Ideas of W. David Ross, by Theme

[British, 1877 - 1971, Of Oriel College, Oxford University.]

idea number gives full details    |    back to list of philosophers    |     expand these ideas
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / a. Beliefs
The goodness of opinions depends on their grounds, and corresponding degrees of conviction
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 1. Certainty
Knowledge is superior to opinion because it is certain
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 7. Causal Perception
I prefer the causal theory to sense data, because sensations are events, not apprehensions
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 5. Commensurability
Two goods may be comparable, although they are not commensurable
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 5. Supervenience of mind
Identical objects must have identical value
21. Aesthetics / B. Aesthetic Experience / 1. Beauty
Beauty is neither objective nor subjective, but a power of producing certain mental events
21. Aesthetics / B. Aesthetic Experience / 3. Aesthetic Attitude
Aesthetic enjoyment combines pleasure with insight
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 1. Value / a. Nature of value
Value is held to be either a quality, or a relation (usually between a thing and a mind)
The arguments for value being an objective or a relation fail, so it appears to be a quality
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 1. Value / b. Objective value
The thing is intrinsically good if it would be good when nothing else existed
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 1. Value / e. Ultimate value
Innocent pleasure, knowledge, and virtue are final values
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 2. Goodness / a. Goodness
Goodness is a wider concept than just correct ethical conduct
We can ask of pleasure or beauty whether they are valuable, but not of goodness
An instrumentally good thing might stay the same, but change its value because of circumstances
Motives decide whether an action is good, and what is done decides whether it was right
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 2. Goodness / b. Candidates for the Good
The three intrinsic goods are virtue, knowledge and pleasure
The four goods are: virtue, pleasure, just allocation of pleasure, and knowledge
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / b. Value of pleasure
Virtue is superior to pleasure, as pleasure is never a duty, but goodness is
We clearly value good character or understanding, as well as pleasure
No one thinks it doesn't matter whether pleasure is virtuously or viciously acquired
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 4. Is/Ought
The beauty of a patch of colour might be the most important fact about it
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 6. Right
'Right' and 'good' differ in meaning, as in a 'right action' and a 'good man'
If there are two equally good acts, they may both be right, but neither a duty
In the past 'right' just meant what is conventionally accepted
22. Metaethics / C. Sources of Ethics / 3. Intuitionism
Prima facie duties rest self-evidently on particular circumstance
Ross said moral principles are self-evident from the facts, but not from pure thought
Moral duties are as fundamental to the universe as the axioms of mathematics
The moral convictions of thoughtful educated people are the raw data of ethics
All things being equal, we all prefer the virtuous to be happy, not the vicious
All other things being equal, a universe with more understanding is better
Morality is not entirely social; a good moral character should love truth
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 3. Promise Keeping
Promise-keeping is bound by the past, and is not concerned with consequences
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 2. Duty
We like people who act from love, but admire more the people who act from duty
Be faithful, grateful, just, beneficent, non-malevolent, and improve yourself
We should do our duty, but not from a sense of duty
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 3. Universalisability
An act may be described in innumerable ways
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
We should use money to pay debts before giving to charity
24. Applied Ethics / B. Moral Rights / 3. Animal Rights
Rights can be justly claimed, so animals have no rights, as they cannot claim any
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / a. Basis of rights
Rights were originally legal, and broadened to include other things
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / b. Inalienable rights
People lose their rights if they do not respect the rights of others