How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

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Veritas Aequitas
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How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Here is a very convincing argument on How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle.
The moral-facts-denier are welcome to counter the argument below; You can read or download the full article in the above site;

As a convenience I will post a John Searle' Summary from page 52-58,
in [=mine]

Section III of John Searle's Article, Verbatim below;
.......................................
Section III
So far I have presented a counterexample to the thesis that one cannot derive an "ought" from an "is" and considered three possible objections to it.
Even supposing what I have said so far is true, still one feels a certain uneasiness.
One feels there must be some trick involved somewhere.
We might state our uneasiness thus: How can my granting a mere fact about a man, such as the fact that he uttered certain words or that he made a promise, commit me to the view that he ought to do something?
I now want briefly to discuss what broader philosophic significance my attempted derivation may have, in such a way as to give us the outlines of an answer to this question.

I shall begin by discussing the grounds for supposing that it cannot be answered at all.
The inclination to accept a rigid distinction between "is" and "ought," between descriptive and evaluative, rests on a certain picture of the way words relate to the world.
It is a very attractive picture, so attractive (to me at least) that it is not entirely clear to what extent the mere presentation of counterexamples can challenge it.
pg. 52

What is needed is an explanation of how and why this classical empiricist picture fails to deal with such counterexamples.

[The Classical Empiricist Picture is as Follows;]
Briefly, the picture is constructed something like this:
  • first we present examples of so-called descriptive statements ("my car goes eighty miles an hour," "Jones is six feet tall," "Smith has brown hair"),
    and we contrast them with so called evaluative statements ("my car is a good car," "Jones ought to pay Smith five dollars," "Smith is a nasty man").
Anyone can see that they are different.

We articulate the difference by pointing out that for the descriptive statements the question of truth or falsity is objectively decidable, because to know the meaning of the descriptive expressions is to know under what objectively ascertainable conditions the statements which contain them are true or false.
But in the case of evaluative statements the situation is quite different.
To know the meaning of the evaluative expressions is not by itself sufficient for knowing under what conditions the statements containing them are true or false, because the meaning of the expressions is such that the statements are not capable of objective or factual truth or falsity at all.

Any justification a speaker can give of one of his evaluative statements essentially involves some appeal to attitudes he holds, to criteria of assessment he has adopted, or to moral principles by which he has chosen to live and judge other people.
Descriptive statements are thus objective, evaluative statements subjective, and the difference is a consequence of the different sorts of terms employed.

The underlying reason for these differences is that evaluative statements perform a completely different job from descriptive statements.
Their [evaluative statement’s] job is not to describe any features of the world but to express the speaker's emotions, to express his attitudes, to praise or condemn, to laud or insult, to commend, to recommend, to advise, and so forth.
Once we see the different jobs the two perform, we see that there must be a logical gulf between them.
Evaluative statements must be different from descriptive statements in order to do their job, for if they were objective they could no longer function to evaluate.

Put metaphysically, values cannot lie in the world, for if they did they would cease to be values and would just be another part of the world.
Put in the formal mode, one cannot define an evaluative word in terms of descriptive words, for if one did, one would no longer be able to use the evaluative word to commend, but only to describe.

53
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

cont.. page 54-55

54 JOHN R. SEARLE
Put yet another way, any effort to derive an "ought" from an "is" must be a waste of time, for all it could show even if it succeeded would be that the "is" was not a real "is" but only a disguised "ought" or, alternatively, that the "ought" was not a real "ought" but only a disguised "is."

This summary of the traditional empirical view has been very brief, but I hope it conveys something of the power of this picture.
In the hands of certain modern authors, especially Hare and Nowell-Smith, the picture attains considerable subtlety and sophistication.

What is wrong with this picture?
No doubt many things are wrong with it.
In the end I am going to say that one of the things wrong with it is that it fails to give us any coherent account of such notions as commitment, responsibility, and obligation.

In order to work toward this conclusion I can begin by saying that the picture fails to account for the different types of "descriptive" statements.
Its paradigms of descriptive statements are such utterances as "my car goes eighty miles an hour," "Jones is six feet tall," "Smith has brown hair," and the like.
But it is forced by its own rigidity to construe 'Jones got married," "Smith made a promise," 'Jackson has five dollars," and "Brown hit a home run" as descriptive statements as well.
It is so forced, because whether or not someone got married, made a promise, has five dollars, or hit a home run is as much a matter of objective fact as whether he has red hair or brown eyes.
Yet the former kind of statement (statements containing "married," "promise," and so forth) seem to be quite different from the simple empirical paradigms of descriptive statements.

How are they different?
Though both kinds of statements state matters of objective fact, the statements containing words such as "married," "promise," “home run," and "five dollars" state facts whose existence presupposes certain institutions:
  • a man has five dollars, given the institution of money. Take away the institution and all he has is a rectangular bit of paper with green ink on it.

    A man hits a home run only given the institution of baseball; without the institution he only hits a sphere with a stick.
54

55 "0UGHT" AND "IS"
  • Similarly, a man gets married or makes a promise only within the institutions of marriage and promising.
    Without them, all he does is utter words or makes gestures. :shock:


We might characterize such facts as institutional facts, and contrast them with noninstitutional, or brute, facts:
  • that a man has a bit of paper with green ink on it is a brute fact, that he has five dollars is an institutional fact.6
The classical picture fails to account for the differences between statements of brute fact and statements of institutional fact.

The word "institution" sounds artificial here, so let us ask: what sorts of institutions are these?
In order to answer that question I need to distinguish between two different kinds of rules or conventions.

Some rules regulate antecedently existing forms of behavior.
For example, the rules of polite table behavior regulate eating, but eating exists independently of these rules.

Some rules, on the other hand, do not merely regulate but create or define new forms of behavior: the rules of chess, for example, do not merely regulate an antecedently existing activity called playing chess; they, as it were, create the possibility of or define that activity.
The activity of playing chess is constituted by action in accordance with these rules.
Chess has no existence apart from these rules.

The distinction I am trying to make was foreshadowed by Kant’s distinction between regulative and constitutive principles, so let us adopt his terminology and describe our distinction as a distinction between regulative and constitutive rules.
Regulative rules regulate activities whose existence is independent of the rules; constitutive rules constitute (and also regulate) forms of activity whose existence is logically dependent on the rules.

Now the institutions that I have been talking about are systems of constitutive rules.
The institutions of marriage, money, and promising are like the institutions of baseball or chess in that they are systems of such constitutive rules or conventions.
What I have called institutional facts are facts which presuppose such institutions.
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

cont ...page 56-58

56 JOHN R. SEARLE
Once we recognize the existence of and begin to grasp the nature of such institutional facts, it is but a short step to see that many forms of obligations, commitments, rights, and responsibilities are similarly institutionalized.

It is often a matter of fact that one has certain obligations, commitments, rights, and responsibilities, but it is a matter of institutional, not brute, fact.

It is one such institutionalized form of obligation, promising, which I invoked above to derive an "ought" from an "is."
I started with a brute fact, that a man uttered certain words, and then invoked the institution in such a way as to generate institutional facts by which we arrived at the institutional fact that the man ought to pay another man five dollars.
The whole proof rests on an appeal to the constitutive rule that to make a promise is to undertake an obligation.

We are now in a position to see how we can generate an indefinite number of such proofs.

Consider the following vastly different example.
  • We are in our half of the seventh inning and I have a big lead off second base.
    The pitcher whirls, fires to the shortstop covering, and I am tagged out a good ten feet down the line.
    The umpire shouts, "Out!" I, however, being a positivist, hold my ground.
    The umpire tells me to return to the dugout.

    I point out to him that you can't derive an "ought" from an "is."
    No set of descriptive statements describing matters of fact, I say, will entail any evaluative statements to the effect that I should or ought to leave the field.
    "You just can't get orders or recommendations from facts alone." What is needed is an evaluative major premise.
    I therefore return to and stay on second base (until I am carried off the field).
I think everyone feels my claims here to be preposterous, and preposterous in the sense of logically absurd.
Of course you can derive an "ought" from an "is," and though to actually set out the derivation in this case would be vastly more complicated than in the case of promising, it is in principle no different.
By undertaking to play baseball I have committed myself to the observation of certain constitutive rules.

We are now also in a position to see that the tautology that one ought to keep one's promises is only one of a class of similar tautologies concerning institutionalized forms of obligation.
56

57 " 0UGHT" AND "IS"
  • For example, "one ought not to steal" can be taken as saying that to recognize something as someone else's property necessarily involves recognizing his right to dispose of it. This is a constitutive rule of the institution of private property.8

    "One ought not to tell lies" can be taken as saying that to make an assertion necessarily involves undertaking an obligation to speak truthfully. Another constitutive rule.

    "One ought to pay one's debts" can be construed as saying that to recognize something as a debt is necessarily to recognize an obligation to pay it.
It is easy to see how all these principles will generate counterexamples to the thesis that you cannot derive an "ought" from an "is."

My tentative conclusions, then, are as follows:
  • I. The classical picture fails to account for institutional facts.

    2. Institutional facts exist within systems of constitutive rules.

    3. Some systems of constitutive rules involve obligations, commitments, and responsibilities.

    4. Within those systems we can derive "ought's" from "is's" on the model of the first derivation.
With these conclusions we now return to the question with which I began this section: How can my stating a fact about a man, such as the fact that he made a promise, commit me to a view about what he ought to do?
One can begin to answer this question by saying that for me to state such an institutional fact is already to invoke the constitutive rules of the institution.
57

58 JOHN R. SEARLE
It is those rules that give the word "promise" its meaning.
But those rules are such that to commit myself to the view that Jones made a promise involves committing myself to what he ought to do (other things being equal).

If you like, then, we have shown that "promise" is an evaluative word, but since it is also purely descriptive, we have really shown that the whole distinction needs to be re-examined.
The alleged distinction between descriptive and evaluative statements is really a conflation of at least two distinctions.

On the one hand there is a distinction between different kinds of speech acts, one family of speech acts including evaluations, another family including descriptions.
This is a distinction between different kinds of illocutionary force.9
On the other hand there is a distinction between utterances which involve claims objectively decidable as true or false and those which involve claims not objectively decidable, but which are "matters of personal decision" or "matters of opinion."

It has been assumed that the former distinction is (must be) a special case of the latter, that if something has the illocutionary force of an evaluation, it cannot be entailed by factual premises.

Part of the point of my argument is to show that this contention is false, that factual premises can entail evaluative conclusions.

If I am right, then the alleged distinction between descriptive and evaluative utterances is useful only as a distinction between two kinds of illocutionary force, describing and evaluating,
and it is not even very useful there, since if we are to use these terms strictly, they are only two among hundreds of kinds of illocutionary force; and utterances of sentences of the form (5) "Jones ought to pay Smith five dollars" would not characteristically fall in either class.

JOHN R. SEARLE
University of California
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Views to the above argument by John Searle?

Note Searle's argument re Constitution of the Respective Institution is similar to my Framework and System of Knowledge.
Belinda
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Belinda »

Would it be true that a 'should' proposition is a proposition that compares the subject with fitness for purpose?

E.g. "This is a good photo of my dog." implies the photo communicates some perceived truth about my dog, so the photo is fit for purpose.

E.g." Smith is a good man." depending on the context of the social situation Smith is a good man because he is a capable house builder, or because he unselfishly helps other people, and so forth. Smith is fit for purpose according to some inexplicit criterion of fitness.

E.g. "that's a good piece of research." implies the research was informative, helpful, interesting, satisfying, and so forth, again it was fit for purpose according to an understood purpose.
Atla
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Atla »

In order to work toward this conclusion I can begin by saying that the picture fails to account for the different types of "descriptive" statements.
Its paradigms of descriptive statements are such utterances as "my car goes eighty miles an hour," "Jones is six feet tall," "Smith has brown hair," and the like.
But it is forced by its own rigidity to construe 'Jones got married," "Smith made a promise," 'Jackson has five dollars," and "Brown hit a home run" as descriptive statements as well.
It is so forced, because whether or not someone got married, made a promise, has five dollars, or hit a home run is as much a matter of objective fact as whether he has red hair or brown eyes.
Yet the former kind of statement (statements containing "married," "promise," and so forth) seem to be quite different from the simple empirical paradigms of descriptive statements.

How are they different?
Though both kinds of statements state matters of objective fact, the statements containing words such as "married," "promise," “home run," and "five dollars" state facts whose existence presupposes certain institutions:
Looks like it's Searle who failed to differentiate between different types of descriptive statements so far, and now he's discovering what others already know. He's as shallow as always.

Of course we can derive "oughts" from at least partially made-up rules and systems we agreed upon, like marriage, money, baseball and morality. These oughts aren't based on objective facts.
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Immanuel Can »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:53 am Here is a very convincing argument on How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle.
Not so convincing.

PN had an article called "Thoughts On Oughts" that dealt with why this one doesn't work. It's an old argument, and a failed one.
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Belinda wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:24 pm Would it be true that a 'should' proposition is a proposition that compares the subject with fitness for purpose?

E.g. "This is a good photo of my dog." implies the photo communicates some perceived truth about my dog, so the photo is fit for purpose.

E.g." Smith is a good man." depending on the context of the social situation Smith is a good man because he is a capable house builder, or because he unselfishly helps other people, and so forth. Smith is fit for purpose according to some inexplicit criterion of fitness.

E.g. "that's a good piece of research." implies the research was informative, helpful, interesting, satisfying, and so forth, again it was fit for purpose according to an understood purpose.
Whatever context of the institution, it must be soundly justified.

In the above case Searle used the institution where there is a 'promise' involved.
If one made a promise within a defined constitution, then there is a implied ought to follow up with what is promised between the two parties involved.
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Atla wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:01 pm
In order to work toward this conclusion I can begin by saying that the picture fails to account for the different types of "descriptive" statements.
Its paradigms of descriptive statements are such utterances as "my car goes eighty miles an hour," "Jones is six feet tall," "Smith has brown hair," and the like.
But it is forced by its own rigidity to construe 'Jones got married," "Smith made a promise," 'Jackson has five dollars," and "Brown hit a home run" as descriptive statements as well.
It is so forced, because whether or not someone got married, made a promise, has five dollars, or hit a home run is as much a matter of objective fact as whether he has red hair or brown eyes.
Yet the former kind of statement (statements containing "married," "promise," and so forth) seem to be quite different from the simple empirical paradigms of descriptive statements.

How are they different?
Though both kinds of statements state matters of objective fact, the statements containing words such as "married," "promise," “home run," and "five dollars" state facts whose existence presupposes certain institutions:
Looks like it's Searle who failed to differentiate between different types of descriptive statements so far, and now he's discovering what others already know. He's as shallow as always.

Of course we can derive "oughts" from at least partially made-up rules and systems we agreed upon, like marriage, money, baseball and morality. These oughts aren't based on objective facts.
Entering into a situation of promise is an objective fact.
A contract entered into accepted and signed by two parties is an objective fact.
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:45 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:53 am Here is a very convincing argument on How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle.
Not so convincing.

PN had an article called "Thoughts On Oughts" that dealt with why this one doesn't work. It's an old argument, and a failed one.
Where is the reference?
I want to check whether it is an effective counter.

OK, I searched and found it, i.e. this;
Anderson began his article with,
"It’s Christmas season again."
That made me very suspicious because any philosopher writer with high philosophical mindedness would not start with any religious celebrations.
Nevertheless I read on.

This is what he wrote at the end of the article;
In contrast to all this [all the above arguments, Searles, Margolis, Peter, ..], as Joseph Kaipuyil has observed, “always, ontology precedes ethics, both in theory and in practice.” (Critical Ontology, 2002, p.28.)
What he is saying is that morality is based not on just any kind of neutral observations, but rather on what we believe to be true about the basic nature of reality.

Moral conclusions begin with fundamental premises about existence.
  • For example, if we believe in the existence of some kind of Supreme Being (and most particularly, one concerned with morality) then it becomes reasonable to speak of a supreme moral order reflecting this Being’s identity, character and expressed wishes, or perhaps with natural laws established by that Being.
This giveaway indicate Anderson is a theist like you who believe moral facts can only come from a God.
Note my argument;
Impossible for God to Exists as Real
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24704


In any case, his counter against Searle is bad.
His conclusion;
  • "So Searle cannot show that it is objectively wrong to break a promise. He can show it messes up the game of promising, but this is short of showing it’s wrong in a wider sense."
He missed the mark.
Searle Title is 'How To Derive 'Ought' from "Is'.
based on "Thick Ethical Concept".
Searle had proven his argument,
but Anderson then shifted the goal post.
Note theists can also mess up their theological obligations, so can others within their contracted obligations.
The derivation of 'ought' from 'is' is from the descriptive contracted state-of-affairs within reality.

Making a promise is both descriptive [factual] and evaluative, i.e. has value elements.
The fact of making a promise within the constitution of making promises is a moral issue, thus a moral fact.
Generally, making a promise and keeping or breaking it is a moral issue.
The question is how do we justify it is a Justified True Moral Fact from within the Moral Framework and System. That is another topic.
[nb: I have done it with breathing, killing, slavery, and others].

But the point is Anderson's argument with his conclusion is a non-starter for the purpose of morality proper in bringing in the illusory idea of a God.
Thus there are contractual 'oughts' from a divine institution, but there are no moral facts from the theological constitution, i.e. the theological Framework and System.
Belinda
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Belinda »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:07 am
Belinda wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:24 pm Would it be true that a 'should' proposition is a proposition that compares the subject with fitness for purpose?

E.g. "This is a good photo of my dog." implies the photo communicates some perceived truth about my dog, so the photo is fit for purpose.

E.g." Smith is a good man." depending on the context of the social situation Smith is a good man because he is a capable house builder, or because he unselfishly helps other people, and so forth. Smith is fit for purpose according to some inexplicit criterion of fitness.

E.g. "that's a good piece of research." implies the research was informative, helpful, interesting, satisfying, and so forth, again it was fit for purpose according to an understood purpose.
Whatever context of the institution, it must be soundly justified.

In the above case Searle used the institution where there is a 'promise' involved.
If one made a promise within a defined constitution, then there is a implied ought to follow up with what is promised between the two parties involved.
Honesty is a behaviour basic to the solidarity of a community. There are dishonest individuals in a community that may still be viable, however once dishonesty becomes the norm the community is doomed if only at the basic economic level. One might object there are institutions such as Mafia, or ISIS, that flourish, however those are parasitic upon the wider, honest, community, which can carry a small burden of parasites withour collapsing.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:21 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:07 am
Belinda wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:24 pm Would it be true that a 'should' proposition is a proposition that compares the subject with fitness for purpose?

E.g. "This is a good photo of my dog." implies the photo communicates some perceived truth about my dog, so the photo is fit for purpose.

E.g." Smith is a good man." depending on the context of the social situation Smith is a good man because he is a capable house builder, or because he unselfishly helps other people, and so forth. Smith is fit for purpose according to some inexplicit criterion of fitness.

E.g. "that's a good piece of research." implies the research was informative, helpful, interesting, satisfying, and so forth, again it was fit for purpose according to an understood purpose.
Whatever context of the institution, it must be soundly justified.

In the above case Searle used the institution where there is a 'promise' involved.
If one made a promise within a defined constitution, then there is a implied ought to follow up with what is promised between the two parties involved.
Honesty is a behaviour basic to the solidarity of a community. There are dishonest individuals in a community that may still be viable, however once dishonesty becomes the norm the community is doomed if only at the basic economic level. One might object there are institutions such as Mafia, or ISIS, that flourish, however those are parasitic upon the wider, honest, community, which can carry a small burden of parasites withour collapsing.
Where I mentioned 'justifiable' it related to possible and verifiable.
As such the objective of an institution can be good or evil which are justifiable.

It one were to claim the institution is to comprise merely of animals and aliens, that would not be possible in the expected context.

Do you agree with John Searle's argument,
"Ought" can be derived from "Is" ?
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Belinda »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:26 am
Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:21 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:07 am
Whatever context of the institution, it must be soundly justified.

In the above case Searle used the institution where there is a 'promise' involved.
If one made a promise within a defined constitution, then there is a implied ought to follow up with what is promised between the two parties involved.
Honesty is a behaviour basic to the solidarity of a community. There are dishonest individuals in a community that may still be viable, however once dishonesty becomes the norm the community is doomed if only at the basic economic level. One might object there are institutions such as Mafia, or ISIS, that flourish, however those are parasitic upon the wider, honest, community, which can carry a small burden of parasites withour collapsing.
Where I mentioned 'justifiable' it related to possible and verifiable.
As such the objective of an institution can be good or evil which are justifiable.

It one were to claim the institution is to comprise merely of animals and aliens, that would not be possible in the expected context.

Do you agree with John Searle's argument,
"Ought" can be derived from "Is" ?
I agree with Searle's "an ought can be derived from an is".

In my answer I have proposed humans are social animals whose communities depend upon solidarity which is impossible without honesty. Indeed, dishonest individuals are a drain upon the energy of any community.This naturalistic theory of morality may be verified by any number of examples of honest men versus dishonest men, and of how the community is a tragic one when dishonesty is rampant either through internal aliens(criminals) or external aliens ( invaders/colonists).
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Peter Holmes »

Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:37 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:26 am
Belinda wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:21 am

Honesty is a behaviour basic to the solidarity of a community. There are dishonest individuals in a community that may still be viable, however once dishonesty becomes the norm the community is doomed if only at the basic economic level. One might object there are institutions such as Mafia, or ISIS, that flourish, however those are parasitic upon the wider, honest, community, which can carry a small burden of parasites withour collapsing.
Where I mentioned 'justifiable' it related to possible and verifiable.
As such the objective of an institution can be good or evil which are justifiable.

It one were to claim the institution is to comprise merely of animals and aliens, that would not be possible in the expected context.

Do you agree with John Searle's argument,
"Ought" can be derived from "Is" ?
I agree with Searle's "an ought can be derived from an is".

In my answer I have proposed humans are social animals whose communities depend upon solidarity which is impossible without honesty. Indeed, dishonest individuals are a drain upon the energy of any community.This naturalistic theory of morality may be verified by any number of examples of honest men versus dishonest men, and of how the community is a tragic one when dishonesty is rampant either through internal aliens(criminals) or external aliens ( invaders/colonists).
We can derive an 'ought' from anything we like, including an 'is'. But an 'is' can never entail an 'ought', so that to negate the 'ought' produces a logical contradiction. The claim that honesty is essential for human society is factual. But the claim that we should be honest is not factual - not true or false.
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Re: How to Derive "Ought" From "Is" J. Searle

Post by Sculptor »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:04 am Views to the above argument by John Searle?

Note Searle's argument re Constitution of the Respective Institution is similar to my Framework and System of Knowledge.
My view is that you do not understand what you are reading.
This can be cleared up by you giving your own counterexample to Hume's thesis.
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