The definition of ‘good’ on Russel’s view

Defining ‘Good’

The definition of ‘good’ on Russel’s view is the beginning of problems in ethics. He argues that the definition of ‘good’ precedes ethics making individuals act in a manner they believe establishes much good as possible. Discussion on identifying the meaning of goodness has been an argument among various scholars. Moore argues on the non-existence of natural property in goodness. As a result of Moore’s influence on Russel, there is the conditioning of good and bad sate on natural features. Various communities have distinct views on good and bad character; for example, the African societies conceptualize good and bad based on social relations, attitude, and behavioral patterns. While there is a distinct description of ‘good’ among philosophers, its definition is possible with the association of ethical values.

According to Gyeke, ethics in philosophy associate understanding of morality as a set of norms, social rules, and principles intended to guide an individual’s conduct in a community. The author further clarifies that ethics features an individual’s behavior, presuppositions, and beliefs on right and wrong. Thus, the emergence of human principles and rules in different societies respond to multiple needs, interests, and purposes. Ethics advocates morality, which, according to the author, is the rational assessment of the meaning and justification of moral claims. Thus, it determines the good or evil in an individual’s actions. Moral ethics is further into three distinct forms, including applied, normative, and metaethics. Applied ethics evaluates particular morals, such as capital punishment and abortion. Normative ethics attempts to determine right or wrong by examining moral standards. Metaethics assesses the nature of moral claims and arguments.

            Bertrand Russel had a different opinion on the definition of good. He argues that most actions on ethics suffer the urge from the system promoted by logical confusion outraging common sense. As such, he identifies various theories on different chapters, such as naturalistic ethics, metaphysical ethics, and ethics concerning conduct on determining the meaning of good. According to naturalistic ethics, good things are specific objects. Thus, naturalistic ethic theories discuss good in its usual indefinable sense. The author clarifies that evolutionist ethics suggests the meaning of ‘good’ as more evolved based on practical approval. In addition to this, Russel identifies pleasure as the goodness of enjoyment. Also, metaphysical connect reality to goodness on the naturalistic fallacy scope. However, Russel claims the establishment of an overview is impossible in this case.

            Furthermore, Russel identifies actions that ought to be done for better results conflicting with morals. As a result, he suggests the moral principle restricting individuals from committing murder is untrue to Mr. Moore’s definition.  As such, the author explains that individuals should not do what will have the best results, but instead, what individuals think will have the best results. As to this, the author contradicts by stating that it is impossible to determine every outcome of an individual’s actions. Therefore, there is a need for guidelines on judgment on an individual’s activity. Russel defines virtue as the usual disposition to undertaking actions with the best result; hence they have high intrinsic goodness.

 Additionally, Russel classifies things considered as good to contain enumeration, comparison, and analysis. The author argues that common sense acknowledges most consequences of individuals’ actions despite the difference in connection of results to ethics. Russel further points out Mr. Moore’s remarks on judging intrinsic value. As to this, he suggests that the application of tests determines human as knowledgeable on enjoying the pleasure and beautiful objects. This is accountable for esthetic enjoyment belief.  According to the view, the goodness of an object does not only rely on the perception but also suitable emotion. For example, the acknowledgment of love of God relies entirely on belief and is undermined by unbelief. Therefore, Russel suggests that on recognition of the beautiful qualities of an object, there is a need to recognizing its existence, which is imperative in defining good or bad character. 

            General, ‘good’ is indefinable. Primarily, ‘good’, combines with the ethical aspects. As to this, there is an understanding of morality as a set of norms, social rules, and principles intended to guide an individual’s conduct in a community. Ethics influences an individual’s manner, presuppositions, and beliefs right or wrong. This leads to the exploitation of various distinct theories, including naturalistic and metaphysical ethics, which have a different conceptualization of ‘good’. For example, naturalistic ethics identifies good as a specific object. Besides, Russel identifies actions that ought to be done for better results conflicting morals. As such, through virtues guiding actions undertaken with intrinsic good, individuals should do what they think will have the best results. Also, there is an application of tests on determining how humans are knowledgeable about enjoying the pleasure and beautiful features of an object. As such esthetic belief clarifies the goodness of objects does not rely on the perception but suitable emotion.

Works cited

Bertrand Russell, “The Meaning of Good,” The Independent Review 2 (Mar 1904), 328-33 Review of G.E. Moore, Principia Ethica

Gyekye, Kwame. African ethics, the stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Fall 2011 edition). Retrieved fromhttps://plato.stanford.edu/entries/african-ethics/

Pigden, Charles. Russell’s Moral Philosophy, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2018 Edition). Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/russell-moral/

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