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首页 【伦理学】善的定义

【伦理学】善的定义.doc

【伦理学】善的定义

九月虺
2009-08-28 0人阅读 举报 0 0 暂无简介

简介:本文档为《【伦理学】善的定义doc》,可适用于职业教育领域

THEDEFINITIONOFGOODByACEWINGMA,DPhil(Oxon)MA,LittD(Cantab)FellowoftheBritishAcademyLecturerinMoralScienceintheUniversityofCambridgeNEWYORKTHEMACMILLANCOMPANYiiiCopyright,,byTHEMACMILLANCOMPANYAllrightsreservednopartofthisbookmaybereproducedinanyformwithoutpermissioninwritingfromthepublisher,exceptbyareviewerwhowishestoquotebriefpassagesinconnectionwithareviewwrittenforinclusioninmagazineornewspaperFirstPrintingPRINTEDINTHEUNITEDSTATESOFAMERICAivPrefaceThequestionWhatisthedefinitionofgoodnessmustbedistinguishedfromthequestionWhatthingsaregoodanditistheformer,notthelatter,questionwhichIdiscussinthisbookThisquestion,whilelessimmediatelyandobviouslypractical,ismorefundamental,sinceitraisestheissuewhetherethicsisexplicablewhollyintermsofsomethingelse,forexample,humanpsychology,anditcertainlyoughttobeansweredbeforewedecideeitherontheplacevalueistooccupyinourconceptionofrealityorontheultimatecharacteristicswhichmakeoneactionrightandanotherwrongIshallnotattempttogivealistofthosetowhomIamindebted,becausesuchalistwouldprobablyembraceallthemainworksonethicswhichIhavereadandmostofthepeoplewhohavediscussedwithme,orally,thefundamentalconceptsofethicsImustexpressmygratitudetomymotherforhervaluedhelpinproofreadingIalsohavetothanktheeditorsofMindandPhilosophyforhavingallowedmetousearticlesIhadpreviouslypublishedintheseperiodicalsACEWINGTRINITYHALLCAMBRIDGEENGLANDNovember,vContentsPREFACEvISUBJECTIVISMIINATURALISMIIITHECOHERENCETHEORYOFETHICS,ANDSOMEOTHERNONNATURALISTDEFINITIONSOFTHEFUNDAMENTALETHICALTERMSIVDIFFERENTMEANINGSOF"GOOD"AND"OUGHT"VANANALYSISOFGOODINTERMSOFOUGHTVICONSEQUENCESOFTHEANALYSISFORAGENERALTHEORYOFETHICSINDEXviiCHAPTERISubjectivismOneclassofanswertothequestionhow"good"istobedefinedisgivenbythesubjectivistsBut,beforeweconsiderthistypeofanswer,wemusttrytomakecleartoourselveswhatcouldbemeantbythe"objectivity"ofethicaljudgementsorofvaluejudgementsingeneralItobviouslydoesnotmeanthattheyascribevaluepropertiestophysicalobjectsTheseclearlydonotpossessethicalqualitiesItmightindeedbeheldthattheypossessedthepropertyofbeautyandthereforethepropertyofintrinsicgoodnessquiteindependentlyofbeingperceivedThisviewdoesnotseemtomeobviouslyfalse,butitisplainthatmostphilosopherswhohaveassertedtheobjectivityofvaluejudgementsdidnotwishtocommitthemselvestoit,stilllesstomaintainthatallvaluejudgementswereobjectiveinpreciselythesamesenseasthatinwhichjudgementsaboutphysicalobjectsareWecanthereforeruleoutatoncethesenseof"objective"asreferringtowhatexistsindependentlyofbeingexperiencedWhatthendoes"objective"meanwhenusedinreferencetoethicsItmaymean"claimingtobetrue"Obviouslyinthissensejudgementsaboutpsychologicaleventsanddispositionsareobjective,thoughtheydonotrefertowhatexistsindependentlyofexperience,andinthissenseethicaljudgementsmaybeobjectiveTosaytheyareisindeedtosaynomorethanthattheyarejudgementsandnotmerelysomethingelsewhichwehaveconfusedwithjudgementsButeventhismuchisdeniedbysomewhomaintainthatsocalledethicaljudgementsareonlyexclamations,commands,orwishesHowever,apersonwhoadmittedtheoccurrenceofethicaljudgements,butdeniedthattheywereeverinfacttrueorthatwecouldeverhaveanyjustificationforbelievingthemtobetrue,wouldnotusuallybedescribedasholdinganobjectiveviewofethicsSo"objective"heremaybetakenasimplyingthatethicaljudgementsinparticularandvaluejudgementsingeneralaresometimestrueandcanbesometimesknownoratleastjustifiablybelievedtobetrueAnobjectiveviewinvolvestherejectionofscepticisminethicsButthiswouldnotbyitselfbesufficienttosatisfytheholdersoftheviewthatethicaljudgementsareobjectiveSuppose"Aisgood"simplymeant"IhaveacertainfeelingaboutA"Itwouldthenbeajudgementandcouldperfectlywellbetrueandknowntobetrue,yetanybodywhomaintainedsuchapositionwouldbesaidtobeholdingasubjectiveandnotanobjectiveviewofethicsThepropositionthatethicaljudgementsareobjective,therefore,besidesassertingthattheyarejudgements,assertsofthemacertainindependenceofthefeelingsorattitudeofthepersonjudgingTheyarenotmerelyjudgementsabouthisfeelings,orforthatmatterhisthoughtsEvenifpartlybasedonfeeling,theyarenotaboutthefeelingitselfbutaboutsomethingtowhichthefeelingpoints,andsomethingwhichcannotadequatelybedescribedintermsmerelyoftheman'sownpsychologyTheviewthat"ethicaljudgementsareobjective"thereforeexcludesthefollowingviews:(a)thattheyarenotreallyjudgementsatall,(b)thattheyareallfalseorthatweareneverjustifiedinthinkingthemtrue,(c)thattheyaremerelyjudgementsaboutone'sownpsychologicalstateordispositionsAnyofthesethreealternativeviewsmaybecalled"subjective"The"objective"viewisalsocommonlyunderstoodasexcludinganyviewwhichholdsthemtobeanalysableMyuseofthistermisquitedifferentfromtheusemadeofitbyRossinFoundationsofEthics,Chapexclusivelyintermsofhumanpsychology,buthereadistinctionisrequiredbetween"naturalism"and"subjectivism"Apersonwhoopposesnaturalisttheoriesofethicsingeneralisoftenspokenofratherlooselyasdefendingtheobjectivityofethics,butanaturalisttheoryneednotbe,thoughitmaybe,subjectiveAtypicalexampleofnaturalistethicswouldbethetheorythattosaysomeactionisrightorsomeexperiencegoodmerelymeansthatmostmen,ormostmeninacertaingroup,tendtohaveaparticularkindoffeelingaboutitorthatittendstothesatisfactionofmostmen'sdesiresNowonsuchatheory"good"and"right"stillstandforobjectivefactsquiteindependentoftheattitudetowardsthemofthepersonwhomakestheethicaljudgementinquestionthatis,theystandforfactsaboutaclassofpeople,orpeopleingeneralTheywouldstillbeasobjectiveasthejudgementthatmanyGermansadmiredHitlerorthatgenerallyamanisdistressedbythedeathofhisparentsTheseformsofnaturalistethicsdifferfromnonnaturalistformsnotindenyingtheobjectivityofethics,forjudgementsofpsychologyareobjective,butinmakingethicsabranchofanempiricalscience,andwillthereforebediscussednotinthepresentchapterbutinthefollowingonePerhapsthemoststrikingfeatureofpresentdayethicsisthefrequentoccurrenceoftheoriesofafranklynaturalistorsubjectivisttypeForthisthereareseveralobviouscausesFirstly,thesuccessofthenaturalsciencesascomparedwithphilosophyandthefailureofobscurantistoppositioninthenameofreligionhavemadepeoplereluctanttoadmitanythingwhichcannotbesubjectedtothemethodsofempiricalscienceSecondly,thedeclineintheinfluenceoforganizedChristianityandthewidespreaddoubtsastothejustificationofitscentralOfthethreetypesofsubjectivetheoryaboveIshouldcall(c)bothnaturalistandsubjective(a)and(b)couldnotclaimthatethicalpropositionsarepartofanaturalscience,andthereforeIshouldhesitatetocallthemnaturalisttheologicalbeliefshavecontributedtotheriseofscepticismaboutethicsThismustspeciallybethecasewiththosewhothoughtthatethicswasessentiallyboundupwithreligionbuthavelosttheirfaithinreligionThirdly,theradicaldivergenceinethicalviewsbetweendifferentpeopleanddifferentcivilizationshasbeenrealizedasneverbefore(and,Ithink,exaggerated)Fourthly,sincethewaroftherehasbeenaworldwidereactionagainstrationalisminallspheres,sothatthereisaconsequenttendencytoregardanyapriorielementinethicswithgreatsuspicionandtoconnect"valuejudgements"closelywithfeeling,evensometimestotheextentofsayingthattheyarenotjudgementsatallbutonlyexpressionsoffeelingWemustnot,however,exaggeratetheprevalenceofsuchopinionsWhenIreviewedtheethicalliteraturepublishedinandinordertowriteamanualfortheInstitutInternationaldeCollaborationPhilosophiqueIfoundthatonthecontinentofEuropenaturalistorsubjectivistethicswasdecidedlytheexceptionamongphilosophersIevennotedanassertioninanarticlebyProfessorUrbanthattheobjectivityofvaluecannowberegardedasoneofthethings"weknow"inaxiology,inthesensethatamongcriticalopinionthereisalargemeasureofassentonthispointeveninAmericaandmoremarkedlyinEuropeItistooearlytosayhowthesituationwillbeaffectedbythewarThesimplestformofthesubjectivistviewisthataccordingtowhichethicaljudgements,thoughgenuinejudgements,assertonlythatthepersonwhomakesthejudgementhasortendstohavecertainfeelings"Thisisgood"or"right"onsuchaviewbecomes"Ihaveortendtohaveanemotionofapprovalonconsideringthis"AnumberofincrediblyparaThiswasunfortunatelyneverpublished,owingtotheGermanoccupationofParisJournalofPhilosophy,,pffdoxicalconsequenceswouldfollowfromtheadoptionofthisviewFirstly,thejudgementscouldnotbefalseunlessthepersonjudginghadmadeamistakeabouthisownpsychologySecondly,twodifferentpeoplewouldnevermeanthesamethingwhentheymadesuchajudgement,sinceeachwouldmean"Thisisapprovedbyme"Indeedthesamepersonwouldnevermeanthesamebyitontwodifferentoccasions,becauseeachtimehewouldmean"Inowfeelortendtofeelapprovalofthis"Thirdly,ifIjudgesomethingtobegoodandyoujudgeittobebad,ourjudgementswouldneverbelogicallyincompatiblewitheachotherItisnotasufficientreplytopointoutthattheycanstillbeincompatiblewitheachotherinsomedifferentsense,forexampleinthesensethattheyexpressattitudeswhichareinconflictwitheachotherorleadtoincompatiblepoliciesForwedonotseemerelythatA'sjudgement"Thisisgood"andB'sjudgement"Thisisbad"(inthecorrespondingsenseoftheword)leadtoorexpressincompatiblepolicieslikeA'sjudgement"IdesiretofurtherX"andB'sjudgement"IdesiretoopposeX"WeseethatthetwojudgementslogicallycontradicteachothersothatitislogicallyimpossiblethattheycouldbothbetrueNodoubt,since"good"and"bad"caneachbeusedindifferentsenses,"thisisbad"maynotalwayscontradict"thisisgood,"because,forexample,"good"maymean"instrumentallygood"and"bad"maymean"intrinsicallybad"butatanyratetheysometimesdoso,andontheviewunderdiscussiontheycould,whenassertedbydifferentpeople,neverdosoFourthly,noargumentorrationaldiscussion,norindeedanycitationofempiricalfacts,couldbeinanydegreerelevanttosupportingorcastingdoubtonanyethicaljudgementunlessitcouldbedirectedtoshowingthatthepersonwhomakesthejudgementhasmadeamistakeabouthisownfeelingsortendenciestohavefeelingsItistruethatargumentorfreshknowledgeaboutthecircumstancesandlikelyconsequencesofanactmightleadmetohavedifferentfeelingsaboutitandsojudgeitrightwhileIhadjudgeditwrongbefore,orviceversabutitwouldnotinanywayindicatethatmypreviousjudgementwasfalseThejudgementswouldbedifferentbutsincetheyreferredonlytomyfeelingsatdifferenttimestheywouldnotcontradicteachotheranymorethan"IwasillonJanuary"contradicts"IwaswellonFebruary"YetitisclearthatargumentcanreallycastdoubtonpropositionsinethicsFifthly,Icouldnot,whileassertinganethicalbelief,conceivethatImightpossiblybewronginthisbeliefandyetbecertainthatInowfeel(ortendtofeel)disapprovalSinceitisquiteclearthatIcanconceivethisinsomecasesatleast,thisargumentprovidesanotherreductioadabsurdumofthetheoryTothinkthatanethicalbeliefnowexpressedbymemaypossiblybewrongisnotthesameasthinkingthatImaycomeinthefuturetohavedifferentfeelings,forIthinkthatthepresentjudgementmaybewrongandnotafutureoneToputtheobjectioninanotherway,itwouldfollowfromthetheorythattosay"IfIfeelapprovalofA,Aisalwaysrightgood"istoutteratautologyButitisnot,itisapieceofgrossconceit,ifmadeinanyordinarycontextEvenifitweretruethat,ifIfeelapprovalofA,IshallalwaysatthetimejudgeAtoberight(good),thisisquiteadifferentstatementIneednotalwaysbecertainthatmyjudgementsarecorrect(unlessjudgementissodefinedastocoveronlycasesofknowledge)IamthereforequiteunmovedbytheelaboratediscussionbyCLStevensoninEthicsandLanguageastohowargumentcanberelevanttoethicaldisagreementsonasubjectivistviewItdoesnotshowittoberelevantinthesenseinwhichwereallyseeittoberelevant,butinsomeothersenseThebookisnodoubtaveryableexpositionofsubjectivismforthosewhoarealreadyconvinced,butitdoesnot,asfarasIcansee,bringanyrealargumentforitoravoidanyoftheobjectionsthatIhavementionedagainstitSixthly,itwouldfollowfromthetheoryunderdiscussionthat,whenIjudgethatHitlerwasbadoractedwrongly,IamnotreallytalkingaboutHitleratallbutaboutmyownpsychologyTometheconsequencesthatIhavementionedareallquiteincredibleandconstituteafullysufficientreductioadabsurdumofthetheoryfromwhichtheyarededucedTheyholdwhetheritisappliedbothto"good"andto"right"oronlytooneofthemIdonot,however,seehowthetheorycouldbeappliedto"right"withoutbeingalsoappliedto"good"butitmightbeheldthatitappliedonlyto"good"andthat"right"wastobedefinedas"ameanstothestateofaffairsforwhich(ofthoseproducibleinthecontext)Ifelt,atthetimeImadethejudgement,mostapprovalonthewhole"Thiswouldbeanaturalistnonsubjectivisttheoryof"right"combinedwithasubjectivisttheoryof"good"However,itisclearthatthiscannotbethemeaningof"right,"forifmyemotionswereilladjustedaquitewrongactionmightbe,andbebelievedbymetobe,themosteffectivemeanstothestateofaffairsforwhichIfeltmostapprovalIshouldprobablyinthatcasenotjudgeittobewrongatthetime(thoughImightevendothisifIdistinguishedbetweenwhatIreallythoughtgoodandmyemotionalfeelingofapproval)butImightquitewelljudgeafterwardsnotonlythatitwaswrongbutthatmyearlierjudgementthatitwasrightwasmistaken,whileadmittingthattheactwasthemosteffectivemeanstothestatetowardswhichatthetimeImadethefirstjudgementIfeltmostapprovalNorcanwedefinearightactas"means,etc,tothestateofaffairstowardswhichIshouldalwaysorultimatelyfeelmostapproval,"forthatwouldmakeitaprophecyaboutmyfutureemotionsItclearlywouldnotnecessarilyinvalidatemypresentjudgementthatsomeparticularactisrightifitshouldturnoutthatmyemotionaldispositionchangedlaterinmylifeinsuchawaythatInolongerfeltapprovalofthestateofaffairstowhichtheactionwasanefficientmeansItistruethatIshouldinthatcasebedisposedlatertocontradictmypresentjudgement,butitcertainlywouldnotmeanthatmypresentjudgementastotherightnessoftheactwasnecessarilyfalseFinally,ifIasksomebodyforadviceonaquestionofpracticalethics,Idonotmerelywanttobebroughtintoacertainemotionalstateabouttheproposedactorbepersuadedthatitisthebestmeanstowhatwillproducesuchanemotionalstateinme(orinotherpeople,forthatmatter)Oratleast,ifthatisallIwant(whichIsupposeisthecasewithsomepeople'srequestsforadvice),itwouldbeagreedthatIamnotaskingintherightspirit,thatis,IdonotreallywanttoknowwhatisrightbutonlytofeelcomfortableabouttheactadvisedWhenIamaskingforethicaladviceIamasking,ifIamgenuine,whetheraproposedacthasanobjectivecharacteristicandnotmerelyaboutitsrelationtomyownemotionsAndlikewisewhenIammakingupmyownmindIdonotregardmyfeelingofapprovalasaproof,evenformyself,thatacertainactisrightbutonlyasanindicationBecauseemotionsareconservative,amanmayeasilyhavethefeelingofdisapprovaltowardssomethinghethinksrightifheformerlythoughtitwrongortowardssomethingwhichoffendshistastebutwhichhebelievesisethicallyneutralButtherearecaseswhereIclearlyseethatsomethingisgoodorbad,rightandobligatoryorwrong,andthisinsighthasoftenbeenconfusedwiththefeelingwhichusuallyaccompaniesitPracticallythesameobjectionsapplywhetherthesubjectivisttakesethicaljudgementstobeaboutthespeaker'sfeelingsorabouthisthoughtoraboutanattitudeofmindincludingfeeling,thought,andconationalikeFurther,ifweintroducethenotionofthinkingintothedefinition,anadditionalobjectionarisesFor,if"thisisgoodorright"meansorincludesinitsmeaning"Ithinkitgoodorright,"itmaybeobjectedthat"Ithinkthisgoodorright"wouldbecome"IthinkthatIthinkitgoodorright,"sothatwehaveeitheraviciouscircleoraninfiniteregressItshouldhoweverbenotedthatIhavenotincludedintheobjectionstheargumentsometimesusedthatfromthesubjectivistviewitwouldfollowthatthesameactmaybebothrightwhenIspeakaboutit,thatis,approvedbyme,andwrongwhenyouspeakaboutit,thatis,disapprovedbyyouForonanyviewthesameactmightbebothrightandnotright(wrong)indifferentsensesof"right"Evenonthesubjectivistviewitneednotbebothrightandnotrightinthesamesenseof"right"Itis,however,veryhardtobelievethat"good"or"right"meanssomethingdifferenteverytimethewordisusedbyadifferentspeaker,andthisisafurthurobjectionWeshouldnoteanambiguityintheterms"approval"and"disapproval"Asusedinrecentphilosophicaldiscussiontheyhavecommonlystoodforemotions,butinordinaryspeechtheyusuallyexpressajudgement"IapproveofA"isthenidenticalwith"IjudgeAgood,""IdisapproveofA"with"IjudgeAbad"(insomerespectatleast)Allethicaljudgementsexpressapprovalordisapprovalinthissense,asalljudgementswithoutexceptionexpressthethoughtsofthepersonwhomakesthemButifIthereforewentontosaythatImeantby"Aisgood"thatIapproveofA,IshouldbesayingthatImeantby"Aisgood"thatIjudgethatAisgoodThisasadefinitionisobviouslycircularNoneoftheobjectionsIhavegivenareavoidedbysubstitutingfor"feelings""tendenciestohavefeelings,"asthesubjectivistmustindeeddoifheistoavoidthedifferentobjectionthatImaymakeatrueethicalj

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