Ethical Realism

May 21, 2012

What Are Facts? Do Facts Exist?

Filed under: epistemology,metaphysics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 8:21 pm
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Do facts exist? At least one person has claimed that facts do not exist and that thinking they exist would violate Occam’s razor (i.e. multiply entities beyond necessity). However, there is much to be said as to why we have reason to believe that facts exist, such as the reasons to endorse various kinds of realism. I will discuss what facts are, whether they are supposed to refer to something that exists, whether any facts exist, and an objection against their existence. I will argue that all objections to the existence of facts are self-defeating and we have more reason to believe that some facts exist than that no facts exist as a result. (more…)


February 18, 2011

Intrinsic Values & Beliefs About Reality

Filed under: ethics,metaphysics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 3:13 am
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The belief in intrinsic values (and moral realism in general) is incompatible with certain beliefs about reality. Something has intrinsic value if it is good just for existing (perhaps happiness or human life). Moral realism is the view that there are moral facts beyond our personal interests and beliefs. If something has real value just for existing, then there are facts about what actions are better than others because some actions can promote intrinsic value better than others. For example, killing people destroys something with intrinsic value assuming human life has intrinsic value. (more…)

May 14, 2010

Emergence: A New Worldview of Reality

Filed under: metaphysics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 11:10 pm
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I believe in timeless elements of reality and irreducible elements of reality. Minds, morality, and mathematics seem to be beyond the reality as described in physics, but the view that only material reality exists is also very attractive. The solution that some philosophers have come up with is to combine the two. The only reality is physical and everything is connected to the reality as described by physics, but some elements of reality is more than the sum of their parts. (more…)

May 12, 2010

A Theological Worldview of Reality

I have discussed many philosophical worldviews, but I left out my understanding of a religious philosophical worldview involving God’s existence. I want to consider my understanding of a theological worldview here (e.g. the Christian worldview). The theological worldview has philosophical implications mainly insofar as theologians have borrowed arguments from Parmenides and Plato. Theological religious philosophy has been rejected by most  respectable contemporary philosophers, but there is some motivation behind the belief in God. In particular, people attracted to religious philosophy and the belief in God want to know more about the universe than other philosophers, even if it requires a great deal of speculation. Atheists often see such hypotheses as requiring “wild speculation.” (more…)

May 8, 2010

Worldviews of Reality

Filed under: metaphysics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 12:03 am
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We want to know how minds, the soul, and mathematics could be part of the world. Such parts of reality seem strange and could have “objectionable features.” Philosophers have tried to understand these elements since the beginning of philosophy itself and seemed to understand it as the problem of “being and becoming” or the unchanging and change. Some of the most extreme views of reality were proposed by Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Spinoza, which are all attempts to make sense of the world including the strange parts. Our current worldview is primarily based on Heraclitus and Democritus, who thought that reality was a constant flux of matter. (more…)

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