David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Quarterly 40 (159):129-154 (1990)
In his celebrated 'Good and Evil' (l956) Professor Geach argues as against the non-naturalists that ‘good’ is attributive and that the predicative 'good', as used by Moore, is senseless.. 'Good' when properly used is attributive. 'There is no such thing as being just good or bad, [that is, no predicative 'good'] there is only being a good or bad so and so'. On the other hand, Geach insists, as against non-cognitivists, that good-judgments are entirely 'descriptive'. By a consideration of what it is to be an A, we can determine what it is to be a good A, even where the ‘A’ in question is ‘human being’. These battles are fought on behalf of naturalism, indeed, of an up-to-date Aristotelianism. Geach plans to 'pass' from the 'purely descriptive' man to good/bad man, and from human act to good/bad human act. I argue: (l) That the predicative 'good' does have a genuine sense and that it is a mistake to suppose that ‘good’ is a purely attributive adjective. This does not entail that the predicative good (as used by Moore) denotes a non-natural property, but his mistake, if any is metaphysical or ontological not conceptual. (2) That the attributive 'good' cannot be used to generate a naturalistic ethic. It is difficult to extract a set of biologically based requirements out of human nature that are a) reasonably specific; b) rationally binding or at least highly persuasive; and c) morally credible. On the way I protest against Geach’s tendency to try to win arguments by affecting not to understand things. My views to some extent anticipate those of Kraut in *Against Absolute Goodness*.
|Keywords||Geach Good Meta-Ethics Naturalism (in Ethics) Aristotle Attributive Virtue Ethics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Zed Adams (2011). Moral Mistakes. Philosophical Investigations 34 (1):1-21.
Charles R. Pigden (2012). Identifying Goodness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):93 - 109.
Similar books and articles
Steven J. Jensen (2010). Good and Evil Actions: A Journey Through Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catholic University of America Press.
Jenny Teichman (2003). Good for and Good About. Philosophy 78 (1):115-121.
Philip Clark (2002). The Meaning of 'Good' and the Possibility of Value. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):31 - 38.
Scott J. Hammond (2011). The Centrality of the Good: Reflections on Politics and Being. Lexington Books, a Division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Patrick Hutchings (2009). What is the Good/ Good of the Form of the Good? Sophia 48 (4):413-417.
Wes Morriston (2000). What is so Good About Moral Freedom? Philosophical Quarterly 50 (200):344-358.
William Alexander, Keith Anderson, Jane Harris, Julian Ingram, Tom Nelson, Katherine Woods & Judy Svensen, On Good and Bad: Whether Happiness is the Highest Good.
Jim Robinson (1993). A Change in Plato's Conception of the Good. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:231-241.
Rachel Barney (2008). The Carpenter and the Good. In D. Cairns, F. G. Herrmann & T. Penner (eds.), Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic. University of Edinburgh.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads82 ( #19,136 of 1,413,361 )
Recent downloads (6 months)27 ( #7,497 of 1,413,361 )
How can I increase my downloads?