Meta-Ethics Review

explores ethical naturalism, intutionism emotivism and perscriptivism

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  • Created by: Marg
  • Created on: 13-10-13 12:25
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  • OCR A2 META-ETHICS
    • 1. Meta Ethics
      • Concerned with the meaning of ethical language
      • Instead of deciding what is "good" or "bad", looks at what "good" and "bad" mean
    • 3. Intuitionism
      • G.E.Moore
        • "If I am asked "What is good?" my answer is that good is good and that is the end of the matter... it cannot be defined"
        • Allegory; "We know what yellow is and can recognise it ... but we cannot actually define yellow. In the same way we know what good is but we cannot actually define it"
      • Moral Judgments are based on an infallible intuitive knowledge of good things
        • We choose actions that bring out most of these good things
      • We don't use our senses like Ethical naturalism but rather our moral intutition
      • H. A Prichard
        • Two Types of thinking; REASON AND INTUITION
          • Reason; looks at facts Intuition; decides what to do
        • Recognized the problem of moral subjectivity across the world BUT ARGUED that people had developed their moral thinking to different extents
          • However he didn't say why or attempt to list any fundamental obligations or moral virtues
        • Obligations are as indefinable as good
      • W.D. Ross
        • Certain types of acts which he called PRIMA FACIE DUTIES were right, in any particular situation
          • 7 Prima Facie Duties;          1. Duties of fidelity          2.Duties of reparation       3. Duties of gratitude         4. Duties of justice           5. Duties of beneficence   6. Duties of self-improvement 7. Duties of Non-maleficence
            • When these conflict must use our Intuition to prioritise them that's why they're called "Prima Facie Duties", they're duties at first sight
            • However, Ross still failed to tell us what a prima facie duty is or how to transfer them into real life dilemmas or their hierarchy of importance.
    • 4. Emotivism
      • A.J. Ayer
        • "ethical terms do not serve only to express feeling. They are calculated also to arouse feelings, and so to stimulate action"
        • Only two kinds of meaningful statements
          • Analytic Statements
            • The truth or falsity of the statement can be determined simply by understanding the terms that occur in them ie. Bachelors are unmarried men
          • Synthetic Statements
            • The truth or falsity of the statement can be determined by checking to establish the facts either way  ie Im wearing a yellow top - you'd have to see me to verify that
      • Moral Statements are expressions of feelings and saying something is either "good" or "bad" is merely expressions of emotional states of approval or dissapproval
      • Roots are in the Vienna Circle, a group of Philosophers in the 1920's who developed a theory called Logical Positivism
        • Logical Positivism; The view that only those things which can be tested are meaningful
          • The Verification Priciple
    • 5. Prescriptivism
      • R.M Hare
        • It would be beneficial to also have a moral system
      • L Mackie
    • 2. Naturalism
      • Ethical Naturalism
        • Ethical terms can be both defined and explained by using the same natural terms we use in non-ethical/ "natural" conversing
          • Ethical language is the same as non-ethical language
        • Morals should be based on the same kind of observation of the world as used in science
          • In Science we find truth and facts by studying the world around us and then define truths and laws of nature, in the same way should we base morality according to ethical naturalists
          • Moral truths are facts and Absolute
        • F.H. BRADLEY
          • "We have found he end, we have found self-realization, duty and happiness in one- yes we have found ourselves, when we have found our station and its duties, our function as an organ of the social organism"
            • The best approach was too pursue self-realization within the community
            • To be a good person we must know our station and it's duties . The good of society is about hard work and obedience. Once your position in life is decided, you have a duty to preform the function of that station
      • Theological Naturalists
        • ie. Thomas Aquinas
        • Goodness=Will of God
          • God defines Morality
      • Hedonistic Naturalism
        • Sees goodness as a fact of pleasure or happiness
        • R.B.Perry suggested that good means "being an object of favorable interest" and right means "being conducive to harmonious happiness"
      • Come to their ethical conclusions using non-ethical evidence
    • Cognitive
      • 3. Intuitionism
        • G.E.Moore
          • "If I am asked "What is good?" my answer is that good is good and that is the end of the matter... it cannot be defined"
          • Allegory; "We know what yellow is and can recognise it ... but we cannot actually define yellow. In the same way we know what good is but we cannot actually define it"
        • Moral Judgments are based on an infallible intuitive knowledge of good things
          • We choose actions that bring out most of these good things
        • We don't use our senses like Ethical naturalism but rather our moral intutition
        • H. A Prichard
          • Two Types of thinking; REASON AND INTUITION
            • Reason; looks at facts Intuition; decides what to do
          • Recognized the problem of moral subjectivity across the world BUT ARGUED that people had developed their moral thinking to different extents
            • However he didn't say why or attempt to list any fundamental obligations or moral virtues
          • Obligations are as indefinable as good
        • W.D. Ross
          • Certain types of acts which he called PRIMA FACIE DUTIES were right, in any particular situation
            • 7 Prima Facie Duties;          1. Duties of fidelity          2.Duties of reparation       3. Duties of gratitude         4. Duties of justice           5. Duties of beneficence   6. Duties of self-improvement 7. Duties of Non-maleficence
              • When these conflict must use our Intuition to prioritise them that's why they're called "Prima Facie Duties", they're duties at first sight
              • However, Ross still failed to tell us what a prima facie duty is or how to transfer them into real life dilemmas or their hierarchy of importance.
      • 2. Naturalism
        • Ethical Naturalism
          • Ethical terms can be both defined and explained by using the same natural terms we use in non-ethical/ "natural" conversing
            • Ethical language is the same as non-ethical language
          • Morals should be based on the same kind of observation of the world as used in science
            • In Science we find truth and facts by studying the world around us and then define truths and laws of nature, in the same way should we base morality according to ethical naturalists
            • Moral truths are facts and Absolute
          • F.H. BRADLEY
            • "We have found he end, we have found self-realization, duty and happiness in one- yes we have found ourselves, when we have found our station and its duties, our function as an organ of the social organism"
              • The best approach was too pursue self-realization within the community
              • To be a good person we must know our station and it's duties . The good of society is about hard work and obedience. Once your position in life is decided, you have a duty to preform the function of that station
        • Theological Naturalists
          • ie. Thomas Aquinas
          • Goodness=Will of God
            • God defines Morality
        • Hedonistic Naturalism
          • Sees goodness as a fact of pleasure or happiness
          • R.B.Perry suggested that good means "being an object of favorable interest" and right means "being conducive to harmonious happiness"
        • Come to their ethical conclusions using non-ethical evidence
      • Cognitive approaches believe morality is objective and therefore there are moral truths
      • Argue that ethical language IS meaningful
    • Non-Cognitive
      • 5. Prescriptivism
        • R.M Hare
          • It would be beneficial to also have a moral system
        • L Mackie
      • 4. Emotivism
        • A.J. Ayer
          • "ethical terms do not serve only to express feeling. They are calculated also to arouse feelings, and so to stimulate action"
          • Only two kinds of meaningful statements
            • Analytic Statements
              • The truth or falsity of the statement can be determined simply by understanding the terms that occur in them ie. Bachelors are unmarried men
            • Synthetic Statements
              • The truth or falsity of the statement can be determined by checking to establish the facts either way  ie Im wearing a yellow top - you'd have to see me to verify that
        • Moral Statements are expressions of feelings and saying something is either "good" or "bad" is merely expressions of emotional states of approval or dissapproval
        • Roots are in the Vienna Circle, a group of Philosophers in the 1920's who developed a theory called Logical Positivism
          • Logical Positivism; The view that only those things which can be tested are meaningful
            • The Verification Priciple
      • Ethical Statements are not factual and therefore are subjective and convey certain attitudes
        • Untitled
  • Moral statements are perscriptive and absolute

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