The Theory Of Moral Realism

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The textbook describes Moral Realism as the position that there exist objective ethical facts “beyond the morality of cultures and individuals.” One of the proponents of this view is the British philosopher G. E. Moore (1873-1958). Moore is also one of the founders of the analytic school of philosophy, a tradition that continues to have impact on modern thought. In Moore’s seminal work Principia Ethica, he presents several arguments that form the basis of realist thought, specifically his description of intrinsic good and the introduction of the naturalistic fallacy as a criticism of ethical philosophies that define “good” in natural terms. In this paper, I will present and describe Moore’s view of intrinsic good and the naturalistic fallacy. I will then argue that this definition of good and the use of the naturalistic fallacy against reductive definitions of good is too abstract and subjective itself to have any useful ethical value. I will also suggest that and that the naturalistic definitions of good are not only what we experience, but the only reasonable way to determine good and correct action.
Moore concludes in his first chapter of Principia Ethica that the study of human ethics is not specifically about human conduct and actions, but the determination of “what is denoted by the term ‘good’ and the converse denoted by the term ‘bad’.” (§23) For Moore, the determination of the ideal of good and its definition in relation to other properties such as “pleasure,”
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