Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

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Skepdick
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

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Terrapin Station wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:15 am Sure, and this would imply that there is no conventional meaning (that is use) via? You completely forgot about that part.

If meaning is use, then there's no conventional usage because . . . well, because of what? The mere fact that people can use terms in different ways doesn't imply that there is no conventional way to use them.
Did I forget? So what is the conventional use of "conventional" ? If it's the way I am using it now, what is that way?

Also... in the conventional use of the sentence "murder is wrong", how is it then that you don't think it's conventionally true?

You know, since you are a physicalist, and so all thoughts (even ones about morality) must be a physical and objective state of affairs. Because, what else could they be?
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:43 pm 1 Yes, moral assertions have no truth-value, because they don't make falsifiable factual claims. Moral cognitivists are wrong.

2 Do try to think carefully. Only factual assertions - linguistic expressions have truth-value. So when you say 'there are moral facts ... with truth-values', you're referring to linguistic expressions. So you're 'sticking to the logical and linguistic perspective'. I, by contrast, clearly distinguish between features of reality and what we say about them. And I suggest you give it a go.

3 Outside language, features of reality obviously have no truth-value, because they're not linguistic expressions. So if by 'moral fact' you mean 'moral feature of reality', then your claim that 'there are moral facts ... with truth-value', is incoherent. It's just sloppy thinking.
You don't even you are sloppy in your thinking and ignorant in philosophical knowledge.

Your reference to "truth-value" is merely confined and conditioned upon a specific FSK, i.e. logic and linguistic.
The term 'true value' need not be monopolised by the linguistic and classical logical FSKs. All other FSKs has their own specific and relative "truth-value."

My reference re moral facts has truth-value cover verified and justified facts and can extend to logic and linguistic.

For example,
it is true, the noon sky at at time t1 at location l1 is blue.
whether it is true or not, the above fact has to be verified and justified via the scientific FSK.

It is the same for moral facts, i.e.
it is true, moral facts exist as mental states of inhibition in the brain.
whether it is true or false can be verified and justified via the scientific FSK and the moral FSK.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Terrapin Station wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:15 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:49 am Here is a point where Hume was not consistent with his famous "No IS from OUGHT" maxim.
Alasdair MacIntyre wrote:...in Hume’s own moral philosophy the transition from is to ought is made and made clearly.
But too much must not be made of this, for Hume is a notoriously inconsistent author.
Yet how does Hume make this transition?

Hume, as we have already seen, argues that when we call an action virtuous or vicious we are saying that it arouses in us a certain feeling, that it pleases us in a certain way.
In what way?
This question Hume leaves unanswered.
He passes on to give an account of why we have the moral rules we do have, why it is this rather than that which we judge virtuous.
The basic terms of this account are utility and sympathy.

Consider for example the account of justice which Hume gives in the Treatise.
He begins by asking why we accept and obey rules which it would often be in our interest to break.
He denies that we are by nature so constituted that we have a natural regard for public rather than private interest.
  • “In general, it may be affirm’d that there is no such passion in human minds as the love of mankind, merely as such, independent of personal qualities, of services, or of relation to oneself.”48
If private interest would lead us to flout the rules, and we have no natural regard for public interest, how then do the rules come about?

Because it is a fact that without rules of justice there would be no stability of property, and indeed no property, an artificial virtue has been created, that of abiding by the rules of justice, and we exhibit this virtue not perhaps so much because we are aware of the benefit that flows from our observing the rules as because we are conscious of how much we are harmed by others infringing them.

Our long-term benefit from insisting on strict observance of the rules will always outweigh our short-term benefit from breaking them on this occasion.

In the Enquiry human nature is exhibited as less self-interested.
  • “It appears also, that, in our general approbation of character and manners, the useful tendency of the social interests moves us not by any regards to self-interest, but has an influence much more universal and extensive.
    It appears that a tendency to public good, and to the promoting of peace, harmony, and order in society does always, by affecting the benevolent principles of our frame, engage us on the side of the social virtues.”49
But what is clear is that Hume’s altered picture of human nature is made to provide the same type of explanation and justification of moral rules.

We are so constituted that we have certain desires and needs; these desires and needs are served by maintaining the moral rules.
Hence their explanation and justification.

In such an account we certainly begin with an is and end with an ought.

................................
From A SHORT HISTORY OF [Western] ETHICS by Alasdair MacIntyre pg 111
The last sentence is a misunderstanding, at least insofar as what is presented in support of it (that is, I'm not denying that maybe Hume maybe bucks the maxim elsewhere--I don't recall if he does--but that's not what he's doing here).

The whole gist of the maxim is that no set of facts implies any normative, at least at a foundational level.

What Hume is doing in what is quoted is describing the way that people happen to be, including how their normatives arise, what the content tends to be, how they tend to work for people. It's an anthropological account basically.

That in no way is saying that the set of facts so described in itself prescribes any normative.
I believed you missed this;

"We [humans] are so constituted .... "

I agree we cannot derive moral elements from the typical set of facts, i.e. external physical things, e.g. trees, sun, moon, earth, wind, fire, etc.
Hume questioned [something like], where is the evil of infanticide when a tree drop its fruits/seed directly below which is shaded by its leaves that the seed cannot grow and die.
Hume missed the point in not looking within himself; not his fault since the neurosciences and neuropsychology were not available during his time.

But note the above "We [humans] are so constituted .... " refers to facts that are inherent within the human brain and system, i.e. in your brain and all other humans.

It is like there is an inherent 'ought' within the human body and brain that all humans ought [represented by a set of program] to breathe else they die. That is the normative for all humans.

Morality deals with ought and ought-not of human acts.

Similarly but not obvious to most, there is an inherent 'ought-not' within the human brain that all humans ought not to kill humans [this must be justified]. In the context of the moral FSK, that is the moral normative applicable to all humans.
Peter Holmes
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Peter Holmes »

Two assertions:

1 Humans ought to breathe or they die.

2 Humans ought not to kill humans.

The first 'ought' has no moral implication. It just means: if humans don't breathe, they die.

The second is a moral assertion, with a completely different function. It means: it's morally wrong for humans to kill humans.

VA elides over the difference, as though the moral 'ought' has the same function as the factual 'ought'. The result? ...

Humans are programmed not to kill humans (factual assertion); therefore humans ought not to kill humans (moral assertion).

It's the kind of brain-freeze that debilitates many moral realists and objectivists.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Peter Holmes wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:16 pm The first 'ought' has no moral implication. It just means: if humans don't breathe, they die.
Vaginal claims to have spent several years doing nothing but read Kant 8 hours a day. But he doesn't seem to be able to make any connections based on this work, so you might get somewhere by making them for him. In this instance, he seems entirely unaware that he is dealing with a hypothetical imperative. He may indeed have read Kant obsessively for three years, but he hasn't been able to see the wood for the trees for much longer than that.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:51 am
Terrapin Station wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:15 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:49 am Here is a point where Hume was not consistent with his famous "No IS from OUGHT" maxim.

The last sentence is a misunderstanding, at least insofar as what is presented in support of it (that is, I'm not denying that maybe Hume maybe bucks the maxim elsewhere--I don't recall if he does--but that's not what he's doing here).

The whole gist of the maxim is that no set of facts implies any normative, at least at a foundational level.

What Hume is doing in what is quoted is describing the way that people happen to be, including how their normatives arise, what the content tends to be, how they tend to work for people. It's an anthropological account basically.

That in no way is saying that the set of facts so described in itself prescribes any normative.
I believed you missed this;

"We [humans] are so constituted .... "

I agree we cannot derive moral elements from the typical set of facts, i.e. external physical things, e.g. trees, sun, moon, earth, wind, fire, etc.
Hume questioned [something like], where is the evil of infanticide when a tree drop its fruits/seed directly below which is shaded by its leaves that the seed cannot grow and die.
Hume missed the point in not looking within himself; not his fault since the neurosciences and neuropsychology were not available during his time.

But note the above "We [humans] are so constituted .... " refers to facts that are inherent within the human brain and system, i.e. in your brain and all other humans.

It is like there is an inherent 'ought' within the human body and brain that all humans ought [represented by a set of program] to breathe else they die. That is the normative for all humans.

Morality deals with ought and ought-not of human acts.

Similarly but not obvious to most, there is an inherent 'ought-not' within the human brain that all humans ought not to kill humans [this must be justified]. In the context of the moral FSK, that is the moral normative applicable to all humans.
We are "so constituted" in the sense that it's a way that humans happen to work that they have moral dispositions. That's descriptive, anthropological. It's in no way saying that some set of facts (including psychological facts) implies some normative.

Obviously not every individual human feels that they ought to breathe, etc. But aside from people who are more or less "vegetables," they all feel they ought to do something. That's a way that human bodies happen to work.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Terrapin Station wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:58 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:51 am
Terrapin Station wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:15 pm The last sentence is a misunderstanding, at least insofar as what is presented in support of it (that is, I'm not denying that maybe Hume maybe bucks the maxim elsewhere--I don't recall if he does--but that's not what he's doing here).

The whole gist of the maxim is that no set of facts implies any normative, at least at a foundational level.

What Hume is doing in what is quoted is describing the way that people happen to be, including how their normatives arise, what the content tends to be, how they tend to work for people. It's an anthropological account basically.

That in no way is saying that the set of facts so described in itself prescribes any normative.
I believed you missed this;

"We [humans] are so constituted .... "

I agree we cannot derive moral elements from the typical set of facts, i.e. external physical things, e.g. trees, sun, moon, earth, wind, fire, etc.
Hume questioned [something like], where is the evil of infanticide when a tree drop its fruits/seed directly below which is shaded by its leaves that the seed cannot grow and die.
Hume missed the point in not looking within himself; not his fault since the neurosciences and neuropsychology were not available during his time.

But note the above "We [humans] are so constituted .... " refers to facts that are inherent within the human brain and system, i.e. in your brain and all other humans.

It is like there is an inherent 'ought' within the human body and brain that all humans ought [represented by a set of program] to breathe else they die. That is the normative for all humans.

Morality deals with ought and ought-not of human acts.

Similarly but not obvious to most, there is an inherent 'ought-not' within the human brain that all humans ought not to kill humans [this must be justified]. In the context of the moral FSK, that is the moral normative applicable to all humans.
We are "so constituted" in the sense that it's a way that humans happen to work that they have moral dispositions. That's descriptive, anthropological. It's in no way saying that some set of facts (including psychological facts) implies some normative.
You are twisting the meaning of 'constituted'.
It is not that "humans happened to work ..."
It mean that humans must have the physical groundings [constituted] to enable moral dispositions.
The moral disposition are the manifestations, they are not the moral fact per-se, but what is moral fact is the physical representations that manifest the moral dispositions.
It is is normative because these moral facts [physical] are normal in all humans.
Obviously not every individual human feels that they ought to breathe, etc. But aside from people who are more or less "vegetables," they all feel they ought to do something. That's a way that human bodies happen to work.
Somehow you prefer to grope around the forms but not the substance of the matter.

With breathing there is no question of 'feels' it is an imperative they ought to breathe else they die.
Even if someone do not want to breathe [commit suicide by asphyxiation] the inherent "program" to breathe is always there.

There are the "substance" of moral elements, i.e. moral facts that triggers general moral dispositions [the forms] expressed as feelings and actions.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

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Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:44 am Both is and ought assertions are declarative. And our argument is about whether oughts have truth-value.

But commands are imperative and so can have no truth-value. A command doesn't make a falsifiable claim about the way the world should be.

Talk of the 'propositional content' of non-decalarative clauses - such as in Searle's representationalism - shows the myth of propositions at work.
Obviously oughts imply an imperitive. In fact it is a weak imperitive. in the mouth of the authoritarian any stated ought is a strong imperitive. Caesar says you ought to bring Vercingetorix to justice you can be damn sure he means do it, or else.
Such was the atmosphere in Hume's time, when Parliament said Scotland ought to be part of a United Kingdom there was not doubt about what was going on. Scotland IS not joined to England simply meant it OUGHT to be, now.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Peter Holmes »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:36 am
Peter Holmes wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:43 pm 1 Yes, moral assertions have no truth-value, because they don't make falsifiable factual claims. Moral cognitivists are wrong.

2 Do try to think carefully. Only factual assertions - linguistic expressions have truth-value. So when you say 'there are moral facts ... with truth-values', you're referring to linguistic expressions. So you're 'sticking to the logical and linguistic perspective'. I, by contrast, clearly distinguish between features of reality and what we say about them. And I suggest you give it a go.

3 Outside language, features of reality obviously have no truth-value, because they're not linguistic expressions. So if by 'moral fact' you mean 'moral feature of reality', then your claim that 'there are moral facts ... with truth-value', is incoherent. It's just sloppy thinking.
You don't even you are sloppy in your thinking and ignorant in philosophical knowledge.

Your reference to "truth-value" is merely confined and conditioned upon a specific FSK, i.e. logic and linguistic.
The term 'true value' need not be monopolised by the linguistic and classical logical FSKs. All other FSKs has their own specific and relative "truth-value."

My reference re moral facts has truth-value cover verified and justified facts and can extend to logic and linguistic.

For example,
it is true, the noon sky at at time t1 at location l1 is blue.
whether it is true or not, the above fact has to be verified and justified via the scientific FSK.

It is the same for moral facts, i.e.
it is true, moral facts exist as mental states of inhibition in the brain.
whether it is true or false can be verified and justified via the scientific FSK and the moral FSK.
Ffs - think!

How can a feature of reality - outside language - have a truth-value? How can it be true or false in the way that a linguistic expression can be true or false? You're talking nonsense.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:04 pm How can a feature of reality - outside language - have a truth-value? How can it be true or false in the way that a linguistic expression can be true or false? You're talking nonsense.
Because facts are NOT linguistic, Peter. That is what you keep telling us! And then you keep changing your mind when I turn your argument on its head (which is what I am about to do in 3...2...1!)

At this very moment in time, I can totally utter the linguistic expression "I am not thirsty" and it wouldn't be true.

And now both of us know what is, in fact, true even though it has not been expressed. That is, if you are not utterly stupid (which I suspect you may be).

Queue your usual sophistry: What or where is "thirst"?
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:35 am You are twisting the meaning of 'constituted'.
It is not that "humans happened to work ..."
It mean that humans must have the physical groundings [constituted] to enable moral dispositions.
I'm a physicalist. On my view, moral dispositions are physical states (of brains).
The moral disposition are the manifestations, they are not the moral fact per-se, but what is moral fact is the physical representations that manifest the moral dispositions.
I don't really understand your comments above. On my view, there are no moral facts aside from facts that individuals have whatever moral dispositions they do, they make whatever moral judgments they do, etc.
It is is normative because these moral facts [physical] are normal in all humans.
In other words, one should be as most are on your view? If so, why? What would the justification be for that?
Somehow you prefer to grope around the forms but not the substance of the matter.
No idea what this is saying in context, either.
With breathing there is no question of 'feels' it is an imperative they ought to breathe else they die.
We can just as well say they ought to not breathe, else they remain alive. In other words, this is switching the sense of the term to one of what the upshot of an option would be. We'd no longer be using the term in any sort of judgment, relative value, recommended course of action, etc. sense.
Even if someone do not want to breathe [commit suicide by asphyxiation] the inherent "program" to breathe is always there.
Not everyone has a drive to keep breathing at all times.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Peter Holmes »

A fact is a thing that is known to exist, to have occurred, or to be true. (Concise Oxford)

So we use the word 'fact' to refer to two radically different things:

1 a feature of reality (state-of-affairs) known to exist or to have occurred; and

2 a thing known to be true.

Now, children, features of reality outside language - known to exist or to have occurred - are obviously neither true not false. They just are or were the case. The only things that can be true/false are factual assertions - linguistic expressions. So it's terribly, terribly important to clarify which way we're using the word 'fact'.

For example, if I'm thirsty, that's a fact-as-feature-of-reality - a state-of-affairs - that has nothing to do with language, and so has no truth-value. It just is the case, neither true nor false. But if I am indeed thirsty, then the factual assertion 'I'm thirsty' is true. It's a fact-as-true-factual-assertion. And in that case, the factual assertion 'I'm not thirsty' is false.

If we know someone is thirsty, what we know is that a feature of reality (a fact) is the case. And this has nothing to do with language, and therefore nothing to do with truth and falsehood. The idea that it is a linguistic matter - that S knows that p iff p is true - demonstrates the myth of propositions at work. And that's an ancient delusion that comes from mistaking what we say about things for the way things are.

Upshot. To say there are moral facts is to say there are moral features of reality - moral states of affairs - known to exist or to have occurred - so that there are true moral assertions. And the whole idea is incoherent. There aint no such things.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

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Peter Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:51 pm A fact is a thing that is known to exist, to have occurred, or to be true. (Concise Oxford)
I have a problem with the epistemological aspect of that. There are many unknown facts, such as the exact composition of a planet 5 billion light years away that we have no knowledge of. I prefer saying that facts are simply states of affairs. Epistemology need not apply. After all, there were plenty of facts before there were any creatures around to know anything.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Peter Holmes »

Terrapin Station wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:01 pm
Peter Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:51 pm A fact is a thing that is known to exist, to have occurred, or to be true. (Concise Oxford)
I have a problem with the epistemological aspect of that. There are many unknown facts, such as the exact composition of a planet 5 billion light years away that we have no knowledge of. I prefer saying that facts are simply states of affairs. Epistemology need not apply. After all, there were plenty of facts before there were any creatures around to know anything.
I agree, which is why I don't think the 'is known' bit matters. I think the dictionary definition is incorrect, given the way we actually use the word 'fact'.
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Re: Hume Not Consistent with his No OUGHT from IS

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Holmes wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:51 pm If we know someone is thirsty, what we know is that a feature of reality (a fact) is the case.
There is no "we" and there is no "someone". This is a solo exercise.

When YOU know that YOU are thirsty, is your thirst a feature of reality?

This is a yes/no question.
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