Agustin, Eric Datu. (2008). Answers from Mackie & Murdoch’s Ethics. Manila, Philippines: Eilvu Gimatria Philosophy Paper Pub

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Agustin, Eric Datu. (2008). Answers from Mackie & Murdoch’s Ethics. Manila, Philippines: Eilvu Gimatria Philosophy Paper Pub Powered By Docstoc
					Agustin, Eric Datu. (2008). Answers from Mackie & Murdoch’s Ethics. Manila, Philippines:
Eilvu Gimatria Philosophy Paper Pub.




                                             ANSWERS FROM
                         MACKIE’S & MURDOCH’S ETHICS1,2
                                 By Eric Datu Agustin3 a.k.a. Eilvu Gimatria




Keywords: Mackie, Murdoch, Ethics, Inventing Right and Wrong, Metaphysics as A Guide to
Morals, Ethics. Ethical Theories, Philosophy of Ethics




1
  Mackie, John L. Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. London: Pelican Books, 1977.
2
  Murdoch, Iris O. Metaphysics as A Guide to Morals. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1992.
3
  Eric D. Agustin is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of the East, Manila, Philippines. He is presently a
Ph.D. Education candidate at the University of the Philippines, Quezon City. He holds a MAEd in Administration and
Supervision from the Tarlac State University. He is a PRC licensed secondary school science teacher. He has been a Licensure
Exam for Teachers (LET) coordinator and reviewer, researcher, Physics teacher, science coach, computer instructor, and chess
coach. His research interests are in the fields of educational philosophy, educational management, and research and evaluation.
(Email: eric.agustin@up.edu.ph or ericdagustin@yahoo.com.)

                                                                                                                             0
                          CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL THEORY


I. From the discussions of Mackie and Murdoch, what three questions do you think
 encompass what should be the essential issues any ethical theory must answer?
II. How would you answer these questions?


Question 1. Is morality (more specifically, moral values or the good) (1) subjective and (2.a)
           universalizable according to Mackie,i or (2.b) transcendental according to
           Murdochii?
1. As to the provision of an outright, oversimplified, quasi-direct answer to the query
   above, according to Mackie, “There are no objective values” iii... “Moral judgments are
   equivalent to reports of the speaker’s own feelings or attitude” and that, “we simply
   have to guard against the (different) misinterpretations which subjectivism or scepticism
   may suggest.”iv While for the second (2) sub-query whether values are universalizable,
   “it may be part of the meaning of moral statements"v that they are, but, “there are also
   ontological”vi questions of meaning. [At this practical juncture, the first (subjectivity of
   values) and the second (universalizability of values) sub-queries will be dealt with
   parenthetically with his error theory of ethics (ETE), on Q#2.] While for Murdoch, she
   hinted at values being subjective by making a distinction between fact and value: “…
   value… to keep it pure and untainted, not derived or mixed with empirical facts… (Big
   world of facts, little peripheral are of value.)”vii
2. Mackie was “discussing”viii the second order moral view (SOMV) or meta-ethics, “a view
   about the status of moral values and the nature of moral valuing, about how they fit into
   the world… with regard to the objectivity specifically of value (OSV), not with regard to
   the objectivity of those natural, factual, differences on the basis of which differing
   values are assigned.”ix Instantiatably, to Mackie’s standpoint of moral skepticism or
   subjectivism of that sort, he stated that: “A man could hold strong moral views…
   Conversely, a man could reject all established morality...” x The former is an objective
   conformist (FOMV), and the latter, a subjectivist (SOMV). On the other hand,
   Murdoch only suggestion is our need for a “moral vocabulary, a detailed value of


                                                                      
				
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