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Philosophical Problems in the Contemporary World

Edited By Dilek Arlı Çil and Nihal Petek Boyaci

The social and technological developments, social movements, scientific discoveries, economic growth or diseconomies give rise to many problems for human beings. Many disciplines such as economics, political science, architecture, sociology and psychology discuss these problems and offer solutions from different perspectives. Philosophy has its own way of dealing with these problems. As opposed to the common belief, philosophy does not only deal with ideals independently of what is going on in real life. The problems of the contemporary philosophy are also the problems of the contemporary world. For this reason, this book aims to present and discuss certain philosophical problems in the contemporary world and to suggest solutions to them.

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An Inquiry Concerning the Philosophical Foundations of Ethical Subjectivism

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Introduction

During the philosophy classes I have been teaching recently, I have observed that the arguments claiming that no agreement can be reached upon the concepts which determine our value judgments that include the concepts such as good, bad, beautiful, ugly etc., and thus, the evaluations including these concepts can be entirely subjective are very common among the students. Surely, I believe that this situation (despite partially) has developed in parallel with the spiritual structure of our age.2 In this regard, another observation is related to the confusion of the concepts such as subjectivism, relativism, objectivism etc. from time to time or failing to point out the similarities and differences between the concepts clearly. In this framework, it should be emphasized that this study has emerged with highly practical concerns. The main aim of this study, which intends to resolve these concerns, is to scrutinize the philosophical tradition known as ethical subjectivism. What is intended to refer hereby ethical subjectivism is simple subjectivism. In other words, emotivism3, one of the contemporary versions of ethical subjectivism, will not be elaborated, but the basic arguments of classical subjectivism will be analyzed in this study. Firstly, the assumptions of ethical subjectivism will be explained; then the origin of this tradition in the model of David Hume’s morality will be displayed, and finally a detailed assessment will be conducted within the context of the critiques of subjectivism.

Basic Discourse of Ethical Subjectivism

Ethical subjectivism is the...

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