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 

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."