Ideal Observer Theory And Firth's Argument Analysis

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The Ideal Observer Theory is a view that concerns meta-ethics in which ethical statements are expressed propositions which can be true depending on the approval or disapproval of an Ideal Observer. There are many variations of the Ideal Observer Theory, Adam Smith and David Hume gave meaning to the Ideal Observer Theory it was Robert Firth’s article “Ethical Absolutism and the Ideal Observer” that took it to the next level. Firth presents a different kind of analysis of ethical statements that is more modern. According to Firth, moral propositions avoid using expressions so an Ideal Observer must be congruent to an absolutist dispositional analysis. Although Firth hints that that it is not necessary for an Ideal Observer does not define who …show more content…
Firth’s absolutist analysis can easily be turned into a relativist analysis with the possible existence of multiple Ideal Observers with different reactions. Harrison has his own version of the Ideal Observer theory that competes with Firth’s. He critique’s that Firth is unclear of the description of an Ideal Observer where it does not need to exist. To say that an Ideal Observer is a hypothetical being who retains all knowledge and he/she well informed, is impartial, and without passions toward agents and objects, while being incapable of making mistakes, and is consistent, is simply misleading. Firth tries hard to give us many explanations of an Ideal Observer but his giveaway is when he mentions that an Ideal Observer does not need to exist while claiming Ideal Observer is normal. Why go through so much effort to contradict himself? I can only conclude that Firth’s version of an Ideal Observer cannot exist. There is no true definition of normal, normal consists of human beings that are simply imperfect and biased. Whether or not an Ideal Observer thinks he or she is not, bias is deeply hidden in all of …show more content…
If he or she were to have knowledge of moral facts then the Ideal Observer’s own judgement would be known to them and would not be able to properly judge. The observer is also omnipercipient meaning that it is not enough for the observer to have facts that will allow him to make true judgements, but must also be able to visualize all facts and consequences of all possible acts. He or she has almost unlimited imagination, a push from Firth to appeal the need for empathy, so that an Ideal Observer can place himself or herself in the shoes of those involved to be fair. The Ideal Observer is also defined as a person who is disinterested because he or she must be impartial and must be dispassionate as well. Firth implies that we are sometimes blinded by our feelings and this can affect the judgement of an Ideal Observer, being dispassionate prevents that. An Ideal Observer must also be consistent with their reactions which I disagree with as this is trying to prove Firth’s idea of an Ideal Observer being an absolutist. An Ideal Observer as I mentioned must be subjectivist depending on different situations, moral judgements will not be consistent. For example, everyone will agree that stealing is bad however an absolutist

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