III. The Objectivity of Definitions A. Objective fact vs. opinion The definition of a moral quality is not a matter of what people think . You cannot determine what goodness, or justice, or piety, is by conducting a poll. Consequently, whether something or someone has a given moral quality is also not a matter of mere opinion. Whether an act or a person is good, or just, or pious, for example, is not to be settled by a vote. B. The Euthyphro The Euthyphro gives us a good example of Socrates’ belief that moral qualities are real , not conventional. Euthyphro suggests that piety can be defined as what the gods all love (9e). Socrates objects. Even if all the gods agree about which things are pious, that doesn’t tell us what piety is. (Even a poll of the gods is just a lot of opinions.) He gets Euthyphro to admit that it is not because they are loved by the gods that things are pious. Rather, they are loved by the gods because they are pious . So piety cannot be
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHYSICS 110 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at UC Davis.