Page:Ethics (Moore 1912).djvu/145

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145
MORAL JUDGMENTS

this type are the next which I wish to consider.

Those who have held some theory of this type have, I think, generally held that what we mean by calling an action right or wrong is not that the non-human being in question has or has not some feeling towards actions of the class to which it belongs, but that it has or has not towards them one of the mental attitudes which we call willing or commanding or forbidding; a kind of mental attitude with which we are all familiar, and which is not generally classed under the head of feelings, but under a quite separate head. To forbid actions of a certain class is the same thing as to will or command that they should not be done. And the view generally held is, I think, that to say that an action ought to be done, is the same thing as to say that it belongs to a class which the non-human being wills or commands; to say that it is right, is to say that it belongs to a class which the non-human being does not forbid; and to say that it is wrong or ought not to be done is to say that it belongs to a class which the non-human being does forbid. All assertions about right