How does Moral Philosophy work?
Understand the centrality of the question of whether moral facts exist
Explore whether it's even possible to make moral claims in the first place
Appreciate why someone might claim ethics exists, but is dependent on us
Understand the strengths and weaknesses of Cultural Relativism
Appreciate why someone might claim ethics exists independent of us
Understand the basic structure of a philosophical claim
The Grounding Problem of Ethics
Is Ethics Provable like Science?
• Can we "prove" Ethics the way we "prove" science?
• Science is proven through experimentation
• Ethics is proven through analysis and logical debate
• But the shape of the Ethical landscape (like Science) is complex
• Science makes objective claims (Eg. Earth goes 'round the Sun)
• Can Ethics also make objective claims?
Can an Ethical Statement be Objectively True?
• Moral Objectivists: Yes! Morality exists, independent of our wishes
• Moral Subjectivists: No, b/c morality is an extension of self or culture
• Moral Nihilists: No, because morality isn't real
Do Moral Facts Exist? (Eg. It's a fact that murder is wrong.)
• A Moral Fact is an ethical claim that can be proven to be true
• Moral Realists: Yes! Like Science, Moral Facts can be discovered • Moral Realism | CrashCourse vid: 9min
• Moral Objectivists & Subjectivists are both Moral Realists
• Moral Antirealists: No! There's only moral opinions and traditions
• Nothing is 'inherently wrong' (cf. Moral Nihilism)
• It's foolish to think of Ethics as an objective project