Ethics and Religion

  • Chris Gudmunsen


Neither Russell nor Wittgenstein (after the Tractatus) spent much time on philosophical ethics. In this section, therefore, the parallels will be less personal although, I hope, no less valid. For Russell, I shall more or less substitute G. E. Moore, whose ethical theories are closely tied to a referential theory of meaning. And in the Elements of Ethics, Russell adopted Moore’s views that goodness is an indefinable quality which cannot be demonstrated, that one can make mistakes in identifying it, and that a right action is one leading to the most goodness. For Wittgenstein I shall not need to substitute anyone in particular, though I shall be partly concerned, as many moral philosophers have been since, say, the second world war, with the metaethical implications of later Wittgensteinian ideas.


Natural Event Objective World Factual Difference Moral Goodness Moral Term 
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© Chris Gudmunsen 1977

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  • Chris Gudmunsen

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