<truths of reason, truths of facts, empiricism, Hume>, <experience, Kant, positivism, phenomenology, Sachverhalt>, <moral philosophy> Distinction between assertions about how things really are (fact) and how things ought to be (value). Drawn by Hume, but also defended by Stevenson, Hare, and other ethical noncognitivists, the distinction is usually taken to entail that claims about moral obligation can never be validly inferred from the truth of factual premises alone. It follows that people who agree completely on the simple description of a state of affairs may nevertheless differ with respect to the appropriate action to take in response to it. Recommended Reading: David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (Oxford, 1996) and Charles L. Stevenson, Ethics and Language (Yale, 1944).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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