Victor Pross Posted March 16, 2007 Share Posted March 16, 2007 (edited) Daniel, Regarding the is-ought debate, this fact—as a central point—remains: many sciences (other than ethics—the science of survival) are concerned with ought-judgments, and there is hardly any difficulty in understanding the relationship between “is” and “ought” as displayed in the normative sciences. Medicine, as the example went, prescribes a set of actions that must be taken in order to preserve or to reinstate health. A doctor prescribes what ought to be done and this must be based on objective knowledge. Descriptive = is = cognitive.Prescriptive = ought = normative.Both normative and descriptive sciences are centered chiefly on facts. The fact that ‘action results from identity’ is universally accepted and used in the fields of physics, chemistry, and the other realms of science. Both normative and descriptive sciences are concerned with facts and both are capable of verification---as both are subject to such judgments as “valid” or “invalid” or “true” or “false.” I submit that normative and descriptive sciences are equal in that both deal with abstract principles derived from the facts of reality. The only difference, I maintain, lies in which facet of reality they consider along with the purpose for which their principles where employed. The fact is human beings have to act in reality, they have to have knowledge in order to act if the standard of morality is life. The earlier talk of ethics is adequate to point out that ethics—like every normative science—is based on facts. The normative ought-judgments of ethics are capable of verification as the normative recommendations of medicine and architecture. Would you, Dan, care to argue that such is not the case with medicine and architecture? If not, how is it that ethics, the science of survival, is cut off from what is true in other fields? What, then, is the purpose of ethics? Is it a legitimate branch of study? These are questions that we can deal with. -Victoredit: Daniel, I see our posts crossed over. I will deal with your post. *** *** ***MSK: "However, here is the rub for the present discussion. Rand's argument...is that ALL cognitive concepts include a normative abstraction, thus they are not really different. Hume's argument (or more specifically, the deductions of others from Hume's argument) is that the two strains are COMPLETELY separate." MSK: I hold that they are like two circles that overlap, like in the diagram below:Darrell: "Nice diagram. Now, if you would just label the gray area, "ethics," you would have the meat of Rand's philosophy. (I guess that means the, ought circle would have to fit within the is circle.)" Edited March 16, 2007 by Victor Pross Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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