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Metaethics after Moore$
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Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269914

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269914.001.0001

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Moore on the Right, the Good, and Uncertainty

Moore on the Right, the Good, and Uncertainty

(p.133) 6 Moore on the Right, the Good, and Uncertainty
Metaethics after Moore

Michael Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes a conception of Practical Ethics which ties what epistemically limited agents are to do on some occasion not only to limits on their non-evaluative information about how much intrinsic value would result from various actions, but also to epistemic limits on their evaluative information about what has intrinsic value. The chapter is organized as follows. The first section spells out Moore's view of the way in which uncertainty affects the proposed definition of rightness in terms of the maximization of value. The second section compares Moore's view with an alternative put forward more recently by Frank Jackson (1991). The third and fourth sections present the author's own account and say why it should be preferred to both Moore's and Jackson's views. To anticipate, it turns out that Moore and Jackson are both right about something and wrong about something. The correct view combines elements from both.

Keywords:   Practical Ethics, Moore, Frank Jackson, rightness, uncertainty

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