Ethical Realism

August 29, 2011

The Is/Ought Gap Part II

Filed under: ethics,metaethics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 6:34 am
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This is part 2 of “The Is/Ought Gap.” If you don’t know anything about the is/ought gap, then you should read part 1 first.

I have already discussed how we might be able to get what morally ought to be the case from what is the case (via bridging premises). These are known as “solutions to the is/ought gap.” Even after we answer (or try to answer) how to get what morally ought to be the case from what is the case, there are more troubling questions left over. In particular: (more…)


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…)

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…)

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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