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The Denver Philosophy Meetup Group Message Board › Concerning "Objective Morality" again?

Concerning "Objective Morality" again?

Dan
danlg
Group Organizer
Broomfield, CO
Post #: 1,397
Joshua Knobe article "Do People Actually Believe In Objective Moral Truths?"

Two questions:

1.) although it is plain to think that people do believe there is such a thing as 'objective' morality, but is it really objective, or just assumed to be without qualification?

2.) If there were an objective morality, what use would it be to moral crimes?
A former member
Post #: 84
Seasons greetings, all.

Dan refers us to Joshua Knobe here:

Joshua Knobe article "Do People Actually Believe In Objective Moral Truths?"
­
Then goes on to raise two questions:

1.) although it is plain to think that people do believe there is such a thing as 'objective' morality, but is it really objective, or just assumed to be without qualification?

2.) If there were an objective morality, what use would it be to moral crimes?

These are, obviously, extremely interesting questions (a specialty of Dan'sl, apparently); and they lie near the heart of moral philosophy (and, through moral philosophy, both law and politics, which are grounded in moral philosophy--or at least should be).

As I've mentioned before, I believe these issues, and others like them, have been resolved, to the greatest extent that they are ever likely to be, in Brand Blanshard's "Reason and Goodness," which, in the years since its first appearance, has never been successfully disputed. Rather astonishing, given how controversial these issues have always been.

With best wishes of Holiday cheer,
Ken
Jeanette M. N.
wickedatheist
Denver, CO
Post #: 3,323
Ken:

As I've mentioned before, I believe these issues, and others like them, have been resolved, to the greatest extent that they are ever likely to be, in Brand Blanshard's "Reason and Goodness," which, in the years since its first appearance, has never been successfully disputed. Rather astonishing, given how controversial these issues have always been.

Uh-oh. Now you've given Dan a challenge.
A former member
Post #: 1,035
Good article, Dan. I skimmed the main article but haven't reviewed the comments yet.

You probably know my general view. If views are developmental then it may be pointless trying to change anyone's view. But we try, we have fun. wink

Relativism carries enormous responsibility. Existential responsibility. Kantian responsibility.

Objective morality excels at rationalizing hysteria and mass murder.

Depends on what you want.
A former member
Post #: 85

Uh-oh. Now you've given Dan a challenge.

True, but I have every confidence in Dan!

--K.
Dan
danlg
Group Organizer
Broomfield, CO
Post #: 1,398
Ken Roberts:
As I've mentioned before, I believe these issues, and others like them, have been resolved, to the greatest extent that they are ever likely to be, in Brand Blanshard's "Reason and Goodness," which, in the years since its first appearance, has never been successfully disputed. Rather astonishing, given how controversial these issues have always been.

With best wishes of Holiday cheer,
Ken
What I know of Blanshard is what I learned from Brian Hutchinson at Metro State (Denver's leading authority on the Naturalistic Fallacy and G.E. Moore).

Value claims, like is something intrinsically good, are not capable to being analyzed by isolated means. Blanshard believed otherwise.

But before I go into that, why don't you do Blanshard the justice and explicate precisely what Blanshard resolved in the field of philosophical ethics?
A former member
Post #: 86
Hi, Dan:

You commented:
What I know of Blanshard is what I learned from Brian Hutchinson at Metro State (Denver's leading authority on the Naturalistic Fallacy and G.E. Moore).

Value claims, like is something intrinsically good, are not capable to being analyzed by isolated means. Blanshard believed otherwise.

But before I go into that, why don't you do Blanshard the justice and explicate precisely what Blanshard resolved in the field of philosophical ethics?

Well, that sort of request is understandable (and seems to be pretty consistently desired here, for obvious reasons), but summarizing Blanshard, or any other major philosopher, on a subject like ethics isn't like summarizing an episode of Seinfeld. My friend Scott Ryan wrote the Wikipedia entry for Blanshard, which contains a paragraph concerning Blanshard's ethics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand_Blanshard­. But, of course, the problem with this is precisely that it doesn't do Blanshard justice (as Scott would be the first to admit).

Blanshard has responded to critics of the concept of intrinsic good (they've been around forever, as the Stanford entry rightly notes), and left them without much to say.

Which is, in general, why one doesn't hear much concerning Blanshard. He wrote with extreme clarity (unlike, say, a Wittgenstein or a Heidegger, or even Whitehead), so PhDs can't make a living putting forth one interpretation or another and squabbling over who's right. Since interpretation isn't needed, one has to do the much harder work of trying to challenge him on the substantive issues -- and his critics never got much of anywhere with that.

Best,
Ken
Dan
danlg
Group Organizer
Broomfield, CO
Post #: 1,399
Well Ken, this is why you come to a philosophy message board.

Perhaps you can do Blanshard justice. Because the more I read of him, the more skeptical I become.

Not to mention that your confidence in him already put on notice there may be something rotten in Denmark.

So please for the sake of clarity briefly explicate Blanshard's ethical theory.
A former member
Post #: 88

Hi, Dan.

You said:

Well Ken, this is why you come to a philosophy message board.

Many do, undoubtedly; and a little philosophical chit-chat can certainly be entertaining. But it seems to me that this isn't a good forum for in-depth discussion or evaluation.

Perhaps you can do Blanshard justice. Because the more I read of him, the more skeptical I become.
Skepticism is healthy. However, thus far, at least, you haven't cited anything that would justify much skepticism. The Stanford article wasn't terribly kind to critics of the concept of intrinsic value; but even if it had been, that would represent the opinion of a single philosopher. Still more to the point, the concept of intrinsic value hardly constitutes the entirety of Blanshard's ethics.

Not to mention that your confidence in him already put on notice there may be something rotten in Denmark.
Ah, well, in that case, be sure you never read anything by that rotten cheat, Blanshard! Run away! Run away! (Presumably, now that I've revoked all confidence, you can be confident that Blanshard is wonderful and that everything is peachy in Denmark.)

So please for the sake of clarity briefly explicate Blanshard's ethical theory.
If I really thought it would promote clarity, I might undertake such a task (which, to be any good at all, would require a level of effort the equivalent of writing a term paper). However, I suspect "briefly" is where the emphasis in your request falls; and since that wouldn't do Blanshard much justice at all, I will have to respectfully decline your request. However, you can readily avail yourself of "Reason and Goodness" through interlibrary loan or a used book vendor; and, should you be so inclined, I'd be very interested to see your brief explication.

With best wishes,
Ken
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