Multilingual AI translation:

Humes’ is-ought problem

The is–ought problem, as articulated by the Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume, arises when one makes claims about what ought to be that are based solely on statements about what is. Hume found that there seems to be a significant difference between descriptive or positive statements (about what is) and prescriptive or normative statements (about what ought to be), and that it is not obvious how one can coherently move from descriptive statements to prescriptive ones. Hume’s law or Hume’s guillotine, is the thesis that, if a reasoner only has access to non-moral and non-evaluative factual premises, the reasoner cannot logically infer the truth of moral statements.

A similar view is defended by G. E. Moore‘s open-question argument, intended to refute any identification of moral properties with natural properties. This so-called naturalistic fallacy stands in contrast to the views of ethical naturalists.

The is–ought problem is closely related to the fact–value distinction in epistemology.


Further References

Mooya, M.. (2022). Hume’s guillotine – the ‘is-ought’ problem in property valuation theory. Journal of Property Research

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/09599916.2021.1918222
DOI URL
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Spielthenner, G.. (2017). The Is-Ought Problem in Practical Ethics. HEC Forum

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/s10730-016-9318-8
DOI URL
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Hapla, M.. (2020). Justification of human rights and is-ought problem. Casopis pro Pravni Vedu a Praxi

Plain numerical DOI: 10.5817/CPVP2020-1-3
DOI URL
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Pigden, C.. (2001). The Is-Ought Problem: An Investigation in Philosophical Logic. Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/713659291
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Iwasa, N.. (2011). Sentimentalism and the is-ought problem. Croatian Journal of Philosophy
de Vries, R.. (2011). The Uses and Abuses of Moral Theory in Bioethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/s10677-011-9290-y
DOI URL
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Sisk, B. A., Mozersky, J., Antes, A. L., & DuBois, J. M.. (2020). The “Ought-Is” Problem: An Implementation Science Framework for Translating Ethical Norms Into Practice. American Journal of Bioethics

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/15265161.2020.1730483
DOI URL
directSciHub download

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