Metaethics Notes Mackie Joyce Smith

Reading for Monday

Dreier, "Dispositions and Fetishes". Response to Smith’s argument.


Second assignment due Friday

Error Theory

What should first-order attitudes be?

  1. Give up all moral beliefs and practice
    • Social Chaos
  2. Fictionalism
    • Accept moral propositions as fictions
      • Acceptance $\neq$ Belief
      • Acceptance is a cognitive state of mind
      • Like an actor accepting the situations of the fiction
William James: You can will yourself to belief out of practical concern. Not a popular idea.

Problems for Fictionalism

  1. Why moral language at all?
    Moral language/though is particularly motivating
  2. Free Riders
    Acceptance = Precommitment
Precommitment: Way to avoid weakness of the will by ruining the negative action upfront.
E.g. Pouring water over airline food I don’t want to eat.
  1. What is the difference between acceptance and belief?
    • Acceptance involves a disposition to deny moral claims in “critical” contexts
      • Critical context as, for example, in a discussion
  2. Why aren’t the facts of social cohesion just the moral facts?
Distinction between a concept having a feature or a belief of attaching a feature to a concept.
Example: Hear noises in the attic, but never see what makes the noise. Make the belief that there are invisible gorks. Later find to be rats. Gorks, as being invisible, don’t exist, but gorks as being the things in the attic making noise, do exist, but with the false belief that they are invisible and not rats.

What is the property Red?

  • Reflectance Property
  • Causal Property (of red sensation)
  • Qualitative (that redness)
    • No such thing as being Red, since qualitative aspect only in the mind
    • Error Theory about color

Judgement Internalism

Necessarily, $J(\text{ought to }\phi) \Rightarrow M(\phi)$ | JI
Necessarily, $J(\text{ought to }\phi) \Rightarrow [M(\phi) \lor \text{irrational}]$ | Practicality Requirement

Important: JI + HTM + DE $\Rightarrow$ NC
But, Practicality Requirement + HTM + DE $\not \Rightarrow$ NC

Cody Perakslis

My interests are in data science, distributed computing, and philosophy.