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By Mary Gore Forrester (auth.)

Some time in the past I wrote a booklet (Moral Language, 1982) during which I argued that ethical judgments are in a position to being precise ('truth-apt,' to take advantage of a present word, or descriptive and having truth-value, to take advantage of a extra conventional term), that the equipment of gaining knowledge of ethical proof are essentially just like these of gaining knowledge of non-moral proof, and that ethical judgments should be real. What i didn't do at the moment was once to advance an ethical conception which might reveal how the tactic of getting to know ethical truths could paintings and what the factors of fact truly are. In a later paintings (Persons, Animals, and Fetuses, 1996) I did suggest an ethical idea as to what the standards for ethical fact are; even though, I awarded it essentially as an creation to the dialogue of a number of useful moral matters and didn't argue absolutely for that concept. it's excessive time that I did so, simply because with out exhibiting that this kind of concept will be constructed my safeguard of ethical realism is incomplete. it's all rather well to claim that we will be able to observe what ethical ideals are real, yet except we will reveal simply which ideals are actual, the thesis that we will realize this fact can't be totally defended. as a result the most important (although now not the single) problem to exhibiting that moral objectivity is feasible is the presence of ethical confrontation - and the competition of many who such war of words can't be definitively resolved.

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The characteristics they have determine how they will behave and interact. Classifying them enables us to express our explanations more succinctly, but classification is not itself explanation, unless it comes with an understanding of what properties the individual has which cause it to appear or behave in a certain way. While the classifications we use are conventions, this hardly shows that the things we classify are not real, or that the classificatory terms we use do not refer. For example, having a negative charge is one of the properties of electrons; we classify electrons as particles which have a certain mass and a negative charge.

Such a defense could, but need not, entail showing that it is true that what meets the standard has value. If one is a nondescriptivist, one might have other criteria of correctness, such as that the speaker would prescribe the act for everyone in the given circumstances or that it was an accepted standard of behavior for the speaker's society. Obviously, what standards are considered correct depends upon one's moral theory, and whether they are actually correct depends upon whether the theory itself is correct.

79 There are, however, many motivating reasons, but none of them entail that being motivating is part of the meaning of moral judgments. Clearly the reasons people have for doing what they ought are not sufficient to compel them to act morally. Otherwise, how could anyone knowingly do wrong? Our reasons to do as we ought include primarily our desires to avoid conflict with others (including others' desires to retaliate for such harm as we do) and to establish warm relationships with a sizeable number of persons80 These desires usually keep people well motivated to act in accordance with what they hold to be right most of the time.

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