This article is a discussion of the relationships of objectivity of value with subjectivist and naturalist ethics. the author considers and clarifies both the subjectivist and the naturalist views of ethics and how they assert judgments in relation to the objectivity of ethical values, and the role of intuition in terms of achievement of agreement that affirms the objectivity of ethical values. (staff).
I do not think that the existence of God can be proved or even that the main justification for the belief can be found in argument in the ordinary sense of that term, but I think two of the three which have, since Kant at least, been classified as the traditional arguments of natural theology have some force and are worthy of serious consideration. This consideration I shall now proceed to give. I cannot say this of the remaining one of (...) the arguments, the ‘ontological proof’, which I shall therefore not discuss here. (shrink)
In this paper I shall use terms such as “intrinsically good” which may be deemed old fashioned by many readers and which certainly to my own mind presuppose an objective non-naturalistic theory of ethics. I still hold such a theory and I have not mastered the new jargon by which a sort of higher synthesis between that and other theories is supposed to have been effected, but I do not think that such a view as mine of ethics in general (...) is necessarily presupposed if one is to understand or even agree with the contentions of my article. These relate to a specific problem as to certain ethical actions, which will arise on any view that admits the possibility of giving any sort of legitimate reasons for ethical judgments, as we all do in practice. After all a naturalist can easily translate “intrinsically good” into his own terms, say, valued for its own sake by most people who experience it, and there will still be a question as to what is intrinsically and what is merely instrumentally good and other questions as to what is the logical nature of certain arguments in ethics. (shrink)
It is very unfortunate that the philosopher who, as would be generally agreed, has had the greatest influence on modern thought is a writer whose style presents a particularly formidable barrier to the layman, or indeed to any reader tackling him for the first time; and this makes it all the more necessary that an effort should be made by those who have read and studied his works to communicate what they take to be the essential parts of his message. (...) The present article is an attempt to fulfil a part of this function, i.e. to convey a few of the leading ideas of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, while leaving aside altogether his other writings. I hope Kantian scholars will forgive me if in the attempt to make some of Kant's ideas clear in a very small space to readers who have not specialized in the subject but are interested in philosophy I seem not to do justice to the complexity of his finer distinctions. Also I had better add that this article is simply an attempt to state Kant's doctrine; it is not intended as an expression of my own views, and refrains from criticism. (shrink)