Ethical Subjectivism

…. it is impossible to find a criterion for determining the validity of ethical judgements….because they have no objective validity….They are pure expressions of feeling and as such do not come under the category of truth and falsehood...There is nothing right or wrong about Ethical Language. It is just an expression of our emotion.

AYER, A J ,1910-1988
Language Truth and Logic
(1934)
(p.108)

This philosophical theory is also called emotivism because ethics is a mere expression of our (subjective, emotional) preferences. They do not, indeed cannot, refer to anything objective in the world.

Ayer represents (in 1934 at least) the continuation of the failure of British empricism to derive an ‘ought from is‘ – a challenge Hume had laid down and remains, for the empiricist at least, unanswerable.

Hume himself had said, ‘morality is determined by sentiment’ (Enquiry Concerning Principles of Morals)

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