Coherence and Verification in Ethics

Overview

This book is an attempt to come to grips with problems of the epistemological basis of ethical beliefs by building on criticisms of approaches to this problem which have been attempted in the recent past. Because of the extensive discussions and criticism of these various alternatives, the book is useful to all who are concerned with the epistemology of ethics.

Author Biography: Ralph D. Ellis, Ph.D is Associate Professor of Philosophy at ...

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Overview

This book is an attempt to come to grips with problems of the epistemological basis of ethical beliefs by building on criticisms of approaches to this problem which have been attempted in the recent past. Because of the extensive discussions and criticism of these various alternatives, the book is useful to all who are concerned with the epistemology of ethics.

Author Biography: Ralph D. Ellis, Ph.D is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819184115
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 11/18/1991
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ralph D. Ellis, Ph.D is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Verification Problem in Ethics 1
Ch. 1 Intuitions and Emotions 1
1 Logical Positivism 5
A The received doctrines: emotivism and prescriptivism 5
B Modified positivism in combination with a coherence theory of verification 11
C The inadequacies of positivism 13
2 Phenomenology 17
A The received doctrine: phenomenological reduction through imaginative variation 17
B Phenomenological intuitionism 20
C Phenomenological anthropologism 23
Ch. 2 Coherentism and Is-Ought Relations 33
1 Comparative Coherentism and Factual Adequacy 35
A Can an 'ought' contradict an 'is'? 38
B Complications in the coherence criteria 44
C Must there be any value? 52
2 The Elimination of Nihilism 59
A A brief review of criticisms of Gewirth 59
B The sense in which the value of consciousness is undeniable 62
3 Cumulative Summary and Transition 71
Pt. II Metaethical Implications of Psychological Facts 77
Ch. 3 First Fact: The Motivation to Be Moral 77
1 The Problem of Egoism 79
A Inadequacy of received solutions 81
B Toward a workable solution 90
2 The Motivation for Altruism 92
A Consciousness must avoid stasis 92
B Consciousness requires symbolization and thus intersubjectivity 99
C Universalized altruism as the motivation to seek moral truth 103
Ch. 4 Second Fact: The Etiology of Personality 109
1 Psychological Determinism 112
A Toward a relevant definition 114
B The argument 116
2 Ethical Implications 122
A Compatibilism and the word 'can' 122
B To the real ethical matters: the concept of 'ought' 127
C The concept of 'desert' 130
D The concept of 'responsibility' 135
Pt. III Eliminations and Comparisons of Theories 145
Ch. 5 Ethical Questions With Definite Resolutions 145
1 Definitions 146
A Problems in defining ethical terms 146
B Adequately comprehensive definitions of key terms 155
2 Qualitative Value Questions 162
A Individual values 173
B Aggregate value 174
3 Questions About the Source of Values 181
Ch. 6 Ethical Questions Requiring Comparative-Coherence Resolutions 187
1 The Inevitability of Moral Conflict 188
2 The Mathematicization of Value 196
3 The Problem of the Value of Future Possible Conscious Beings 205
4 The Mathematical Commensurability of the Values of Use Value Maximization and Deontic Fairness 208
5 The Theoretical Incompleteness of the System 218
6 Quantitative Questions About Duties and Oughts 219
7 Conclusion 227
Appendix 231
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