True by experience - needs empirical evidence/investigation
E.g. “Everything with a heart has a kidney” or “My village has a church”

17
Q

What is Humes fork

A

There are two objects of human enquiry:
1) Relations of ideas (a priori) -
Denial is self-contradictory – denial is inconceivable
Necessary truths – discoverable by thought
We don’t need to gather evidence

2) Matters of facts (a posteriori)-
Claims that are true, but denial is not inconceivable
Observations are needed

18
Q

How are moral uses of good, circular?

A

To say a good action is “excellent” or “the right thing to do”

This amounts to nothing more than “what is good is what I believe good is”

Something good from a moral perspective does not tell us why it is good. Only that the person considers it to be good.

Threfore circular argument.

19
Q

What is ought Problem

A

You cant go from matter of fact, observable statements of the world to ethical statements on how we ought to behave in the world.

20
Q

Who came up with the is-ought problem

A

Hume

21
Q

What does hume mean by “is”

A

Statements of the world
Can be dicovered by science
Matter of fact (independant to humans)

22
Q

What does Hume mean by “Ought”

A

Values (dependent on humans)
A judgement
E.G how humans should treat eachother or the world etc

23
Q

Best way Hume describes is/Ought arguments

A

illogical

24
Q

An example of an is ought error

A

Fruit IS full of vitamins
You OUGHT to eat fruit

HUme would suggest there has been a logical mishap here.

25
Q

Humes Is/Ought quote

A

“You cannot derive an ought from an is”

26
Q

Is the vitamin fruit argument really illogical?

A

Seems reasonable - if fruit contains vitamins then we should eat them as they are clearly good for us.
First premise is true - science tells us this.

However this isnt justified.
The second statement is an ethical claim is subjective - illogical argument. STILL A GAP
Why have vitamins just because they are good for you?

27
Q

what kind of theory is intuitionism

A

non-naturalist
consequentalist
cognitive
secular ethics
moral realist

28
Q

what is moral realism

A

exists independantly of persons
objective moral values - moraality exists in external world and we can see and recognise it.

29
Q

what is non naturalism

A

moral knowledge known by factual property of intuitionism

30
Q

what is secular ethics

A

ethical theories and actions are based on human facilities such as reason and logic and not religious values

31
Q

what is naturalistic fallacy

A

the fault of attempting to define good in terms of natural properties
not acceptable to confuse ‘good’ with natural properties

32
Q

GEMoores quote on naturalistic fallacy

A

naturalistic fallacy is committed when… “a philosopher attempts to prove a claim by defining good by using a natural property”

33
Q

what was GE moores comment on intrinsic goods and naturalistic theories

A

naturalistic theories define good as something identifiable in the world e.g happiness
there is nothing intrinsically good about happiness
it is only good if we define it as such - and not not everyone will agree.

34
Q

what is GE Moores open and closed argument

A

closed argument = makes no sense to ask - e.g does a triangle have 3 sides - only ignorant to ask as the meaning of triangle is three sides.

open argument = any claim about what goodness is will
A utilitarian could claim that goodness is happiness, however
the question “is goodness happiness” remains open since goodness
cannot be defined and therefore asking that question does not entail
ignorance.

35
Q

basic premise of moral intuitionism

A

good cannot be defined in terms of any other ideas
goodness is self evidence

36
Q

G.E Moore against naturalism

A

good is not synonumus to any ideas - no natural property can be identical to good as no natural property has “has to be doneness” built into them like good

37
Q

teachings of intuitionism

A

objective moral truths = independant to humans (cognitive)

fundemental truths = cant be broken down from moral truths

human beings can discover truths through intuition

38
Q

core beliefs of intuitionism

A

moral norms = objective existance - independant to human experience

morality is intuitive - what feels to be true without conscious reasoning

intuition tells us something is good. we just know it in situations.
enables us to know basic truths so we are able to make ethical decisions

39
Q

GE Moore analogy and link to goodness

A

yellow can be recognised but not defined. same thing for good.
we understand goodness like a fact

40
Q

GEMoores goodness quote

A

“good is good and that is the end of the matter”

41
Q

how is intuitionism a consequentalist theory

A

can work out right and wrong through impact of our consequences we simply know what actions are right
good comes from consequence not reason - teleological

42
Q

can moral statements be proven?

A

not empiracally
dont use scientific observation to percieve good
moral judgements = incapable of being proved

43
Q

simple vs complex ideas

A

complex ideas = ideas cant be broken down using other ideas - e.g horse - define and reduce to mammal or herbivor

simple ideas = cant be broken down - e.g yellow - cannot describe in any other way but yellow - has no synonmn

44
Q

W.d Ross and rightness

A

What is right is unique depending on what is “morally suitable” for the situation a person is in

Base judgements on what’s right and wrong on intuition

45
Q

What does Ross agree with Moore on

A

That there are real objective truths

46
Q

What did WDRoss say on conflicting duties
Include example

A

For example a doctor sees it as her duty to keep this seriously ill person as pain-free as possible but equally that is her duty to avoid killing her patient

There comes a point as the quantities of painkilling drugs increase to meet the first duty that is can speed up the patients death as a consequence therefore conflicting the second duty

47
Q

What are WD Ross Duties

A

Keep promises

Pay back the home we do to others

Not to injure others

Return favours and service is given to us by others

Not harm innocent people

Look after parents

48
Q

WT Rosses quote on the prima Facey duties

A

“What we should do is determined by the balance of these responsibilities “

49
Q

What does prima Facey mean

A

At first Face

50
Q

What do the prima facie mean and how do humans use them

A

If There are no conflicting circumstances between his duties then each duty is absolute

however if there is confliction then you have to balance them and consider what to do

We should be reasonable and sensible enough to work this out as we have reason and the ability to critically judge

51
Q

WD Ross in the example of the mad ax murderer

A

More intuition in this example we need to use our common sense to tell us what we ought to do

If a mad ax murderer knocks on our door and asked For you to tell him where about is an innocent victim is you have a prima Facey duty to protect the innocent

The intent of saving the victims life is more important than going against the problem of lying

This is the intuitive truth

52
Q

Three main strengths of intuitionism

A

Allows us to answer issues clearly and instantly

Appeals to human nature – we use our intuition to decide right from wrong

Avoid complex debate as to what is good because we cannot define good

Avoids the problem of subjectivism and also identifying ethics with a natural property

53
Q

Weaknesses of intuitionism

A

Most people think morality is subjective or based on emotions

Intuitionism comes from different routes – cultural conditioning

Intuitionism will allow anyone to get away with anything

Some philosophers Criticised Moores analogy of yellow and while ones person may see good as one thing another can see good in a completly different light
Therefore the issue of ethical colour blindness