Browsing by Subject "objektiivisuus - moraali"

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  • Koivisto, Tommi (2000)
    This paper aims to investigate the conceptual link between moral judgements and truth - that is, whether moral judgements in general admit of truth or falsehood. Many moral philosophers have in fact approached this question with varying degrees of scepticism: some have denied that moral judgements can be true or false, while others have been more receptive to the idea that there are moral truths. In this context, philosophers have also discussed themes such as moral objectivity, status of ethical theories, and meta-ethics. Since the literature on this topic is vast and often technical, the paper is limited to three distinct points of view: (1) emotivism and the deflationary theory of truth; (2) David Wiggins's concept of plain truth and its application to moral judgements; and (3) R.M. Hare's and Bernard Williams's contrasting positions on moral objectivity and truth. Each perspective is discussed in a separate section, with emphasis on detailed analysis of arguments. Section (1) begins with A.J. Ayer's classic account of emotivism, a suitable introduction to modern versions of this ethical theory. This is followed by a discussion of the deflationary theory of truth. The argument is that emotivism's claim to be both an accurate analysis of moral language and a viable ethical theory is undermined by controversial assumptions about truth and moral reasoning. Authors mentioned are Bruce Waller, Peter Geach, Paul Boghossian, David Stoljar, Robert Kraut, R.M. Hare, John Mackie, and Simon Blackburn. Section (2) focuses on David Wiggins's account of truth and its significance to moral judgements. The subsequent analysis stresses the difficulties that face Wiggins's project - especially, his concept of plain truth. Authors mentioned are Richard Taylor, Jonathan Lear and Wilfred Hodges. Section (3) outlines R.M. Hare's and Bernard Williams's view of moral objectivity and truth. The critical aim is to contrast their positions with the previous sections. Authors mentioned are Thomas Nagel and Immanuel Kant. The paper concludes with a summary of key arguments and the suggestion that there is no simple, convenient resolution to the issue of moral judgements and truth.