Ideas of W. David Ross, by Theme

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

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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 / A. Aesthetic Experience / 2. Aesthetic Attitude
Aesthetic enjoyment combines pleasure with insight
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 3. Beauty
Beauty is neither objective nor subjective, but a power of producing certain mental events
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of 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. Value / 1. Nature of Value / b. Intrinsic value
The thing is intrinsically good if it would be good when nothing else existed
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / c. Means and ends
An instrumentally good thing might stay the same, but change its value because of circumstances
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Objective value
All things being equal, we all prefer the virtuous to be happy, not the vicious
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / a. Form of the Good
We can ask of pleasure or beauty whether they are valuable, but not of goodness
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / b. Types of good
Innocent pleasure, knowledge, and virtue are final values
The three intrinsic goods are virtue, knowledge and pleasure
The four goods are: virtue, pleasure, just allocation of pleasure, and knowledge
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / c. Right and good
'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
Goodness is a wider concept than just correct ethical conduct
Motives decide whether an action is good, and what is done decides whether it was right
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / d. Good as virtue
Virtue is superior to pleasure, as pleasure is never a duty, but goodness is
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / e. Good as knowledge
All other things being equal, a universe with more understanding is better
Morality is not entirely social; a good moral character should love truth
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / c. Value of pleasure
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 / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / e. Ethical cognitivism
The beauty of a patch of colour might be the most important fact about it
Moral duties are as fundamental to the universe as the axioms of mathematics
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / c. Ethical intuitionism
Ross said moral principles are self-evident from the facts, but not from pure thought
The moral convictions of thoughtful educated people are the raw data of ethics
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 3. Promise Keeping
Promise-keeping is bound by the past, and is not concerned with consequences
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / c. Particularism
Prima facie duties rest self-evidently on particular circumstance
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