Essay on Contemporary Ethical Theory Philosophers

5005 Words Aug 10th, 2011 21 Pages
Contemporary ethical theory begins with G. E. Moore (1873–1958).
Moore opened up new issues for consideration and altered the focus of ethical discussion.
Moore believed that the task of the ethical philosopher is to conduct a “general inquiry into what is good.”This seems reasonably straightforward, down to earth, and useful. If you know what good or goodness is, and if you know what things are good, then you also know what proper conduct is, right? This, at any rate, is what
Moore maintained, because he believed that the morally right act is the one that produces the greatest amount of good
In an influential book, The Right and the Good (1930), W. D. Ross (1877–1970) defined his purpose as “to examine the nature, relations,
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Thus, for example, it would be committing the naturalist fallacy to suppose that (2) is logically deducible from (1).
But is the naturalist fallacy really a fallacy? The issue is important because, if you hold

Nevertheless, several issues in metaethics are currently in controversy. Included are these:

• What makes a principle a moral principle? Can moral principles be about just anything? Or do they have some essential type of content?
• A morally obligatory act is one you ought to do, other things being equal. A supererogatory act is one that is morally commendable but beyond the call of duty. Is this a legitimate distinction? Can traditional philosophical theories of ethics accommodate this distinction, if it is legitimate?
• Is ethical truth relative to the ethical beliefs of a society or culture? That is, is ethical relativism true?
• How should one understand the question,Why should I be moral? Is it a legitimate question? • Is there a necessary connection between believing that something is morally obligatory and being motivated to choose to do it? (So-called internalists assert that there is such a connection; externalists deny that there is.)
• What gives a being moral standing?
• Do some beings have a higher moral standing than others?
• How are moral judgments about institutions and other collectives to be understood?
Groups are sometimes said to be morally responsible for their actions.
Is this responsibility something

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