Ethical Naturalism On Anopopei

When I was doing moral philosophy, there was a school of thought that viewed ethical terminology as denoting some real characteristic of the object, on which everyone could agree. A knife, for example, was called good when it was suitable for its purpose, namely cutting. Calling a person good was more complicated, as it was by no means obvious what the purpose of a human being is, but I suppose one could make the attempt. This came back to my mind when I read Norman Mailer’s great war novel, in which a soldier, who was inhabiting a hell on earth in the form of a Japanese-held tropical island, received a letter from his parents that informed him: “We appreciate the money you sent us, you are a good son.”

Posted on July 8, 2009 at 09:25 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink

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