Events

Philosophy Cafe: Are there any correct moral answers?

Summary

The Philosophy Café is a regular opportunity for members of the Launceston community to meet and discuss, in some depth, a philosophical topic.

Start Date

6th Aug 2019 6:00pm

End Date

6th Aug 2019 7:30pm

Venue

The Royal Oak, Brisbane Street, Launceston

RSVP / Contact Information

E. Graham.Wood@utas.edu.au; T. 6234 3920

Are there any correct moral answers?

Let’s start a careful analysis from the end of the sentence above…

  • The sentence is a question. So, it is looking for an answer.
  • The search for answers implies moral questions.
  • What might those questions be?
  • What is morality?
  • What would it be for the answer to a moral question to be correct?
  • What makes answers to questions correct in general?
  • This is referring to the ‘existence’ of such answers.
  • What does ‘existence’ mean in this context?

And finally, how would one know when one has correctly answered the question:

  • How does one know when one has answered any question correctly?
  • Some more things to think about…

Different assumptions about the possibility of knowledge of morality lead to…

  • Moral Naturalism: moral claims can be understood with reference to empirical facts
  • Moral Rationalism: moral claims can be understood without reference to empirical facts
  • Moral Non-cognitivism: moral claims are not the type of claims that are true (or false)

Different assumptions about the metaphysical status of morality lead to…

  • Moral Realism: affirms the real existence of ethical properties.
  • Moral Subjectivism: denies the real existence of ethical properties.
  • Reference: Metaethical positions taken from the ‘ethics’ entry in The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy.