more from G.E. Moore

Single Idea 8039

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / b. Defining ethics]

Full Idea

Moore tries to show that 'good' is indefinable by relying on a bad dictionary definition of 'definition'.

Gist of Idea

Moore tries to show that 'good' is indefinable, but doesn't understand what a definition is


comment on G.E. Moore (Principia Ethica [1903]) by Alasdair MacIntyre - After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory Ch.2

Book Reference

MacIntyre,Alasdair: 'After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory' [Duckworth 1982], p.15

A Reaction

An interesting remark, with no further explanation offered. If Moore has this problem, then Plato had it too (see Idea 3032). I would have thought that any definition MacIntyre could offer would either be naturalistic, or tautological.

Related Idea

Idea 3032 I can form no notion of what the good is [Amphis]