Meta-ethics and normative ethics: the difference

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  • Meta-ethics and Normative-ethics: the differences
    • Normative ethics: The area of ethics that attempts to discuss whether something is right or wrong, God or bad.
    • Empirical evidence: Information that is gained using sensory data.
    • Cognitive statement: A statement that is subject to being true or false.
      • Cognitivists believe that ethical language can have a true meaning.
    • Non-cognitive: A statement that is not subject to being true or false.
      • For example: "Ouch."
      • Non-Cognitivists believe that ethical statements can have true meaning.
        • It is difficult for ethical statements to be meaningful as they do not give us any objective (impartial) information that is subject to be true or false.
    • Meta-ethics is closely linked to normative ethics and trying to understand the meanings of terms and theories.
      • You need meta-ethics in order for normative ethics because you have to understand the words in order to know what's being said and determine whether they are right or wrong.
    • Analytic statements: statements that are true by definition
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