Summary - Harman Essay

Summary - Harman Essay - Explaining Value Summary By...

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Explaining Value Summary By Gilbert Harman Noncognitivism: moral judgments do not function to describe a moral reality, but do something else-express feelings, prescribe a course of action, etc. Naturalism: an approach to ethics that is dominated by a concern with the place of values in the natural world. o Moral judgements can be analyzed into or reduced to factual statements of a sort clearly compatible with the scientific world view. o Or, there is no way in which ethics could fit into the scientific concept of the world, which would lead to nihilism. Goal of all philosophy is to start with your own moral beliefs and views and make continuous small modifications until all theories are united. Mackie supposes that ethics requires absolute values. Thus anyone aware of their existence must be motivated to act morally. o Since we cannot become aware of such entities, Mackie concludes that ethics must be rejected as resting on a false presupposition. Naturalism can lead to one course of action or general policy: Hare. Or Naturalists that moral judgments do make factual claims that fit in the world of science. Moral claims = reactions of an impartial observer: Hume. It seems that the most plausible version of naturalism involves moral relativism: different agents are subject to different basic moral requirements depending on the moral conventions in which they participate. Autonomous ethics: pursued internally o Incorporates part of absolutism: there are basic moral demands that apply to all moral agents. o Intuitionism: everyone has immediate insight into the truths of certain moral principles. Naturalists see an important difference between factual and moral beliefs. o Factual beliefs: provide evidence that there is an independent world of objects that we can manipulate. o Moral beliefs can be explained based on upbringing and psychology, without any appeal to an independent realm of values and obligations. So our moral beliefs do not provide us with evidence for such an independent realm of values and obligations and we must choose between skepticism, noncongnitivism and relativism. o Autonomists disagree with this. Naturalists say that a belief cannot be explained by virtue of somethings being right, unless that thing’s being right consists in some psychological fact, they assume all explanatory factors are part of the world revealed by science.
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Summary - Harman Essay - Explaining Value Summary By...

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