This essay first introduces the moral sense theories of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith, and clarifies important differences between them. It then examines whether moral judgment based on the moral sense or moral sentiments varies according to one's metaphysical beliefs. For this, the essay mainly applies those theories to such issues as stem cell research, abortion, and active euthanasia. In all three theories, false religious beliefs can distort moral judgment. In Hutcheson's theory, answers to stem cell research, abortion, (...) and active euthanasia do not change according to the spectator's metaphysical beliefs. Yet answers to those issues can change according to the agent's metaphysical beliefs. Hume's theory cannot provide answers to stem cell research and abortion where the embryo or fetus is the receiver (the one affected by the agent's action) and to active euthanasia where the patient is unconscious. It may provide answers to abortion where the pregnant woman is the receiver and to active euthanasia where the patient is conscious. Yet the answers can vary depending on the woman's or the patient's metaphysical beliefs. Smith's theory can provide answers to stem cell research, abortion, and active euthanasia. But the answers can vary depending on the agent's metaphysical beliefs. These show that the moral sense or moral sentiments in those theories alone cannot identify appropriate morals. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's moral thesis is that reason alone must identify moral laws. Examining various interpretations of his ethics, this essay shows that the thesis fails. G. W. F. Hegel criticizes Kant's Formula of Universal Law as an empty formalism. Although Christine Korsgaard's Logical and Practical Contradiction Interpretations, Barbara Herman's contradiction in conception and contradiction in will tests, and Kenneth Westphal's paired use of Kant's universalization test all refute what Allen Wood calls a stronger form of the formalism charge, they are (...) not free from a weaker form of it. Some philosophers try to avoid both forms of the formalism charge in the following ways: First, some underline the roles of Kant's other formulas. Second, some interpret the Formula of Universal Law teleologically. Third, some claim that a maxim must be something all those potentially affected by it can rationally accept. Fourth, Robert Louden introduces the empirical to evaluate a maxim. All those attempts introduce heteronomy into Kant's ethics. Besides, on the third response, from the fact that all those potentially affected accept a maxim, it does not follow that it is morally right. It is impossible to avoid the formalism charge without making his ethics heteronomous. Thus, Kant's ethics is either empty or heteronomous. Either way it fails to identify moral laws by reason alone. (shrink)
This essay develops standards for grading religions including various forms of spiritualism. First, I examine the standards proposed by William James, John Hick, Paul Knitter, Dan Cohn-Sherbok, and Harold Netland. Most of them are useful in grading religions with or without conditions. However, those standards are not enough for refined and piercing evaluation. Thus, I introduce standards used in spiritualism. Although those standards are for grading spirits and their teachings, they are useful in refined and piercing evaluation of religious phenomena. (...) The spiritual standards complement James's, Hick's, Knitter's, and Netland's standards. Although most of the spiritual standards are rationally unjustifiable, they have practical value. (shrink)
This essay shows that a moral sense or moral sentiments alone cannot identify appropriate morals. To this end, the essay analyzes three defenses of Francis Hutcheson's, David Hume's, and Adam Smith's moral sense theories against the relativism charge that a moral sense or moral sentiments vary across people, societies, cultures, or times. The first defense is the claim that there is a universal moral sense or universal moral sentiments. However, even if they exist, a moral sense or moral sentiments alone (...) cannot identify appropriate morals. The second defense is to adopt a general viewpoint theory, which identifies moral principles by taking a general viewpoint. But it needs to employ reason, and even if not, it does not guarantee that we identify appropriate morals. The third defense is to adopt an ideal observer theory, which draws moral principles from sentimental reactions of an ideal observer. Yet it still does not show that a moral sense or moral sentiments alone can identify appropriate morals. (shrink)
Examining the moral sense theories of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith from the perspective of the is-ought problem, this essay shows that the moral sense or moral sentiments in those theories alone cannot identify appropriate morals. According to one interpretation, Hume's or Smith's theory is just a description of human nature. In this case, it does not answer the question of how we ought to live. According to another interpretation, it has some normative implications. In this case, it (...) draws normative claims from human nature. Anyway, the sentiments of anger, resentment, vengeance, superiority, sympathy, and benevolence show that drawing norms from human nature is sometimes morally problematic. The changeability of the moral sense and moral sentiments in Hume's and Smith's theories supports this idea. Hutcheson's theory is morally more appropriate because it bases morality on disinterested benevolence. Yet disinterested benevolence is not enough for morality. There are no sentiments the presence of which alone makes any action moral. (shrink)
For some contemporary liberal philosophers, a huge concern is liberal neutrality, which is the idea that the state should be neutral among competing conceptions of the moral good pursued by the people. In The Morality of Freedom, Joseph Raz argues that we can neither achieve nor even approximate such neutrality. He shows that neutrality and fairness are different ideas. His notion of neutrality is stricter than John Rawls's and Ronald Dworkin's. Raz shows that both helping and not helping can be (...) neutral or non-neutral, thus neutrality is chimerical. Wojciech Sadurski's appeal to rational expectations does not necessarily tell us which action is neutral. Distinguishing between comprehensive and narrow neutrality, Raz also claims that only the former is a proper response to conflicts. Sadurski criticizes it, claiming that conflicts are comprehensive in a sense which does not deny the adequacy of the narrow neutrality. In reality, however, it is almost impossible to achieve even the narrow neutrality. A theory is presented to explain why political neutrality is almost impossible to achieve. Philosophically, there is no neutral ground for neutral politics. (shrink)
According to Agrippa's trilemma, an attempt to justify something leads to either infinite regress, circularity, or dogmatism. This essay examines whether and to what extent the trilemma applies to ethics. There are various responses to the trilemma, such as foundationalism, coherentism, contextualism, infinitism, and German idealism. Examining those responses, the essay shows that the trilemma applies at least to rational justification of contentful moral beliefs. This means that rationalist ethics based on any contentful moral belief are rationally unjustifiable.
David Hume thinks that human affections are naturally partial, while Francis Hutcheson holds that humans originally have disinterested benevolence. Michael Gill argues that Hume's moral theory succeeds over Hutcheson's because the former severs the link between explaining and justifying morality. According to Gill, Hutcheson is wrong to assume that our original nature should be the basis of morality. Gill's understanding of Hutcheson's theory does not fully represent it, since for Hutcheson self-love and self-interest under certain conditions are permissible, or even (...) desirable or necessary for the good of society. There is not much difference between Hutcheson's and Hume's theories in the sense that they both extract impartial morality from human character as it is. Hume's theory does not succeed over Hutcheson's because Hume does not propose a better way of extracting morality nor explain all moral phenomena. (shrink)
David Hume pense que les affections de l’homme sont naturellement partielles, tandis que Francis Hutcheson considère que l’homme est originellement d’une bienveillance désintéressée. Michael Gill soutient que la théorie morale de Hume l’emporte sur celle de Hutcheson car cette dernière rompt le lien entre l’explication et la justification de la moralité. D’après Gill, Hutcheson a tort d’assumer que notre nature originelle devrait être le fondement de la moralité. La compréhension par Gill de la théorie de Hutcheson ne reflète pas celle-ci (...) complètement puisque l’amour de soi-même et l’intérêt personnel de Hutcheson sont, sous certaines conditions, admissibles, voire souhaitables ou nécessaires pour le bien de la société. Il y a peu de différence entre les théories de Hutcheson et de Hume dans le sens où elles déduisent la moralité impartiale du caractère humain tel qu’il est. La théorie de Hume ne l’emporte pas sur celle de Hutcheson car Hume ne propose pas une meilleure façon de déduire la moralité ni d’expliquer tous les phénomènes moraux. (shrink)
David Hume charakterisierte die Menschenneigungen als naturgegeben voreingenommen, während Francis Hutcheson des Dafürhaltens war, die Menschen seien ursprünglich unbefangen gütig. Michael Gill findet, Humes Moraltheorie überwinde jene Hutchesons, dank ihres Abbruchs der Verbindung zwischen der Erläuterung und der Rechtfertigung der Moralität. Gill zufolge irrt sich Hutcheson in der Annahme, unsere originäre Natur habe als Basis der Moralität zu dienen. Gills Lesart der Theorie Hutchesons übermittelt ebendieselbe nicht restlos, da für Hutcheson Selbstliebe einschließlich des Selbstinteresses unter speziellen Umständen zugelassen ist, überdies (...) sogar erwünscht oder unentbehrlich zum Wohlergehen der Gesellschaft. Es besteht keine schwerwiegende Differenz zwischen Hutchesons und Humes Theorien im Sinne, dass beide die unvoreingenommene Moralität aus dem menschlichen Charakter als solchem herleiten. Humes Theorie triumphiert nicht über die Hutcheson-Theorie, weil Hume weder einen angemesseneren Weg der Moralitätsextraktion noch einen besseren Weg der Auslegung sämtlicher Moralphänomene eingeschlagen hat. (shrink)
David Hume je smatrao da su ljudske sklonosti prirodno pristrane, dok je Francis Hutcheson držao da su ljudi izvorno bezinteresno dobronamjerni. Michael Gill tvrdi da je Humeova moralna teorija uspješnija od Hutchesonove jer prekida vezu između objašnjavanja i opravdavanja moralnosti. Prema Gillu, Hutcheson pogrešno pretpostavlja da naša izvorna priroda treba biti temelj moralnosti. Gillovo shvaćanje Hutchesonove teorije ne predstavlja tu teoriju u potpunosti budući da su za Hutchesona ljubav prema sebi i samo-interes dopustivi u određenim okolnostima, ili čak poželjni ili (...) nužni za dobro društva. Nema većih razlika između Hutchesonove i Humeove teorije u smislu da obje izvode nepristranu moralnosti iz ljudske naravi kao takve. Humeova teorija nije uspješnija jer on ne predlaže bolji način izvoda moralnosti niti objašnjenja svih moralnih fenomena. (shrink)
U ovome ogledu najprije uvodim u teorije moralnog osjećaja Francisa Hutchesona, Davida Humea i Adama Smitha te razjašnjavam važne razlike među njima. Potom ispitujem da li moralni sud koji se zasniva na moralnom osjećaju varira ovisno o metafizičkim vjerovanjima. U tu svrhu te teorije uglavnom primjenjujem na pitanja kao što su istraživanje matičnih stanica, pobačaj i aktivna eutanazija. U svim trima teorijama neistinita religijska vjerovanja mogu iskriviti moralni sud. U Hutchesonovoj teoriji odgovori na problem istraživanja matičnih stanica, pobačaja i aktivne (...) eutanazije ne mijenjaju se ovisno o metafizičkim vjerovanjima promatrača. No odgovori na ta pitanja mogu se promijeniti ovisno o djelatnikovim metafizičkim vjerovanjima. Humeova teorija ne može pružiti odgovore na problem istraživanja matičnih stanica i pobačaja kada primatelj (onaj na koga utječe djelatnikova radnja) jest embrij ili fetus, dok odgovor na problem aktivne eutanazije ne može pružiti kada je pacijent nesvjestan. Može pružiti odgovore na problem pobačaja kada je primatelj trudnica, a na problem aktivne eutanazije kada je pacijent svjestan. No odgovori mogu varirati ovisno o ženinim ili pacijentovim metafizičkim vjerovanjima. Smithova teorija može pružiti odgovore na problem istraživanja matičnih stanica, pobačaja i eutanazije. No odgovori mogu varirati ovisno o djelatnikovim metafizičkim vjerovanjima. To pokazuje da sam moralni osjećaj u tim teorijama ne može identificirati primjereno moralno stajalište. (shrink)
Postmodernists claim that there is no truth. However, the statement 'there is no truth ' is self -contradictory. This essay shows the following: One cannot state the idea 'there is no truth ' universally without creating a paradox. In contrast, the statement 'there is truth ' does not produce such a paradox. Therefore, it is more logical that truth exists.