Simply Good: A Defence of the Principia

Utilitas 30 (3):253-270 (2018)
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Abstract
Moore's moral programme is increasingly unpopular. Judith Jarvis Thomson's attack has been especially influential; she says the Moorean project fails because ‘there is no such thing as goodness’. I argue that her objection does not succeed: while Thomson is correct that the kind of generic goodness she targets is incoherent, it is not, I believe, the kind of goodness central to the Principia. Still, Moore's critics will resist. Some reply that we cannot understand Moorean goodness without generic goodness. Others claim that even if Moore does not need Thomson's concept, he still requires the objectionable notion of absolute goodness. I undermine both these replies. I first show that we may dispense with generic goodness without losing Moorean intrinsic goodness. Then, I argue that though intrinsic goodness is indeed a kind of absolute goodness, the objections marshalled against the concept are unsound.
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2018
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TUCSGA
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Archival date: 2019-03-09
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2017-12-06

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