One way to counter this argument is to show that the various actions mentioned above can be brought together under a perfect descriptive classification. For example, each of the above actions seems to benefit the others by treating them as an end in itself. This formal classification helps us classify at least a few new cases of kindness (for example, giving food to a homeless person). And the benefits can be understood in a purely descriptive way – for example, such as increased happiness. It is therefore not clear whether informality is actually supported by the above data, although other data may possibly be provided. What reason is there to believe that evaluations of thick terms could be part of their conditions of truth? One possible reason arises from the consideration of additional linguistic data. Note that the following statement sounds very heavy: Even though Foot is right to say that there are sufficient descriptions for the correct application of thick terms, it is not necessary that these descriptions are necessary. It is believed that John McDowell`s Disentangling argument shows that there can be no description that is both necessary and sufficient for the correct application of a thick term. In this argument, McDowell argues primarily against non-cognitivists like Hare, who accept the strong distinction between description and evaluation. Moreover, realists may indeed admit that some controversial moral questions do not allow objectively correct answers, thus granting a certain degree of vagueness in the moral realm. The idea is that they do so and still insist that other moral questions have such answers by attributing the vagueness to indeterminacy, which in turn may be the result of the applicability of immeasurable values or requirements (see e.B Brink 1989, 202; Sturgeon 1994, p.

95; and Shafer-Landau, 1994 and 1995). This proposal has received some attention (e.B Constantinescu 2012 and 2014) and merits further consideration. A potential problem, however, is that the moral issues that can most plausibly be considered imprecision may not overlap as well with the series of issues on which there are the fiercest disagreements among competent persons (on this point, see Loeb 1998, 290; Tersman, 2006, p. 133; and Schroeter and Schroeter, 2013, pp. 7-8). Wouldn`t these investigators probably recognize the vagueness and refrain from forming (contradictory) beliefs on these issues? If so, then the call for vagueness offers only limited help to realists to accommodate the most likely candidates who call themselves radical moral disagreements. Another argument for pragmatic thinking comes from Pekka Väyrynen (2013), who focuses on thick offensive terms. Remember that thick offensive terms embody values that should be rejected. Possible examples are “obscene,” “perverse,” “blasphemous,” and “chaste.” The last of these terms seems to embody the view that some type of sexual coercion is commendable. Those who reject this view consider the “chaste” to be offensive – such individuals can be called chastity deniers.

Chastity objectors tend to exhibit interesting linguistic behavior. They would obviously be reluctant to claim that, say, John is chaste; but they are also reluctant to pronounce non-affirmative sentences such as the following: Hursthouse counteracts this criticism by providing a theory of right action in relation to virtue. She believes that an action is just in case that is what a virtuous agent would typically do in the given circumstances (1999:28). The virtuous agent is someone who has virtuous character traits and exercises them. And a virtue is a character trait that a person needs to flourish or live well. These particular virtues should be listed, but the list usually includes thick paradigmatic terms such as “courage,” “honesty,” “patience,” “generosity,” etc. Hursthouse explicitly states that the concepts of virtue are thick (1996:27). Is it important for them to know if the concepts of virtue are thick? Hursthouse`s theory faces an objection, and in response to that objection, it could be significant.

Hare`s response to Foot assumes that insults are evaluative in the same way as thick terms. However, this has been considered unintuitive by some. But Hare was able to change his response: instead of using slander, he could use thick terms like “chaste,” “blasphemous,” “perverse,” and “obscene,” often referred to as “thick offensive terms.” Thick offensive terms are terms that embody values that should be rejected. Of course, it`s controversial whether these thick terms are really reprehensible. But Hare was able to make his case with thick terms that are generally considered offensive. Such terms seem to be judgmental in the same way as “rude.” And as with slander, there are many people who reject the values embodied by such terms; These people are therefore reluctant to use the term in question. Note that arguments like Foot`s would require these people to accept the values embodied in thick terms that they consider offensive, which seems equally implausible. Hare`s basic answer therefore does not have to assume a fundamental similarity between thick terms and insults. It is often insisted that ethicists stop focusing so much on thin concepts and broaden or shift attention to thickness (Anscombe 1958; Williams, 1985).

As a result, great attention has been paid to the thick concepts of metaethics, especially with regard to the topics discussed above. Have thick concepts also played a key role in normative ethics? They have that to some extent. Normative ethics deals in part with the question of what kind of person one should be. And the concepts of virtue and vice, which are thick paradigmatic concepts, played an important role in these discussions. A second source of opposition is known as thin centralism – the idea that thin concepts are conceptually anterior and independent of thick concepts. If the good is conceptually before the gopa, then the locals cannot grasp the gopa without also understanding the good things. This would mean that Williams is wrong when he claims that the locals could lose the concept of gopa if they draw the thoughtful conclusion that x is gopa to x is good. Moreover, by this conclusion, the stranger who denies that x is good must deny that x is gopa. Thus, the truth or lie of “x is gopa” would not depend on what is discernible only from the local point of view, contrary to Williams` opinion. This may depend in part on the quality of x, which can be seen from the perspective of the foreigner.

Hare formulates his distinction in terms of descriptive and evaluative meanings, which presupposes a reductive view. But his distinction and thought experience can be formulated without adopting a reductive vision. Instead of talking about descriptive and evaluative meanings, we could instead talk about two different acts of speech – describing and evaluating – that are usually carried out through common uses of terms. Hare`s thought experiment can be formulated by changing the acts of speech we typically perform with the term. For example, although we usually use “generously” to perform an act of positive evaluation, a speaker who uses it to evaluate negatively would still be understood. Nevertheless, it is controversial that thick terms are evaluative as a matter of truth conditions. In general, ethicists agree that thick terms are somehow associated with judgment content, but not everyone agrees that this content is part of the truth conditions of statements with thick terms. Otherwise, how can a thick term be associated with content of judgment if not by conditions of truth? One potential problem is that there could be paradigmatic descriptive properties that respond to (i) -(iii). Consider a particular mental state with moral content, such as believing that lying is wrong.

The quality of being in this state is inextricably linked to human concerns and goals, because it is a moral belief. And if the states of belief are multiplicable, then this quality will also satisfy (ii). And finally, if there are inferior brain states that cause someone to have this belief without needing it, then (iii) will also be satisfied. Thus, some mental characteristics can satisfy (i)-(iii), even if they seem descriptive. Roberts might respond by noting that the moral belief mentioned above is not properly associated with human concerns and goals. This strategy was pursued by Richard Boyd to defend his naturalistic form of moral realism, sometimes called “New Wave Moral Realism” (Boyd 1988, but also Brink 1989). Boyd invokes a causal reference theory. His version of this approach is complex and differs considerably from the more well-known versions (as proposed in Putnam in 1972 and Kripke in 1980). But the main idea is that moral terms refer to the characteristics that “causally regulate” our use of those terms, including our provisions to apply them in some cases. Such regulation presupposes that there are mechanisms that causally link properties to uses (instantiations of these). Boyd insists that these mechanisms must ensure a certain tendency to apply the term reliably to acts, persons or facts possessing the characteristics in question in order to ensure some epistemic access to them. However, it also points out that this restriction does not exclude serious errors.

Our use of “property” can be appropriately regulated by a particular property, even if we do not know it, and even if our ignorance leads to many false claims (assuming the term refers to the property in question). The differences in our use of moral terms and sentences of the kind Hare pointed out are therefore consistent with correction and, therefore, with the thought that there is a common (factual) theme on which people in his script express conflicting beliefs using the appropriate terms and expressions….