Philosophical Quarterly 40 (159):129-154 (1990)
|Abstract||In his celebrated 'Good and Evil' (l956) Professor Geach fights a war on two fronts. On the one hand, he wants to establish, as against the nonnaturalists, 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'. (GE, page 65) The predicative 'good' is a philosopher's word and we cannot be 'asked to take it for granted from the outset that a peculiarly philosophical use of words means anything at all'! (GE, page 67.) Attempts to define this phantom have foundered for the simple reason that there is really no such use to be defined. The search for a property for which 'good' stands - a 'way out of the Naturalistic Fallacy' - is a vain one. The idea that 'it' stands for a non-natural property is thus a pseudo-solution to a pseudo-problem. (GE, pages 66-67.) On the other hand, Geach insists, as against non-cognitivists, that good-judgements 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.|
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