Geoffrey Sayre-Mccord Essays On Moral Realism

Geoffrey Sayre-Mccord Essays On Moral Realism-70
" "What are the characteristics or qualities of an acceptable or defensible ethical theory? " "How, if at all, can an ethical theory be justified?" "How do we know or recognize that something is or is not ethically good?Nevertheless, such values are not ontologically objective, since they are grounded in the subjective desires of human beings.[7] Rather, they are ontologically intersubjective because such values corresponds to the universal desires found in all human societies.

" "What are the characteristics or qualities of an acceptable or defensible ethical theory? " "How, if at all, can an ethical theory be justified?" "How do we know or recognize that something is or is not ethically good?Nevertheless, such values are not ontologically objective, since they are grounded in the subjective desires of human beings.[7] Rather, they are ontologically intersubjective because such values corresponds to the universal desires found in all human societies.

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While some subscribe to a divine command theory, others (no doubt impressed by arguments which go back to Plato’s The statement, “independent, objective, moral code — a code which, ultimately, is unchanging and not dependent on the contingencies of human nature,” suggests that Ruse has ontological objectivity in mind when he refers to objectivity.

So we can reformulate his supporting argument as follows.

For an example of an intersubjective foundation for moral values, consider Larry Arnhart’s recent defense of an Aristotelian ethical naturalism rooted in the biological nature of human beings.[6] On Arnhart’s theory, some moral values have an ontological foundation in the biological nature of human beings.

Moreover, those moral values are epistemologically objective, since they are rooted in universal desires found in all human societies.

While normative ethics addresses such questions as "Which things are (morally or ethically) good and bad? ," thus endorsing some ethical evaluations and rejecting others, metaethics addresses such questions as: "What is (moral or ethical) goodness?

" "What does it mean to say that something is good?

Instead, metaethical statements are statements about ethics as such, and not about problems of ethics as those problems are commonly experienced.

The major metaethical views are commonly divided into realist and anti-realist views, despite the fact that some labels, such as cognitivism, do not respect the realist/anti-realist boundary: Subjectivism, non-cognitivism, and error theory are the only forms of anti-realism: If there are no objective values, this must be either because ethical statements are subjective claims (as subjectivists maintain), because they are not genuine claims at all (as non-cognitivists maintain), or because they are mistaken objective claims.

There would be no reason to think the evolutionist is committed to a belief in speeding trains in both worlds. Given two worlds, identical except that one has an objective morality and the other does not, the humans therein would think and act exactly the same ways, Hence the objective foundation for morality is redundant.(4) On the assumption that evolution is true, an objective morality is not necessary to explain why people believe there is an objective morality.

One is aware of the speeding train only because there is such a train. If the evolutionist’s case is well taken, the people in both worlds are going to have identical beliefs-subject to normal laws of causation and so forth. You would believe what you do about right or wrong, irrespective of whether or not a ‘true’ right or wrong existed . (5) But the only reason we could have for believing in an objective morality is that they form part of the explanation for why we have the moral beliefs we do.

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