Ethical Realism

July 19, 2011

The Is/Ought Gap: How Do We Get “Ought” from “Is?”

The is/ought gap illustrates the difficulty in understanding what it means to say that we ought to do something, and how we can know what we ought to do. What is the is/ought gap and what’s it all about? I will describe the is/ought gap, discuss its implications in meta-ethics, and discuss various solutions to the is/ought gap. (more…)

November 11, 2010

Virtue Ethics

Filed under: ethics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 6:38 am
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The virtue ethics of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, and the Stoics were very individualistic and primarily concerned with helping one person become a better person though self-improvement. This is a sharp contrast to the current popular moral theories—Kantianism and consequentialism—that tend to be concerned with categorizing actions as right and wrong. These moral theories provide us with a set of rules to follow. They are much like computer programs invented to determine which actions are (or tend to be) right or wrong. The personal requirement of “thinking for yourself” would ideally be dispensable because the moral theory can think for us. (more…)

January 4, 2009

Chapter 1: Ancient Ethics

In order to understand how exactly moral facts and values could be endorsed, it can be useful to consider how they have been justified throughout western history. Ancient philosophers in particular can be useful because they considered every possibility they could think of and we still revisit those same themes time and time again. (Do we need God to justify values? If so, how does it help do so?) (more…)

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