Kant 's Idealized Morality And Its Merit Essay

1731 Words Oct 18th, 2016 7 Pages
Kant’s Idealized Morality and Its Merit Charles Stevenson’s essay on emotivism, Ruth Benedict’s paper on cultural relativism, and Kant’s work on ethical theory offer interpretations of and opinions on the meaning of the word “good”. They also offer opposing sides in the debate in metaethics between subjectivity and objectivity in ethics. To determine which of these definitions has the most relevance and accuracy, all of these arguments will be outlined and consequently analyzed, both separately and in relation to each other. Their differences and similarities will be enumerated and described, consequently their merit will be discussed. In the end, Kant’s ethical theory will be proven to be inferior to both Stevenson’s and Benedict’s theories, due to its extreme specificity and its unreasonable requirements. Stevenson’s “The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms” ponders on the meaning behind ethical questions, in conjunction with speculation on the definition of the word “good”. He notes that previous philosophers have suggested that “good” is defined by approval, as in “desired by me” (Thomas Hobbes) or “desired by most people” (David Hume). However, he finds both of these definitions to be limiting and incomplete. He asserts the idea that the definition of “good” should meet three conditions. The first is having room for intelligent disagreement about whether or not something is good, which is not possible with Hobbes’ definition, as there cannot be disagreement about…

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