Dr Nick Mercer Essay

1. Explain the logical positivism rule and how it leads Ayer to reject claims about values. God. and the hereafter. The basis of LP beliefs was the rule of confirmation. This claims that a statement merely has significance if it is either analytic or through empirical observation verifiable. An analytic statement is true ( or faithlessly ) merely in virtuousness of the significance of the words ; “a unmarried man is an single man” is an analytically true. while “a square has three sides” is analytically false. A statement is through empirical observation verifiable if empirical grounds would travel towards set uping that the statement is true or false.

For illustration. if I say “The Moon is made of green cheese” . we can look into this by scientific probe. If I say “The existence has 600 trillion planets” . we can’t look into this by scientific probe in pattern. but we can make so in rule. We know how to demo whether it is true or false. so it is “verifiable” even if we can’t verify it. The rule of confirmation entails that claims about values. about what is right or incorrect are nonmeaningful.

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They are neither true nor false because they do non really province anything. If I say “murder is wrong” . this is non analytic. nor can any empirical probe show this. We can demo that slaying causes heartache and hurting. or that it is frequently done out of choler. But we can non show. in the same manner. that is incorrect. 2. What expostulation to logical positivism is based on moralss? “Statements of value” are empirical propositions – they are statements about our psychological science or sociology.

For case. let’s attempt a though experiment. This one is from Jonathan Haidt. Julie and Mark are brother and sister and they go up to a cabin they know and spend the dark at that place. While passing the dark at that place they have sex with each other. Julie in on the pill and Mark uses a rubber so there is no opportunity that Julie will hold a babe.

The following forenoon they felt reasonably good. they don’t experience black at all. Is what they did wrong? Incest thought experiment: people have in-built ‘yuck’ natural reaction towards incest ( evolutionary psychological science: evolved to hold certain responses that lead to rapid judgements without being capable to ground ) . This statement of value describes a fact about our evolutionary psychological science. 3. What four parts does a typical “system of ethics” have? State which parts are philosophical and which are non. and explicate why. 1. Definitions of ethical footings ( i. e. the “good” . the “right” )

2. Descriptions of moral experience ( feelings of approbation and condemnation towards certain Acts of the Apostless and certain people ) 3. Exhortations to moral virtuousness ( normative bids that commend you to move in a certain manner or have a certain character ) 4. Ethical judgements ( the procedure by which we come to determinations on whether an act or individual is moral ) Merely the first 1 is philosophical. This is because in specifying ethical footings one is an effort to set up foundations for the claim that there is moral cognition.

Specifying the “good” in footings of the “right” or in footings of “value” is a decently philosophical enquiry because Descriptions of moral experience can be assigned to psychology and sociology. Exhortations to moral virtuousnesss are non propositions. they are bids designed to arouse the individual into action. Ethical judgements have yet to be classified.

4. Why does Ayer reject the thought that “good” is definable in empirical footings? If we try and define the “good” in empirical footings. i. e. . the “good” is what is enjoyable ( what is enjoyable can be through empirical observation verified ) . or the “good” is what is desired ( what we feel towards people and Acts of the Apostless can be through empirical observation verified ) . in both instances we can demo that some pleasant things are non good and that bad things are desired.

By making so we are showing that it is non paradoxical to state that pleasant things are non good. Empirical statements can be show to be true or false – X is Y. or X is non Y. but they can’t be both true and false – this is a contradiction. Pleasure can be both good and bad ; desire can be both good and bad ; without contradiction. so it is non definable in empirical footings. 5.

Why does Ayer reject the thought that moral judgements can be known by intuition as axiomatic truths? Intuitionism is moral theory that claims that basic judgements about what is good are intuitions. A axiomatic judgement has no other grounds or cogent evidence but its ain plausibleness. Intuitionism is a signifier of moral foundationalism ; our intuitions about what is good are axiomatic judgements that require no other beliefs to back up them. G. E.

Moore argued that the “good” can non be defined in any other footings as this would be perpetrating the realistic false belief: comparing “good” with any natural belongings like “happiness” Ayer rejects intuitionism on the footing that people disagree about what is intuitively axiomatic. 6. How does Ayer analyze moral judgements? What does “Stealing is incorrect mean” ?

Are such judgements true or false? “Stealing money is wrong” has no factual content. It is like crying “stealing money! ” It is an emotional look. like stating “boo” to a squad you don’t like. Expressions of moral sentiments can’t be true or false. merely as feeling in love is non something that can be said to be true or false – your feelings can be misguided but they are non false. 7.

Besides expressing feelings. what do moral judgements make? Arouse experiencing on others. They can be normative: “It is your responsibility to state the truth” is both an affectional look and an look of the bid “Tell the truth” . 8. What is the proper commendation for finding the cogency of a moral judgement? Moral judgements have no nonsubjective cogency. They are non propositional and can non be said to be valid or invalid. true or false. The right commendation for a moral judgement is to believe of them as emotional exclaimings: “Boo-hurrah! ” 9.

On Ayer’s position. does “Stealing is wrong” average “I disapprove of stealing” or “I disfavor stealing” ? To state “I disapprove of stealing” or “I dislike stealing” are subjectivist places. To state “stealing is wrong” is to asseverate how you feel about stealing. and these statements are propositions about the speaker’s feelings ( it is true or false whether the talker has these feelings or non ) . For Ayer. the statement “Stealing is wrong” has no propositional content. It gives no indicant of the truth of the speaker’s feelings but instead it is merely an affectional look. 10. To what extent are ethical dissensions resolvable by rational agencies? We attempt to demo that person is mistaken about facts.

Emotivists suggest that we can reason over facts. For case. I had an statement with my male parent when he came to Singapore as he refused to eat in a eating house that was selling Shark Fin soup. His logical thinking was that the pattern of cutting fives of sharks and throwing them back into the H2O is barbarous and causes great enduring to the shark. I so asked him if he shops at Woolworths which stock eggs laid by battery biddies: biddies kept in bantam coops their whole lives which is cruel and causes great agony.

The dissension could be potentially resolved if my pa excepted that it was logically inconsistent to state that he wouldn’t eat at a eating house that sold shark five soup but he would shop at a supermarket that sold eggs laid by battery biddies. But once we agree on all the facts in a moral dissension there still might be a difference over attitudes. For illustration. I might keep the attitude that human existences are much more sophisticated animate beings than sharks or biddies and so the agony of these animate beings for our intents is justified. You might keep the attitude that while human being are more sophisticated animate beings than sharks or biddies this does non warrant the agony of these animate beings for our intents.


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