NORMATIVE TERMS are terms that have ACTION-GUIDING [PRESCRIPTIVE/ PROSCRIPTIVE] force. 

 

Some common normative terms are:  ought; duty; obligation; permissible; and forbidden.  When applied to actions, appropriate and inappropriate are normative terms.  [Note that not all NORMATIVE terms are MORAL terms.  For example, ought can be used in a NON-MORAL, PRUDENTIAL sense, as in:  One ought to eat nutritious foods.]

 

NORMATIVE MORAL TERMS are NORMATIVE TERMS with MORAL ACTION-GUIDING force. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVALUATIVE TERMS are terms that express approval or disapproval. 

 

Some common evaluative terms are:  good; bad; excellent; and awful.  EVALUATIVE TERMS can express moral approval or disapproval, but can also express other types of non-moral approval or disapproval (e.g., The statement that apples taste good is a non-moral evaluative statement).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NORMATIVE/EVALUATIVE STATEMENTS are statements that include at least one normative/evaluative term. 

 

For example, moral statements about what one ought or ought not to do (e.g., the statement that one ought not to steal or the statement that one ought to tell the truth) are NORMATIVE, because they contain the NORMATIVE term ought.  [Note that not all normative statements are moral.  See above, for an example of a normative prudential statement.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PURELY DESCRIPTIVE TERMS are terms that are NOT NORMATIVE and NOT EVALUATIVE.

 

PURELY DESCRIPTIVE STATEMENTS are statements that contain only PURELY DESCRIPTIVE terms (no NORMATIVE or EVALUATIVE terms).  [Note that Normative/Evaluative statements can contain SOME Purely Descriptive terms, but Purely Descriptive statements cannot contain ANY Normative/Evaluative terms.]

 

 

        In this course, our focus is on normative moral statements.  You will be frustrated in this course if you try to limit your statements to the purely descriptive. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO HUME

 

I.  Hume's Life

 

        A.  Hume's attitude toward the Treatise

 

II.  Introduction to the Treatise

 

        Philosophy as the “science of man”.

 

Advertisement

 

        A.  The People are an infallible tribunal.

 

        B.  Introduce the Diagram of Hume's Psychology

 

III.  The Main Issues:

 

        A.  Naturalized Epistemology and the Problem of Normativity:  Descriptive vs. Normative [Justificatory] Account

 

        B.  Skeptical vs. Constructive[WJT1]  Philosophy

        Issue:  How does Hume distinguish rational from irrational?  Are there good forms of "reasoning" that are not produced by the faculty of reason?

 

IV.  Hume's goal:  To reconcile philosophy and common sense.  What is the relation of philosophy to common sense?

 


 [WJT1]CC 1