Subject: Re: [evol-psych] "ought" can be plausibly derived from an "is"? Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 08:57:03 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time) From: Irwin Silverman
To: Pascal Bercker CC: firstname.lastname@example.org On Wed, 20 Feb 2002, Pascal Bercker wrote: > David Hill writes: > > > That an "ought" can be plausibly derived from an "is" can be > > established as follows. From (1) my knife is dull, it can be > > plausibly derived that (2) my knife ought to be sharpened, given the > > assumptions that (3) knives are for cutting and (4) sharp knives cut > > better than dull ones. I am not a professional philosopher so forgive me if this is naive, but I see your example above as an apt demonstration of the dichotomy between "is" and "ought" Your knife "is" dull - that is a fact. But whether you "ought" to sharpen it or not is a value judgement, depending potentially on many things - e.g. how you plan to use it (are you a serial killer?) - whether you have to forego more critical purchases to buy a knife sharpener, etc. I don't mean to offend, but these protracted discussions of the obvious remind me of Alexander Pope - "A man of business may talk of philosophy; a man who has none may practice it."