Emotivism is a meta-ethical view that claims that ethical sentences do not express propositions but emotional attitudes. Hence, it is colloquially known as the hurrah/boo theory. Influenced by the growth of analytic philosophy and logical positivism in the 20th century, the theory was stated vividly by A. J. Ayer in his 1936 book Language and Logic, but its development owes more to C. L. Stevenson. Emotivism can be considered a form of expressivism, it stands in opposition to other forms of non-cognitivism, as well as to all forms of cognitivism. In the 1950s, emotivism appeared in a modified form in the universal prescriptivism of R. M. Hare. Emotivism reached prominence in the early 20th century. In 1710, George Berkeley wrote that language in general serves to inspire feelings as well as communicate ideas. Decades David Hume espoused ideas similar to Stevenson's ones. In his 1751 book An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Hume considered morality not to be related to fact but "determined by sentiment": In moral deliberations we must be acquainted beforehand with all the objects, all their relations to each other.
… While we are ignorant whether a man were aggressor or not, how can we determine whether the person who killed him be criminal or innocent? But after every circumstance, every relation is known, the understanding has no further room to operate, nor any object on which it could employ itself; the approbation or blame which ensues, cannot be the work of the judgement, but of the heart. G. E. Moore published his Principia Ethica in 1903 and argued that the attempts of ethical naturalists to translate ethical terms into non-ethical ones committed the "naturalistic fallacy". Moore was a cognitivist, but his case against ethical naturalism steered other philosophers toward noncognitivism emotivism; the emergence of logical positivism and its verifiability criterion of meaning early in the 20th century led some philosophers to conclude that ethical statements, being incapable of empirical verification, were cognitively meaningless. This criterion was fundamental to A. J. Ayer's defense of positivism in Language and Logic, which contains his statement of emotivism.
However, positivism is not essential to emotivism itself not in Ayer's form, some positivists in the Vienna Circle, which had great influence on Ayer, held non-emotivist views. R. M. Hare unfolded his ethical theory of universal prescriptivism in 1952's The Language of Morals, intending to defend the importance of rational moral argumentation against the "propaganda" he saw encouraged by Stevenson, who thought moral argumentation was sometimes psychological and not rational, but Hare's disagreement was not universal, the similarities between his noncognitive theory and the emotive one — his claim, Stevenson's, that moral judgments contain commands and are thus not purely descriptive — caused some to regard him as an emotivist, a classification he denied: I did, do, follow the emotivists in their rejection of descriptivism. But I was never an emotivist, though I have been called one, but unlike most of their opponents I saw that it was their irrationalism, not their non-descriptivism, mistaken.
So my main task was to find a rationalist kind of non-descriptivism, this led me to establish that imperatives, the simplest kinds of prescriptions, could be subject to logical constraints while not descriptive. Influential statements of emotivism were made by C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards in their 1923 book on language, The Meaning of Meaning, by W. H. F. Barnes and A. Duncan-Jones in independent works on ethics in 1934. However, it is the works of Ayer and Stevenson that are the most developed and discussed defenses of the theory. A. J. Ayer's version of emotivism is given in chapter six, "Critique of Ethics and Theology", of Language and Logic. In that chapter, Ayer divides "the ordinary system of ethics" into four classes: "Propositions that express definitions of ethical terms, or judgements about the legitimacy or possibility of certain definitions" "Propositions describing the phenomena of moral experience, their causes" "Exhortations to moral virtue" "Actual ethical judgments"He focuses on propositions of the first class—moral judgments—saying that those of the second class belong to science, those of the third are mere commands, those of the fourth are too concrete for ethical philosophy.
While class three statements were irrelevant to Ayer's brand of emotivism, they would play a significant role in Stevenson's. Ayer argues that moral judgments cannot be translated into non-ethical, empirical terms and thus cannot be verified, but he differs from intuitionists by discarding appeals to intuition as "worthless" for determining moral truths, since the intuition of one person contradicts that of another. Instead, Ayer concludes that ethical concepts are "mere pseudo-concepts": The presence of an ethical symbol in a proposition adds nothing to its factual content, thus if I say to someone, "You acted wrongly in stealing that money," I am not stating anything more than if I had said, "You stole that money." In adding that this action is wrong I am not making any further statement about it. I am evincing my moral disapproval of it, it is as if I had said, "You sto
Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement that uses evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. Effective altruism encourages individuals to consider all causes and actions and to act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact, based upon their values, it is the broad, evidence-based approach that distinguishes effective altruism from traditional altruism or charity. While a substantial proportion of effective altruists have focused on the nonprofit sector, the philosophy of effective altruism applies more broadly to prioritizing the scientific projects and policy initiatives which can be estimated to save lives, help people, or otherwise have the biggest benefit. People associated with the movement include philosopher Peter Singer, Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz, Cari Tuna, Oxford-based researchers William MacAskill and Toby Ord, professional poker player Liv Boeree, writer Jacy Reese. Effective altruism differs from other philanthropic practices because of its emphasis on quantitatively comparing charitable causes and interventions with the goal of maximizing certain human values.
In this way it is similar to consequentialism, which some leaders of the movement explicitly endorse. The views of the philosopher Peter Singer in particular helped give rise to the effective altruist movement. Singer's book The Life You Can Save argued for the basic philosophy of effective giving, claiming that people have a moral imperative to donate more because of the existence of extreme poverty. In the book, Singer argued that people should use charity evaluators to determine how to make their donations most effective. Singer gives a third of his income to charity. Effective altruists reject the view. For example, they believe that a person in a developing country has equal value to a person in one's own community. In the 1972 essay'Famine and Morality', Peter Singer wrote: It makes no difference whether the person I can help is a neighbor's child ten yards away from me or a Bengali whose name I shall never know, ten thousand miles away.... The moral point of view requires us to look beyond the interests of our own society.
Previously... this may hardly have been feasible. From the moral point of view, the prevention of the starvation of millions of people outside our society must be considered at least as pressing as the upholding of property norms within our society. In addition, many effective altruists think that future generations have equal moral value to existing people, focus on reducing existential risks to humanity. Others believe that the interests of non-human animals should be accorded the same moral weight as similar interests of humans and work to prevent the suffering of animals, such as those raised in factory farms. Although there is a growing emphasis on effectiveness and evidence among nonprofits, this is done with a single cause in mind, such as education or climate change. Effective altruists, seek to compare the relative importance of different causes and choose one objectively, a concept, referred to as cause neutrality. Effective altruists choose the highest priority causes based on whether activities in each cause area could efficiently advance broad goals, such as increasing human or animal welfare, focus their attention on interventions in high priority areas.
Several organizations perform cause prioritization research to answer the question of what causes warrant the highest priority. Some common priorities among effective altruists include poverty in the developing world, the suffering of animals in factory farms, risks to civilization and planet Earth. Effective altruist organizations argue that some charities are far more effective than others, either because some do not achieve their goals or because of variability in the cost of achieving those goals; when possible, they seek to identify charities that are cost-effective, meaning that they achieve a large benefit for a given amount of money. For example, they select health interventions on the basis of their impact as measured by lives saved per dollar, quality-adjusted life years saved per dollar, or disability-adjusted life years averted per dollar; this measure of disease burden is expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death. Some effective altruism organizations use randomized controlled trials as a primary form of evidence, as they are considered to be at the highest level of strong evidence in healthcare research.
Effective altruists argue that counterfactual reasoning is important to determine which course of action maximizes positive impact. Many people assume that the best way to help people is through direct methods, such as working for a charity or providing social services, but since charities and social-service providers can find people willing to work for them, effective altruists compare the amount of good somebody does in a conventional altruistic career to how much good would have been done had the next-best candidate been hired for the position. According to this reasoning, the impact of a career may be smaller. Effective altruist organizations make philanthropic recommendations for charities on the basis of the impact from marginal funding rather than evaluating the average value of all donations to the charity. Effective altruists avoid donating to organizations that have no "room for more funding" – those that face bottlenecks other than money which prevent them from spending the funds they have accumulated or are expected to receive.
For example, a medical charity might not be able to hire enough doctors or nurses to distribute the
Practical Ethics is an introduction to applied ethics by bioethical philosopher Peter Singer. The book, translated into a number of languages, caused outrage in German-speaking countries. Singer analyzes, in detail and how beings' interests should be weighed. In his view, a being's interests should always be weighed according to that being's concrete properties, not according to its belonging to some abstract group. Singer studies a number of ethical issues including: race, ability, abortion, infanticide, embryo experimentation, the moral status of animals, political violence, overseas aid, whether we have an obligation to assist others; the 1993 second edition adds chapters on refugees, the environment and disability, embryo experimentation, the treatment of academics in Germany. A third edition published in 2011 omits the chapter on refugees, contains a new chapter on climate change. Practical Ethics is read and was described as "an excellent text for an introductory ethics course" by the philosopher John Martin Fischer.
The philosopher James Rachels recommended the book "as an introduction centered on such practical issues as abortion, so forth." The philosopher Mylan Engel called Practical Ethics "must reading for anyone interested in living an ethical life."The book caused outrage in Germany and Switzerland. Midgley, Mary. "Review: Consequentialism and Common Sense". The Hastings Center Report. 10: 43–44. Doi:10.2307/3561052. JSTOR 3561052. Practical Ethics, p. 0, at Google Books
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, values, reason and language. Such questions are posed as problems to be studied or resolved; the term was coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will? "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.
In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology and economics. Other investigations related to art, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of science. Traditionally, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is related to religion, natural science and politics. Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics. In the first part of the first book of his Academics, Cicero introduced the division of philosophy into logic and ethics. Metaphysical philosophy was the study of existence, God, logic and other abstract objects; this division has changed.
Natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences astronomy, chemistry and cosmology. Moral philosophy still includes value theory. Metaphysical philosophy has birthed formal sciences such as logic and philosophy of science, but still includes epistemology and others. Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. Colin McGinn and others claim. Chalmers and others, by contrast, see progress in philosophy similar to that in science, while Talbot Brewer argued that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture and a search for knowledge. In that sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality". A broad and impartial conception of philosophy finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality and life in all world civilizations. Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western world and dates to Pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in Ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE such as Thales and Pythagoras who practiced a "love of wisdom" and were termed physiologoi.
Socrates was a influential philosopher, who insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom. Western philosophy can be divided into three eras: Ancient, Medieval philosophy, Modern philosophy; the Ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools which arose out of the various pupils of Socrates, such as Plato, who founded the Platonic Academy and his student Aristotle, founding the Peripatetic school, who were both influential in Western tradition. Other traditions include Cynicism, Greek Skepticism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics, the nature of the well-lived life, the possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason. With the rise of the Roman empire, Greek philosophy was increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca. Medieval philosophy is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the ris
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value, thus comprises the branch of philosophy called axiology. Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil and wrong, virtue and vice and crime; as a field of intellectual inquiry, moral philosophy is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, value theory. Three major areas of study within ethics recognized today are: Meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, how their truth values can be determined Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action Applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action The English word "ethics" is derived from the Ancient Greek word ēthikós, meaning "relating to one's character", which itself comes from the root word êthos meaning "character, moral nature".
This was borrowed into Latin as ethica and into French as éthique, from which it was borrowed into English. Rushworth Kidder states that "standard definitions of ethics have included such phrases as'the science of the ideal human character' or'the science of moral duty'". Richard William Paul and Linda Elder define ethics as "a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures"; the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy states that the word "ethics" is "commonly used interchangeably with'morality'... and sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a particular tradition, group or individual." Paul and Elder state that most people confuse ethics with behaving in accordance with social conventions, religious beliefs and the law and don't treat ethics as a stand-alone concept. The word ethics in English refers to several things, it can refer to philosophical ethics or moral philosophy—a project that attempts to use reason to answer various kinds of ethical questions.
As the English philosopher Bernard Williams writes, attempting to explain moral philosophy: "What makes an inquiry a philosophical one is reflective generality and a style of argument that claims to be rationally persuasive." Williams describes the content of this area of inquiry as addressing the broad question, "how one should live". Ethics can refer to a common human ability to think about ethical problems, not particular to philosophy; as bioethicist Larry Churchill has written: "Ethics, understood as the capacity to think critically about moral values and direct our actions in terms of such values, is a generic human capacity." Ethics can be used to describe a particular person's own idiosyncratic principles or habits. For example: "Joe has strange ethics." Meta-ethics is the branch of philosophical ethics that asks how we understand, know about, what we mean when we talk about what is right and what is wrong. An ethical question pertaining to a particular practical situation—such as, "Should I eat this particular piece of chocolate cake?"—cannot be a meta-ethical question.
A meta-ethical question is abstract and relates to a wide range of more specific practical questions. For example, "Is it possible to have secure knowledge of what is right and wrong?" is a meta-ethical question. Meta-ethics has always accompanied philosophical ethics. For example, Aristotle implies that less precise knowledge is possible in ethics than in other spheres of inquiry, he regards ethical knowledge as depending upon habit and acculturation in a way that makes it distinctive from other kinds of knowledge. Meta-ethics is important in G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica from 1903. In it he first wrote about. Moore was seen to reject naturalism in his Open Question Argument; this made. Earlier, the Scottish philosopher David Hume had put forward a similar view on the difference between facts and values. Studies of how we know in ethics divide into non-cognitivism. Non-cognitivism is the view that when we judge something as morally right or wrong, this is neither true nor false. We may, for example, be only expressing our emotional feelings about these things.
Cognitivism can be seen as the claim that when we talk about right and wrong, we are talking about matters of fact. The ontology of ethics is about value-bearing things or properties, i.e. the kind of things or stuff referred to by ethical propositions. Non-descriptivists and non-cognitivists believe that ethics does not need a specific ontology since ethical propositions do not refer; this is known as an anti-realist position. Realists, on the other hand, must explain what kind of entities, properties or states are relevant for ethics, how they have value, why they guide and motivate our actions. Normative ethics is the study of ethical action, it is the branch of ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking. Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because normative ethics examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language and the metaphysics of moral facts.
Normative ethics is distinct from descriptive ethics, as the latter is an empirical investigation of people's moral beliefs. To put it another way, descriptive ethics would be concerned with determining what proportion of people believe th
Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering. There are different euthanasia laws in each country; the British House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defines euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering". In the Netherlands and Belgium, euthanasia is understood as "termination of life by a doctor at the request of a patient"; the Dutch law however, does not use the term'euthanasia' but includes it under the broader definition of "assisted suicide and termination of life on request". Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which include non-voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries. Non-voluntary euthanasia is illegal in all countries. Involuntary euthanasia is illegal in all countries and is considered murder; as of 2006, euthanasia is the most active area of research in contemporary bioethics. In some countries there is a divisive public controversy over the moral and legal issues of euthanasia.
Passive euthanasia is legal under some circumstances in many countries. Active euthanasia however is legal or de facto legal in only a handful of countries and is limited to specific circumstances and the approval of councilors and doctors or other specialists. In some countries such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, support for active euthanasia is non-existent. Like other terms borrowed from history, "euthanasia" has had different meanings depending on usage; the first apparent usage of the term "euthanasia" belongs to the historian Suetonius, who described how the Emperor Augustus, "dying and without suffering in the arms of his wife, experienced the'euthanasia' he had wished for." The word "euthanasia" was first used in a medical context by Francis Bacon in the 17th century, to refer to an easy, happy death, during which it was a "physician's responsibility to alleviate the'physical sufferings' of the body." Bacon referred to an "outward euthanasia"—the term "outward" he used to distinguish from a spiritual concept—the euthanasia "which regards the preparation of the soul."In current usage, euthanasia has been defined as the "painless inducement of a quick death".
However, it is argued that this approach fails to properly define euthanasia, as it leaves open a number of possible actions which would meet the requirements of the definition, but would not be seen as euthanasia. In particular, these include situations where a person kills another, but for no reason beyond that of personal gain. Another approach incorporates the notion of suffering into the definition; the definition offered by the Oxford English Dictionary incorporates suffering as a necessary condition, with "the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma", This approach is included in Marvin Khol and Paul Kurtz's definition of it as "a mode or act of inducing or permitting death painlessly as a relief from suffering". Counterexamples can be given: such definitions may encompass killing a person suffering from an incurable disease for personal gain, commentators such as Tom Beauchamp and Arnold Davidson have argued that doing so would constitute "murder simpliciter" rather than euthanasia.
The third element incorporated into many definitions is that of intentionality – the death must be intended, rather than being accidental, the intent of the action must be a "merciful death". Michael Wreen argued that "the principal thing that distinguishes euthanasia from intentional killing simpliciter is the agent's motive: it must be a good motive insofar as the good of the person killed is concerned." Heather Draper speaks to the importance of motive, arguing that "the motive forms a crucial part of arguments for euthanasia, because it must be in the best interests of the person on the receiving end." Definitions such as that offered by the House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics take this path, where euthanasia is defined as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering." Beauchamp and Davidson highlight Baruch Brody's "an act of euthanasia is one in which one person... kills another person for the benefit of the second person, who does benefit from being killed".
Draper argued that any definition of euthanasia must incorporate four elements: an agent and a subject. Based on this, she offered a definition incorporating those elements, stating that euthanasia "must be defined as death that results from the intention of one person to kill another person, using the most gentle and painless means possible, motivated by the best interests of the person who dies." Prior to Draper and Davidson had offered a definition that includes these elements. Their definition discounts fetuses to distinguish between abortions and euthanasia: In summary, we have argued... that the death of a human being, A, is an instance of euthanasia if and only if A's death is intended by at least one other human being, B, where B is either the cause of death or a causally relevant feature of the event resulting in death.