Meta-ethics mock Vocabulary Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Meta-ethics mock Vocabulary Deck (12)
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1

Cognitivism

Cognitivism in ethics is the view that moral judgements are propositions which can be known—they refer to the world and they have a truth value (true or false).

2

Non-cognitivism

Non-cognitivism is the view that moral judgements cannot be known, because they do not say anything true or false about the world.

3

Realism

Moral realists believe that in some sense moral terms refer to something real, for example pleasure, or happiness, or utility, or the moral law or God’s command. So, from a realist position, morality is discovered.

4

Anti-Realism

Moral anti-realists believe that moral terms do not refer to anything real, but are something else entirely—for example expressions of feeling etc.

5

Emotivism

A non-cognitivist theory of the meaning of moral terms and judgements. In its basic form, emotivism claims that moral judgements do not refer to anything in the world, but are expressions of feelings of approval or disapproval.

6

Empiricism

Our Beliefs and knowledge must be based on experience

7

Intuitionism

A realist theory which claims that we can determine what is right or good according to our moral intuitions. For intuitionists, the terms ‘right’ and ‘good’ do refer to something objective, but they cannot be reduced to naturalistic terms.

8

Is/ought gap

Hume argued that we cannot draw a conclusion which is evaluative (ought) from premises which are purely factual or descriptive.

9

Meta-ethics

Sometimes called ‘second order ethics’, this is the study by moral philosophers of the meaning of moral judgements. This covers issues such as realism, cognitivism, is/ought gap, the naturalistic fallacy etc.

10

Naturalism

The view that we can explain moral concepts, such as good, in naturalistic terms, such as pleasure or happiness.

11

Naturalistic fallacy

G.E Moore attacked Naturalism because he claimed that it committed a fallacy namely of trying to define the indefinable. Moore believed that moral terms such as good could not be defined, and that naturalists tried to define them in naturalistic terms.

12

Prescriptivism

The purpose of moral judgements is to prescribe actions, to urge others to act in a certain way.