The Naturalistic Fallacy

  • Created by: Elena.S
  • Created on: 26-01-17 09:24

The Naturalistic Fallacy

Definition: a term that is undefinable cannot be defined and any attempt to define the undefinable is clearly fallacious

Moore's argument is about the inquisitive/semantic connection between moral and non-moral terms

P1 - good is undefinable
P2 - any attempt to define the undefinable is fallacious
P3 - an undefinable term is a non-natural concept
P4 - Mill is trying to define good in naturalistic terms
C - this is impossible and so naturalism should be disregarded

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Defence of Mill (Warnock)


P1 - Mill doesn't define "desirable" or "good"
P2 - Mill simply describes what things, as a matter of fact, are considered good
P3 - people consider happiness to be good/desirable
P4 - Mill is trying to persuade people to utilitarianism and doesn't argue that happiness/pleasure = the good
C - Mill is just pointing out that people pursue happiness as a worthwhile goal so they believe it to be good without further proof

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