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On what grounds the dichotomy between is and ought can be justified or rejected?

Can someone please answer to aproach
You wouldn't like me when i'm angry Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources. |Philosophy|


  • ????
    You wouldn't like me when i'm angry Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources. |Philosophy|
  • The is - ought dichotomy was propounded by Hume and it has been subjected to a lot of debate ever since.

    The primary difference between the two is that the 'is' refers to things as they are, i.e,they are matters of fact and are descriptive, while 'ought' refers to how things should be, it is normative in nature.

    Now, Hume says that 'ought' is simply a product of 'is', therefore what 'ought to be' is biased by our preconceived notion of what 'is'.
    For example: Meat eaters eat meat, and for them it is a normal thing which is descriptive. Therefore their perception of the world and on gaining nutrition will always be colored through their notion of eating meat (which is normal from their point of view). However, in a world which is normative, eating meat might be immoral.

    Therefore, according to Hume we cannot simply go from 'is' to 'ought', and morality is biased and pre-conceived since it is colored on the basis of 'is'. This is also known as Hume's guillotine.

    However, the dichotomy can be solved if we are willing to let go of all presuppositions and pre conceived notions:
    1. Husserl's phenomenology is one such way of seeing things as they really are after applying bracketing and reduction.
    2. Kant's categorical imperative says that morality is supreme therefore such a dichotomy does not make much sense.
    3. Functionalists like John Searle say that logic can be used to deduce facts, and is and ought are logically related.
    4. Existentialists say that truth that matters is subjective and is dependent on an individuals experiences, therefore morality is individualistic.

    Hope it helps bhai.
  • Thanks a lot bhai...its clear now...
    You wouldn't like me when i'm angry Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources. |Philosophy|
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