Non-Cognitivism, and Charles Stevenson

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Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 08:25 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

I was just trying to distinguish the idea of good and evil from good and evil. People constantly confused the idea with what it is the idea of.


You wrote this in another thread.

Do you, then, think good or evil have properties? If they do, then good and evil exist. And if they exist, and I use the word "wrong" to refer to something evil, and the word "right" to refer to something good, what does this tell us? I go back to my original questioning...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 08:43 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;113749 wrote:
You wrote this in another thread.

Do you, then, think good or evil have properties? If they do, then good and evil exist. And if they exist, and I use the word "wrong" to refer to something evil, and the word "right" to refer to something good, what does this tell us? I go back to my original questioning...


Evil (and good) are , themselves, properties. Are there such properties? Obviously. What kind of properties they are is a difficult, philosophical, issue. I suppose that Stevenson thinks that good and evil are "projective" properties, attitudes projected on external objects. Perhaps like saying that a piece of music is sad or angry.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 08:53 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;113754 wrote:
Evil (and good) are , themselves, properties. Are there such properties? Obviously. What kind of properties they are is a difficult, philosophical, issue. I suppose that Stevenson thinks that good and evil are "projective" properties, attitudes projected on external objects. Perhaps like saying that a piece of music is sad or angry.


What is the faculty that perceives the properties evil and good? And why is this different than my perception of what is wrong in "Rape is wrong"? Here, wrong is a property of rape.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 08:58 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;113756 wrote:
What is the faculty that perceives the properties evil and good? And why is this different than my perception of what is wrong in "Rape is wrong"? Here, wrong is a property of rape.


You mean how do I know that I have a negative attitude or positive attitude toward rape, and want you to have one as well? That is what Stevenson would answer.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 09:01 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;113759 wrote:
You mean how do I know that I have a negative attitude or positive attitude toward rape, and want you to have one as well? That is what Stevenson would answer.


"Want you to have one as well", seems to imply persuasion. It seems to imply that these sorts of properties are opinion, preference even. It is as if I am trying to convince you that chocolate is the best flavor of icecream.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 09:12 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;113762 wrote:
"Want you to have one as well", seems to imply persuasion. It seems to imply that these sorts of properties are opinion, preference even. It is as if I am trying to convince you that chocolate is the best flavor of icecream.


Well, yes. Something like that is Stevenson's view. That is why he was an emotivist. He also thought that ethical language had two parts: expression of attitude, and a persuasive function.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 11:49 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;113762 wrote:
"Want you to have one as well", seems to imply persuasion. It seems to imply that these sorts of properties are opinion, preference even. It is as if I am trying to convince you that chocolate is the best flavor of icecream.


Isn't it possible for there to be a best flavor of ice cream? What if I were to try and convince you that cold water on a hot day is better than hot water? Or that ice cream tastes better than tar? Our taste in food has a basis in biology, as does our sense of morality. Arguing whether ice cream tastes better than tar would not be a simple matter of persuasion, I could show it objectively.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 11:52 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;113816 wrote:
Isn't it possible for there to be a best flavor of ice cream? What if I were to try and convince you that cold water on a hot day is better than hot water? Or that ice cream tastes better than tar? Our taste in food has a basis in biology, as does our sense of morality. Arguing whether ice cream tastes better than tar would not be a simple matter of persuasion, I could show it objectively.


Yes! This is the discussion I'm hoping to delve into. Not everything is subjective, and I think, even most things we say are preferentially subjective, have objective backing. "Matter of taste" is not always arbitrary - there are usually reasons. However, people usually speak of "matter of taste" as if it has nothing to do with the objective world around them; it is only someone's opinion, they say.

However, we must also keep in mind that "best" is a bit vague, so, even if there is objective backing for why we have said such a thing, our choice of words is not good. We must be clear about what exactly we find desirable, good, whatever.

So, I think, there very well could be objective backing to claims such as, "Rape is wrong".

Thanks!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 12:01 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;113817 wrote:
Yes! This is the discussion I'm hoping to delve into. Not everything is subjective, and I think, even most things we say are preferentially subjective, have objective backing. "Matter of taste" is not always arbitrary - there are usually reasons. However, people usually speak of "matter of taste" as if it has nothing to do with the objective world around them; it is only someone's opinion, they say.

However, we must also keep in mind that "best" is a bit vague, so, even if there is objective backing for why we have said such a thing, our choice of words is not good. We must be clear about what exactly we find desirable, good, whatever.

So, I think, there very well could be objective backing to claims such as, "Rape is wrong".


Thanks!


Well, I guess the time has come for someone to show that ice-cream tastes better than tar, or that rape is wrong. Ready? on your mark? Go!

But you might want to look at this first, so you can anticipate the answer.

Naturalistic fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 12:04 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;113821 wrote:
Well, I guess the time has come for someone to show that ice-cream tastes better than tar, or that rape is bad. Ready? on your mark? Go!


Well, it is definitely about time. We're almost in 2010 and still not one of us has proven that icecream tastes better than tar. We're a miserable species, us humans.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 12:10 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;113822 wrote:
Well, it is definitely about time. We're almost in 2010 and still not one of us has proven that icecream tastes better than tar. We're a miserable species, us humans.


Unless by that you mean that human beings generally prefer the taste of ice-cream to tar. I certainly think that is true. But then, that is a matter of taste, and, as the old saying goes, "There is no disputing about taste". Morality, of course, is a different matter.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 12:36 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;113821 wrote:
Well, I guess the time has come for someone to show that ice-cream tastes better than tar, or that rape is wrong. Ready? on your mark? Go!


Taste bud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Smile

Quote:
But you might want to look at this first, so you can anticipate the answer.

Naturalistic fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



You have to work with what you've got. There's certainly no inherent feature of tar that makes it taste worse than ice cream, for all I know there are animals that eat tar. But we don't need a universal "tastes good". Tastes good to humans is the relevant one (or to dogs if we're making dog food). Same with morals.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 12:41 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;113840 wrote:
Taste bud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Smile




You have to work with what you've got. There's certainly no inherent feature of tar that makes it taste worse than ice cream, for all I know there are animals that eat tar. But we don't need a universal "tastes good". Tastes good to humans is the relevant one (or to dogs if we're making dog food). Same with morals.


How is it the same with morals?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 12:43 pm
@kennethamy,
Jebediah wrote:

There's certainly no inherent feature of tar that makes it taste worse than ice cream, for all I know there are animals that eat tar.


Are you so sure? Is it implausible to think that there may be a property in tar which makes it unappealing to most every creature?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 12:47 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;113844 wrote:
Are you so sure? Is it implausible to think that there may be a property in tar which makes it unappealing to most every creature?


That may be true.Indeed, I have little doubt but that it is true. But, what if there were a disagreement? How would it be settled? (I mean, a disagreement about whether ice-cream tastes better than tar).
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 01:44 pm
@Zetherin,
kennethamy;113842 wrote:
How is it the same with morals?


If I was providing food for a party, I wouldn't have to worry about non-human tastes. I don't have to worry about whether the food has an inherent property of tasting good.

So with morals, it's fine to have them based on our own biology. I guess I'm using a kind of humanist "based on reason and nature" approach to morals. I don't think it's a fallacy to base things on our nature.

Zetherin;113844 wrote:
Are you so sure? Is it implausible to think that there may be a property in tar which makes it unappealing to most every creature?



"
Wood tar is also available diluted as tar water, which has numerous uses:


:perplexed:
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 01:49 pm
@kennethamy,
Jebediah wrote:

Wood tar is also available diluted as tar water, which has numerous uses:

:perplexed:


But this isn't to say that we enjoy the taste of tar. Mixed with other chemicals, the properties of the tar may change, or other tastes may overshadow the taste of the tar. I don't think anyone would enjoy that tar water alone, do you?
 
fast
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 02:08 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;113846 wrote:
That may be true.Indeed, I have little doubt but that it is true. But, what if there were a disagreement? How would it be settled? (I mean, a disagreement about whether ice-cream tastes better than tar).
I have an idea. We could do as Genghis Khan might have done. We could get rid of those that like tar.

Hey, this might work for the Pepsi/Coke challenge also. I hope you don't like Coke more than Pepsi.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 04:37 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;113817 wrote:
However, people usually speak of "matter of taste" as if it has nothing to do with the objective world around them; it is only someone's opinion, they say.

People usually point out that something is someone's opinion when this opinion is contrary to their own. I think we should look at the way words are used in practice. The later Witt was keen on this. Words and actions must be viewed together, if we truly want to understand words.

As values become more "objective," they are less and less about. I suggest using "homosexuality is wrong" as a more relevant example of moral taste. There is still active disagreement on this. We can look to politics for living disagreement, I think. Is preemptive invasion wrong, for instance? We then see ethical taste link up with spiritual views and social affiliations. One man's true is another man's false. One man's right is another man's wrong. Politics makes this obvious.
 
fast
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 04:53 pm
@Reconstructo,
[QUOTE=Reconstructo;113902]People usually point out that something is someone's opinion when this opinion is contrary to their own. I think we should look at the way words are used in practice. The later Witt was keen on this. Words and actions must be viewed together, if we truly want to understand words. [/quote]

Nonverbal communication can play an important role in our interpretation of what another means by what one says (especially when one doesn't mean what they say), but I don't think nonverbal communication should alter our understanding of what a word actually means.
 
 

 
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