By Jon Nuttall
This new creation to ethics is written for college kids who're coming near near philosophy for the 1st time.
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Extra info for Moral questions : an introduction to ethics
Actually, of course, things are not quite as simple as this. First, I have rather assumed that moral judgements are primarily judgements as to whether actions are right or wrong. This assumption, that moral judgements are about actions, makes it easier to move to the conclusion that moral judgements provide reasons for actions. Yet there are other types of moral judgements where the link with actions is not nearly so direct, for example, judgements about a person's character. One might also include here judgements which involve actions that are heroic or saintly, in other words, actions which one cannot reasonably expect of normal people (including oneself).
However, by and large, we do not have any great difficulty in saying that one set of factual claims is correct whereas another set is incorrect; in other words, when it comes to factual claims, we do not have any great difficulty with the idea that it is possible to make cross-cultural comparisons, nor do we feel uncomfortable in suggesting that Western science gives a basically correct view of the world in which we live whereas the views given by primitive tribes, and by our own society in the past, are flawed.
O n the one hand, moral judgements, if they are to be evaluations and if genuine disagreements between people are to exist, cannot be simply the expression of personal likes and dislikes. O n the other hand, if moral judgements are to have the sort of connection with behaviour which we acknowledge that they do have, then they must be intimately related to a person's likes and dislikes. Philosophers have concluded from this that although moral judgements are not simply the expressions of likes and dislikes they are, ultimately, based on the individual's likes and dislikes.