Sie sind auf Seite 1von 5

METAETHICAL I ---------------------------------------------------------I I COGNITIVIST NON-COGNITI VIST I ---------------------------------------I I TRANSCENDENTALISM NATURALISM NON-NATURALISM EMOTIVISM ESCRIPTIVISM I & INTUITIONISM I ---------------------------I I RELIGIOUS

PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSCENDENTALISM TRANSCENDENTALISM eg Plato & Kant PR I I I I --------------------

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PLATO IS A MORAL COGNITIVIST - more specifically a Philosophical Transcendentali st - MORAL JUDGEMENTS ARE TRUE BY REFERENCE TO TRANSCENDENT CONCEPTS/TRUTHS that exist in a perfect form in a conceptual realm. This conceptual realm of PERFECT FORMS CAN BE KNOWN THROUGH THE PURE REASON of t he mind itself. There are MANY FORMS - not just the ethical ones (Form of the Good, .. of Justic e, .. of Courage etc) also the prefect vision of everything on earth (Form of Be auty .. of Man, of Trangle, of Bed etc) [however the key form is the Form of th e Good] These FORMS ARE (characteristics) - absolutely PERFECT - ETERNAL = outside time - IMMUTABLE = unchanging - most REAL of all things = they depend on themselves and nothing else - they are ONLY objects of knowledge in contrast the real world is imperfect, transitory, changing, tangible, uncerta in=based on opinion ++++ PLATO'S MORAL COGNITIVISM RESTS ON FORM OF GOOD BEING REAL AND KNOWABLE SO ANY ARGUMENTS WHICH UNDERMINES THE FORMS WILL UNDERMINE THE FORM OF THE GOOD

& HIS MORAL COGNITIVISM +++++ Arguments for and against the Forms 1 - ARGUMENTS FROM UNIVERSALS HOW DO WE RECOGNISE THINGS ? why are tables recognised as tables ... because the y share the quality of tableness - we know this BY REFERENCE TO THE FORM of Tabl e - it is not physical (it cannot be destroyed like an individual table) - the r eal understanding and definition of a table rests on knowing the Form of Table. same for Beauty and Good. So beauty definitely not in eye of beholder. Not a relative thing but based on knowing underlying or more accurately transcendent F orm. CA PLATO SAYS THAT THE FORMS ARE UNIVERSAL AND RELATE TO REAL EXISTING THINGS (albe it in his perfect realm) BUT SOME UNIVERSALS DO NOT SEEM TO RELATE TO DEFINABLE THING - eg scruff (of n eck), knack, sake - these are universals without any real perfect form - any rea l form at all - SDO WHAT ARE THEY - LANGUAGE USAGE & CONVENTIONS OF EVERYDAY LIF E

2 - ARGUMENTS FROM KNOWLEDGE, OPINION & IGNORANCE I say I know x (eg world is flat) - x is shown to be untrue - so I did not kno w x - so x was not true knowledge so for Plato REAL KNOWLEDGE IS INFALLIBLE - WHAT YOU (truly) KNOW, MUST BE TRUE for Plato KNOWLEDGE ONLY COVERS THINGS THAT ARE ULTIMATELY REAL hence KNOWLEDGE ONLY REALLY APPLIES TO AN UNCHANGING WORLD - the realm of Forms in contrast for Plato IGNORANCE IS TO DO WITH THINGS THAT ARE NOT REAL - they ultimately relate to a realm of nothingness OPINION LIES IN BETWEEN - based in our transitory world (of becomin g) - there can be no true knowledge in our world - the only true knowledge is by reference to the Forms that lie beyond it CA - KNOWLEDGE CAN BE ABOUT THINGS IN HERE & NOW - EG MY DATE PENDS ON EVIDENTIAL SUPPORT CA - KNOWLEDGE IS NOT NECESSARILY ABOUT THINGS INDEPENDENT OF eg WE CAN MEANINGFULLY AND ACCURATELY KNOW ABOUT THE EQUATOR, all the lines of latitude) IS A CONCEPTUAL FICTION made up by OF BIRTH - JUST DE HUMAN EXISTENCE EVEN THOUGH IT (& man

3 - ARGUMENTS FROM GRADING when we evaluate things we do it (normally unconsciously) by reference to the perfect Form, eg apples, beautiful girls we GRADE BY REFERENCE TO THE PERFECT FORM CA - WE CAN GRADE NUMBERS (bigger, smaller etc) WITHOUT HAVING A 'PERFECT FORM O

F NUMBER' IN MIND WE CAN THAT THINGS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS WITHOUT HAVING TO BELIEVE THAT A PERFECT FORM EXISTS (eg given is shorter hospital waiting lisyts - no need to ha ve form of perfect hospital without waiting lists)

4 - ARGUMENT FROM POINTLESSNESS ONLY THE FORM OF THE GOOD IS GOOD ALL THE FORMS ARE PERFECT AND THEREFORE MUST DEPEND ON THE FORM OF THE GO OD (to be goodest) THE FORM OF THE GOOS GIVES THE UNIVERSE (& everything we do) ITS POINT CA - UNIVERSE MAY NOT HAVE A POINT CA - THE POINT OF WHAT WE DO MAY BE BASED ON OUR OWN HUMAN VALES, HOPES, DESIRES IN THIS WORLD +++++++++++++++ there are also contradictions aimed at individual forms eg FORM OF TIME like all forms HAS TO BE ETERNAL & SO STAND OUTSIDE TIME BUT THEN IT WOULD BE TEMPORTAL AND ATEMPORAL = CONTRADICTION eg FORM OF MURDER = perfect murder = eternal and non-physical - EXISTED PRIOR TO ANYONE BEING MURDERED ??!! +++++++++++++ there is the PROBLEM OF INFINITE REGRESS = THIRD MAN ARGUMENT IT ARISES FDROM THE FORM ENCOMPASSING BOTH THE PERFECT AND THE UNIVERSAL TWO MEN HAVE IN COMMON THEIR MAN-NESS = FORM OF MAN THIRD MAN = SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF A PERFECT MAN but THEN NEED A HIGHER FORM OF MAN +++++++++++ ONLY A FEW CAN KNOW FORM OF GOOD - NOT EVEN PLATO REACHED THAT STAGE - VERY ELIT IST NO GOOD FOR GENERAL MORALITY UNLESS WE FOLLOW THE FEW IN THE KNOW BUT THEN NORMALLY ETHICS IS VIEWED AS TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS

+++++++++ EVEN IF YOU KNOW FORM OF GOOD - SYSTEM IS TOO ABSTRACT TO BE OF ANY USE IN REAL LIFE - DOES NOT YIELD VERY CONCRETE GUIDANCE IRRELEVANT TO THIS WORLD PUT IN ANOTHER WAY PRACTICAL AND WORKABLE KNOWLEDGE CANNOT DEPEND ON TRANSCENDEN T FORMS NEEDS TO BE IMMANENT TO THIS WORLD - NATURAL

+++++++++++ EVEN IF YOU ACCEPT THE FACTS - WILL THAT ENTAIL GOOD BEHAVIOUR = problem of mov ing from facts to values crits - Plato assumes that if we understand the Good we will be good - a wise ma n must necessarily be virtuous but what of being weak willed - Plato says must be incomplete understan ding - immoral behaviour is due to imperfect education - if had full knowledge w ould behave (cf juvenile delinquency) - others (eg Hume) need passion as well

1 - If we want to live a worthwhile life and construct an ideal society we must know and understand what goodness consists of. 2 - we must find and know the essential nature of goodness that is the universal and significant feature of all good acts = the first principle = the Form of th e Good. 3 - if we understand the Form of the Good we can assess moral acts against it (w e must know the good to act morally) and deduce further truths 4 - Form of the Good what people desire (all want it - it motivates action purpose of all action an ideal reality - the foundation of excellence an unchanging & constant truth 5 - Plato assumes what is true is real - since the Form of the Good does not exi st in the physical world it must exist in a transcendent realm 6 - he uses an analogy to describe it - the Sun qv table at 140 7 - some stuff on living the Good life 8 - crits - Plato's account of the Good is sketchy and mystical rather than clea r and rational 9 - crits - problem of moving from facts to values 10- crits - no content in his definition of the Good 11- crits - identification of the Good with a certain type of Justice involving achieving harmony by rewarding people according to their deserts can be question ed on all counts. why reward-why not equal, why harmony-why not competition, why desert-according to what principle-why is doing something well-virtuous, claim is = confusing function & purpose 12- crits - in defining Forms Platon confuses the typical with the ideal - eg si mile of the ship - again function & purpose - there is no agreed criterion - in most common uses good is merely a recommendation - not an objective quality - not a uniform quality 13- crits - Plato assumes that if we understand the Good we will be good - a wis e man must necessarily be virtuous

but what of being weak willed - Plato says must be incomplete understan ding - immoral behaviour is due to imperfect education - if had full knowledge w ould behave (cf juvenile delinquency) - others (eg Hume) need passion as well - Plato arguably unclear on separating pleasure & rationality (p142) 14- Plato is not giving an account of enlightened self-interest - ie you will se e that it is your interest to do Good - rather that if you know the Good - you w ill be overwhelmingly drawn to do it 15- crits - so can we be overwhelmingly drawn to the Good and not do it ? - does a proposition that is necessarily true carry with it prescripti ve force ? - Aristotle offers the incontinent man - know the truth but be moved b y appetite (desire) - would need habit & practice and probably something more moral reasonng is not logical reasoning we accept the logic of a proposition and what it entails but these links do not apply in moral reasoning