6.6.10

A Few More Observations On The Is-Ought Problem

Before you read this you might want to look at the previous posts on this topic.
A friend of mine recently suggested that all "oughts" contain a certain type of "is" and vice versa e.g., "stealing is wrong", is the same as, "you ought not steal".

I responded:
When we say, "stealing is wrong", we are saying that, "stealing has the same property as all things that ought not be done", or, "stealing has the property such that it should not be done". This still contains the, "to be", but it asserts the existence of a property that is undefined in terms of is; it asserts the existence of an ought. Searl is actually doing the exact same thing when he argues that institutional facts contain oughts because (and this is really funny), "ought" is never really derived from, "is", or vice versa, it is only the oughts that are hidden in the properties (which are asserted to exist by "is") that are brought into full view. Just like I did with the, "stealing is wrong", statement. "Is", is also inherent in the statement, "one ought not to steal", which is the same as, "an ought exists such that one would be in opposition to it by stealing", but this is trivial since all statements contain an, "is", since we can't communicate anything without asserting or denying the existence of at least properties (nevertheless this is fun to say anyway).

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