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
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