What is Moore’s open question argument?

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Ashley Laura
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Pls I don’t understand if someone can clarify xx it’s under meta-ethics aqa a level.
Thank you!!
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Joe312
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The open question argument follows from Moore's views about 'goodness' being undefinable and the naturalistic fallacy.

A closed question in one which makes no sense to ask. E.g "does a triangle have three sides?". This could only be asked by someone ignorant of the meaning of 'triangle'.

However any claim about what goodness is will ultimately be an open question. A utilitarian could claim that goodness is happiness, however the question "is goodness happiness" remains open since goodness cannot be defined and therefore asking that question does not entail ignorance.
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Ashley Laura
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(Original post by Joe312)
The open question argument follows from Moore's views about 'goodness' being undefinable and the naturalistic fallacy.

A closed question in one which makes no sense to ask. E.g "does a triangle have three sides?". This could only be asked by someone ignorant of the meaning of 'triangle'.

However any claim about what goodness is will ultimately be an open question. A utilitarian could claim that goodness is happiness, however the question "is goodness happiness" remains open since goodness cannot be defined and therefore asking that question does not entail ignorance.
Thank you so much! This makes sense now
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Ashley Laura
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(Original post by Joe312)
The open question argument follows from Moore's views about 'goodness' being undefinable and the naturalistic fallacy.

A closed question in one which makes no sense to ask. E.g "does a triangle have three sides?". This could only be asked by someone ignorant of the meaning of 'triangle'.

However any claim about what goodness is will ultimately be an open question. A utilitarian could claim that goodness is happiness, however the question "is goodness happiness" remains open since goodness cannot be defined and therefore asking that question does not entail ignorance.
Would you mind explaining naturalistic fallacy please? x
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gjd800
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(Original post by Ashley Laura)
Would you mind explaining naturalistic fallacy please? x
In Moore's terms, it is simply trying to describe 'the good' as a natural property. His point is that 'the good' is ineffable and cannot ever be described in terms of a 'natural property' such as 'pleasant' and so on. Thus what constitutes 'the good' must always be an open question, because we cannot define 'goodness' outside of itself.

It's a controversial way of using 'naturalistic fallacy' for many reasons, but that is nonetheless how he uses it.

This will provide more detail.
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