Philosophy

Articles

What Would Happen if Everybody Acted like Me?

A. C. Ewinga1

a1 University of Cambridge

In this paper I shall use terms such as “intrinsically good” which may be deemed old fashioned by many readers and which certainly to my own mind presuppose an objective non-naturalistic theory of ethics. I still hold such a theory and I have not mastered the new jargon by which a sort of higher synthesis between that and other theories is supposed to have been effected, but I do not think that such a view as mine of ethics in general is necessarily presupposed if one is to understand or even agree with the contentions of my article. These relate to a specific problem as to certain ethical actions, which will arise on any view that admits the possibility of giving any sort of legitimate reasons for ethical judgments, as we all do in practice. After all a naturalist can easily translate “intrinsically good” into his own terms, say, valued for its own sake by most people who experience it, and there will still be a question as to what is intrinsically and what is merely instrumentally good and other questions as to what is the logical nature of certain arguments in ethics.