The Moral Value Of Moral Values

1001 Words Dec 10th, 2014 5 Pages
The claim that moral values cannot be derived from facts is grounded in the idea that facts are descriptive and informative, whereas value propositions are prescriptive and imply that we ought to carry out certain action or act in a particular way. In essence, while facts give us information about the world itself, values tell us how we should act. It is accepted that facts are cognitive and are therefore know to be true or false. However, non-cognitivists support the idea that moral truths cannot be known due to the notion that any individual who is making moral judgements is not articulating their beliefs about the way the world is. Essentially, it is believed that there are no transcendent moral thoughts to be known or discovered by individuals. David Hume initially pointed out that it would be illogical to derive facts from values – facts cannot be used in the assignment of values. This was later referred to as the is-ought gap, fact-value distinction, or “naturalistic fallacy” to use the term created by G.E. Moore. Primarily, it is a matter of fact what our moral duties are. For example; Plato argued that the good can be known through reason, and the knowledge of the good is sufficient enough to motivate us to pursue it. However, in accordance to Hume’s Law, no factual description of an action can entail a value judgement concerning it. Additionally, reason alone cannot provide motivation for action, or that beliefs are distinct from desires. On the contrary, Kant…

More about The Moral Value Of Moral Values

Open Document