- The study of ethical language
- Tries to work out what is meamt when saying something is good or bad, right or wrong
Moore argued goodness is simple and indefinable
it is a mistake to define 'good' in terms of something else- e.g. in Utilitarianism goodness is pleasure
Good is not a natural property so it cannot be experienced
Is- ought gap
there are only two types of meaningful statements=
synthetic statements- senses and experiences
analytic statements- those that deal with defintions
ought statements do not fit into these above categories- they have no meaning
logical positivists in the Vienna circle in the 'foundations of ethics, language, truth and logic'
only two types of meaningful statements- analytic (true by defintion) and synthetic (sense data)
It presents a problem to religious statements- meaningless if they cannot be empirically verified.