Fact/Value Dichotomy

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The Fact/Value Dichotomy, which began with David Hume, has confused ordinary moral talk.

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Technology
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Fact/Value Dichotomy

  1. 1. The Objective for this session  explain three sources of confusion in moral discourse  identify the language about fact and value (or opinion), and how it complicates moral conversation.
  2. 2. Sources Confusing Perplexity  Separating fact and value; Link to The View  Concept control.
  3. 3. Are these two statements identical?  Torture is immoral.  Torture is any act by which severe pain or suffering – whether physical or mental -- is intentionally inflicted on a person for purposes of obtaining information or a confession, or punishing a person for an act committed, or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing a person, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official. (paraphased Geneva Convention, Part I, Article 1)
  4. 4. David Hume 1711 - 1776 The celebrated Scotitish Skeptic. He believe that knowledge is the result of ideas created external stimuli through the five senses. This is what we call an empiricist or naturalists. The ramification of this naturalist worldview is that there is no moral knowledge. Awaismasood84 Image taken from: http://www.flickr.com/photos3322729@NO2/
  5. 5. Confusion: Separating Fact from Value Elisabeth and Rosie are forced to reduce their ethical commitments to factual words in order be reasonable at 1:50. Link to The View
  6. 6. Confusion: Concept Control  If there are no ethical facts, then conversation reverts to using non-rational persuasive techniques.  Elisabeth uses a football analogy to make her values appear rational at 21 seconds.  Rosie twists and flips the connotative meaning of words in complex ways at 44 seconds. Link to The View
  7. 7. Review Sources of the Confusion  Separating fact and value  Facts are directly observable; they are true or false  Facts the preserve of science  Values  Values are mere personal preference, emotions, feelings  Values non-rational  Concept Control  Assertion about moral events leave out important moral information to leverage public opinion

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