Wednesday, December 28, 2016

G.E. Moore and Non-Natural Ethical Theories

I will be attending my first class in 242 days.

I seem to have adopted a new practice of writing papers instead of blog postings or Facebook comments. This is new for me. I . . . tend to think that the papers are not very good, but I can improve on them over time as I get comments and other forms of feedback.

I have been posting these papers on Desirism group in facebook - people should feel free to down load them, make comments, suggest edits, and share them with others whom they think may benefit.

The papers posted so far include:

A long paper on condemnation and punishment which effectively explains and justifies the practice of condemn and punishment as desirism sees them.

A short paper on Sidgwick's arguments against the idea that motives are the primary object of moral evaluation.

A short paper on G.E. Moore's Naturalistic Fallacy.

A short paper against the idea that morality can be reduced to the concept of "adaptations of cooperation".

I am also working on a long paper with the working title "A Template for Revolution" that will present some ideas about how to make the world a better place - an example of applied desirism.

I have started another long paper, "Morality from the Ground Up", that explains the foundation for desirism.

I have also started another long paper - without a working title, so far - that I hope will help readers in discussing such issues as moral realism, objective values, moral relativism, desire-based value, and the like by clearly presenting and explaining the concepts involved.

Reading wise, I am still working my way through Principia Ethica. The idea that Moore meant for his "naturalistic fallacy" to apply only to theories that try to reduce moral concepts to natural terms is refuted by the fact that he explicitly charges non-naturalist philosophers with committing the same fallacy. The fallacy concerns equating goodness with some other property, natural or non-natural.

I find am finding the chapter on 'metaphysical' moral theories to be very difficult to get through, since I consider that discussion of these non-natural properties to be like discussion of ghosts and angels. We are talking about things that do not exist and cannot be brought into existence, so (as I see it) this is all a waste of time. Moore makes the claim that numbers are terms that refer to non-natural properties (e.g., the number '2' does not exist though, of course, two of something can exist). As I see it, the concept of '2' includes with it the concept 'of something' - that there is no sense to be made of talking about '2' without including with it the idea that we are counting or measuring things - so a discussion of '2' itself makes no sense.

I do not have much experience in this branch of philosophy - partially because I consider it to be such a waste of time and effort - so I can't actually say if there are any knock-down arguments against such a view. Perhaps it is naïve. Somebody will need to provide me with evidence that I have a reason to find out. As somebody who likes his philosophy to be relevant to the real world, I have trouble even thinking that there is reason to find an answer to such questions.

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