By Julian Baggini
Philosophy: Key subject matters is a beginner's consultant to knowing and critiquing philosophical arguments. every one bankruptcy introduces one of many 5 significant subject matters lined on philosophy classes: idea of information, ethical Philosophy, Philosophy of faith, Philosophy of brain, and Political Philosophy. Baggini's strategy combines rationalization with precis whereas encouraging the reader to question the arguments and positions awarded. this article can be utilized both independently of, or including, its spouse quantity Philosophy: Key Texts.
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Additional info for Philosophy: Key Themes
Therefore, one ought not fare-dodge. Here, the argument is not strictly valid. The conclusion only follows if we add the premise: One ought not to do what is wrong. Of course, many people would say that this premise is implied by the premise ‘Theft is wrong’. But it is important to realise that strictly speaking, the conclusion ‘Therefore one should not fare-dodge’ does not follow without it. Without this premise, one cannot get from the purely descriptive premises to the prescriptive conclusion.
What is the basis of what they say? Is morality rooted in nature, human nature, God, or do we just create it ourselves? These are issues of meta-ethics. They are about the general nature and structure of ethics rather than what kinds of actions are right or wrong. We could see meta-ethics, normative ethics and applied ethics as three levels of enquiry in moral philosophy. Alternatively, we could see them as describing three general areas on a continuum, running from the most specific questions of what we are to do, to the most general questions about the nature of ethics.
Such a view seems to run into a problem, however. If moral judgements are not descriptive, and therefore neither true nor false, how does one reason about them? This echoes the problem which faced emotivism. If ethics is just about preferences or feelings, what has reason got to do with it? The distinctive feature of prescriptivism is its claim that this problem only appears to arise because we hold the false view that it is only possible to reason about descriptive claims. Prescriptivists show how this view is wrong simply by providing examples of how it is possible to reason about things that are not factual and analysing the rules which govern such forms of reasoning.