Marvin_Edwards wrote: ↑
September 13th, 2020, 4:12 pm
Gertie wrote: ↑
September 13th, 2020, 1:47 pm
It's a description of a process which includes a moral judgement. But it doesn't say how any particular facts of reality logically justify any particular moral judgement, or facts of reality generally logically justify Oughts
I'm not sure that we have anything other than the facts of reality to work with. For example, the the fact of our emotional reaction to eating when we are hungry is positive leads us to the conclusion that food is good. The fact that most animals will put up a fight if you try to drown them (or so I've heard) leads to the conclusion that animals find breathing to be a good thing and that the inability to breathe is very bad. The same will apply to observing adult animals resisting being caged leads us to conclude that they feel freedom is a good thing, because it gives us control over obtaining good things and avoiding harms.
Moral judgments as to what ought to be pursued (good) and what ought to be avoided (bad) are all around us and within us. So, the "what is" is where every "ought to" begins.
I don't think I've ever read Hume, or at least not the part where he mistakenly claims that "ought's" originate from someplace other than "is's".
That's not Hume's claim. Here's the passage we're discussing
“In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remark’d, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surpriz’d to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation,’tis necessary that it shou’d be observ’d and explain’d; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it … am persuaded, that a small attention [to this point] wou’d subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceiv’d by reason.”
David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, ‘Moral Distinctions Not deriv’d from Reason’
Hume's point here is that you can't use reason
to get to (in the sense of derive or deduce) Oughts from the Is state of affairs.
He's not disputing the state of affairs ('Is') of hunger feeling unpleasant (bad) and eating when you're hungry feeling pleasant (good).
Here's the wiki version which is easier to parse -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80% ... 0what%20is
The is–ought problem, as articulated by the Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume, states that many writers make claims about what ought to be that are based solely on statements about what is. Hume found that there seems to be a significant difference between positive statements (about what is) and prescriptive or normative statements (about what ought to be), and that it is not obvious how one can coherently move from descriptive statements to prescriptive ones. Hume's law or Hume's guillotine is the thesis that, if a reasoner only has access to non-moral and non-evaluative factual premises, the reasoner cannot logically infer the truth of moral statements.