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PHL275-oct07.doc

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL275H1
Professor
Tom Hurka
Semester
Fall

Description
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 Mackie-roughly on the same side as Hume -Like Hume, he denies that there are objective moral truths, when we are saying that x is wrong we can’t be saying anything true.He rejects Moore’s non-naturalism but not as a matter of the meaning of moral sentences - Unlike the emotivists, he doesn’t claim that when we say x is right we are expressing an attitude, and we know that we are doing it. He thinks that when we make moral judgments we think that we are making a statement that could be true, but Mackie thinks that all such judgments are false. Leads them to what is called an “error theory”-the claim to objectivity however engrained in our language of thought is not self-validating. Parallel with error theory about color properties, in saying that an apple is red, we’re asserting that there is a color property on the surface of the apple just like the color property that we see in our minds. Science shows that there is no such thing, just a tendency to reflect light of a certain frequency. So what we mean when we say the apple is red, is false. 249-250-logical positivist version-moral judgments are meaningless because they can’t be empirically verified. He doesn’t accept this. Plato’s form of the good-is what non-naturalism would commit us to believing. He thinks that this is crazy. Mackies main arguments against the objectivity of values: Argument from Relativity-argument from the scientific world view, Moore’s non-natural properties don’t fit into a scientific picture of the world. Mackie’s argument is different, it emphasizes the action-guiding nature of moral judgments (like Hume), he thinks that the traditional philosophical view and the everyday view is that moral judgments are both capable of being objectively true and are also action-guiding. Argument from Queerness-has two parts, one metaphysical, one epistemological, combines the argument from scientific world-view and the argument from practicality/motivation. On a Moore-type view, moral properties would have to be both objectively part of the world and intrinsically motivating (objective prescriptivity) (what is
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