Pleasure is goodness; morality is universal

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17 (forthcoming)
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This paper presents the Universality Argument that pleasure is goodness. The first premise defines goodness as what should please all. The second premise reduces 'should' to perceptual accuracy. The third premise invokes a universal standard of accuracy: qualitative identity. Since the pleasure of all is accurate solely about pleasure, pleasure is goodness, or universal moral value. The argument proceeds from a moral sense theory that analyzes moral concepts as concerned with what all should hope for, feel guilty about, and admire. This requires rejecting practical anti-empiricism, the view that moral judgment concerns empirically inaccessible norms governing action.

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Neil Sinhababu
National University of Singapore


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