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Word Count: 660
The Incoherence of the Moral Ought a journal article by Duncan Richter is an analysis of a paper by Elizabeth Anscombe entitled Modern Moral Philosophy In this analysis Mr Richter is only concerned about Anscombes second thesis which states as follows The concepts of moral obligation and moral duty what is morally right and morally wrong and the moral sense of ought ought to be jettisoned if this is psychologically possible because they are survivals or derivatives from survivals from an earlier conception of ethics which no longer generally survives and are only harmful without it According to this thesis Mr Richter builds his thesis into five parts Part one summarizes Elizabeth Anscombes research according to her second thesis Anscombes objection is to limit the use of such words as ought should needs and most She asserts that there are two uses for such words being either ordinary or objectionable In the ordinary sense of the specific case ought the word is indispensable The meaning of this sense of the word is that if one ought to do something then without doing so such a result will minimize happiness for a certain person Conversely the objectionable sense of the word is the moral sense in which a verdict is implied on the notion in question without support of a conceptual framework to make the notion of such a verdict coherent In other words this seems to infer that implications to legality of any sort whether it be the government or divine law are objectionable to Anscombe and therefore should be eradicated from our terminology In parts two and three Mr Richter presents criticisms of the thesis based on Kurt Baier and Peter Winch respectively Kurt Baier seems to be less interesting on Mr Richters list of priority to objecting Anscombes argument but he does state his conclusion before proceeding to part three I conclude that Anscombes arguments do not succeed
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