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Class Notes 10.30.07

Class Notes 10.30.07 - Error Theory When ordinary people...

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Ayer o Logical positivist/ non-cognitivist o Verifiability Principle Ethical statements can’t be true/ false they’re expressions of emotion o Subjectivism (cognitivism): Ethical claims are statements about the speaker’s emotions “X is wrong“ = I don’t like X “X is right“ = I like X Counterexample: Express interest in something you hold to be morally wrong “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right” Paying back friend is right, but Brower may not want to do it Physician example: o Babies dying of disease where skin falls off o Doctor hated giving injection but knew he should o Describing v. Expressing Pain example: You can describe it (throb) and express it (“ouch!”) o Emotivism “X is wrong“ = expression of disliking X “X is right“ = expression of liking X Ethical Relativism o Mackie Nihilist There are no objective values
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Unformatted text preview: Error Theory When ordinary people talk of right/ wrong they mean an objective claim Moral skepticism Argument from Queerness • Ethical value has to “call to us”/ influence us; it’s not inert • Objective values are strange because they aren’t independent of our attitudes- they influence our attitudes Response of Objectivist: • For something to be of value it influences our attitudes, but it’s value is not made such by our attitudes Metaphysical argument from Queerness • Very basic nature of values If there were morally objective values, then we would have to have a special moral 6 th sense, and we don’t have one • Do we have to have this sense? Do we have an economic sense? A biological sense? P. 503-504 Argument from Relativity...
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