Tag Archives: goodness

Drew McDermott

In this paper I have criticized AI researchers very harshly. Let me express my faith that people in other fields would, on inspection, be found to suffer from equally bad faults. Most AI workers are responsible people who are aware of the pitfalls of a difficult field and produce good work in spite of them. However, to say anything good about anyone is beyond the scope of this paper.

Drew McDermott, ‘Artificial Intelligence Meets Natural Stupidity’, CM SIGART Bulletin, no. 57 (April, 1976), p. 9

John McTaggart

Nothing is true merely because it is good. Nothing is good merely because it is true. To argue that a thing must be because it ought to be is the last and worst degree of spiritual rebellion–claiming for our ideals the reality of fact. To argue, on the other hand, that a thing must be good because it is true, is the last and worst degree of spiritual servility, which ignores the right and the duty inherent in our possession of ideas–the right and the duty to judge and, if necessary, to condemn the whole universe by the highest standard we can find in our own nature.

John McTaggart, ‘The Necessity of Dogma’, International Journal of Ethics, vol. 5, no. 2 (January, 1895), p. 150

G. E. Moore

My dear sirs, what we want to know from you as ethical teachers, is not how people use a word; it is not even, what kind of actions they approve, which the use of this word ‘good’ may certainly imply: what we want to know is simply what is good.

G. E. Moore, Principia Ethica, Cambridge, 1903, chap. 1, sect. 11