First published in Great Britain in 1948, this book examines the definition of goodness as being distinct from the question of What things are good? Although less immediately and obviously practical, Dr. Ewing argues that the former question is more fundamental since it raises the issue of whether ethics is explicable wholly in terms of something else, for example, human psychology. Ewing states in his preface that the definition of goodness needs to be confirmed before one decides on the place (...) value is to occupy in our conception of reality or on the ultimate characteristics which make one action right and another wrong. This book discusses these issues. (shrink)
First published in 1934, this book evaluates the characteristic doctrines of the idealism which dominated philosophy during the last century. It seeks to combine realism, as to epistemology and physical objects, with a greater appreciation of views which emphasize the unity and rationality of the universe. This work is not a history and does not try to compete with any histories of idealism but it instead reaches an independent conclusion on certain philosophical problems by criticising what others have said. The (...) book considers differing arguments in order to determine their validity. (shrink)
This is a major work by one of the best-known philosophical writers, representing the culmination of some twenty-five years’ work on the possibility of giving a rational defence of the claims of the religious man, and specifically the theist, in the face of modern criticisms. Dr Ewing’s object has been to fulfil what seem to him the two most important tasks for the philosopher in at least the present age, namely, to see if it is still possible to give a (...) rational defence of a genuinely religious point of view, and to do the same thing for an objective ethics, a task he has attempted in other works, and continues here. The conclusions are that while there can be no question of strict, logical proof, an ethical theism can be defended rationally as an explanatory, metaphysical hypothesis and there are no grounds to reject as illusory the most fundamental intuitive convictions of religion. The book, originally published in 1973, included a new theory of the ultimate criterion of truth for hypotheses, a restatement of the case for a substantial self and for indeterminism, a fresh treatment of the moral and certain other arguments for God, some points in the discussion of the problem of evil and some speculations on time. (shrink)
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)
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).
A little while ago I thought the ontological argument dead and buried beyond any possible hope of resurrection and no philosophical event has caused me much greater surprise than its revival by a member of the very linguistic school to whose line of thinking it seemed most alien and who were held to have given it its quietus once for all. I am tempted to welcome any relapse into metaphysics by a member of this school as being some sign of (...) grace, but on this issue I must for once take sides with the prevailing tradition against at least this kind of metaphysics. Let me make clear, however, what it is I am combating. The term ‘ontological argument’ has been used for arguments which its original supporters would certainly not have recognised as theirs. It has been used for instance to stand for the claim that it is an essential presupposition of thought that what we must think is true of the real, a claim which could not be used to prove the existence of God unless we had available another proof that we really must think that God exists. It has been used for kinds of ‘idealist’ arguments which I do not want to discuss here. It has been used for the argument that the idea of a perfect being cannot be explained as derived from any other idea and must therefore be explained as produced in us by a being who really is perfect, an argument which appears in Descartes side by side with the ontological argument but which he carefully distinguishes from it. (shrink)