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Paper   IPM / Philosophy / 17603
School of Analytic Philosophy
  Title:   Absolute Goodness Defended
  Author(s):  Seyyed Abbas Kazemi
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Journal of Value Inquiry
  Year:  2023
  Supported by:  IPM
In her book, Normativity, Judith Thomson claims that "good" is an attributive adjective with no predicative uses. She further concludes that if this is true then the property of absolute goodness or goodness simpliciter does not exist. This claim has serious ramifications for ethics. For example, it challenges the very intelligibility of standard consequentialism which demands the maximization of what is good. It is then no surprise that her Argument has come under attack from many angles. In Is anything just plain good? Mahrad Almotahari and Adam Hosein concede the force of some of these objections but claim that they have a modified Thomsonian argument that establishes the claims of Thomson's argument but does not share its defects. In this paper, I will first introduce Thomson's argument and an important objection to it. I will then introduce the argument by Almotahari and Hosein, and a response to it by Thomas Byrne. I will show that Byrne's response fails. Finally, I will put forward my own objection to Almotahari and Hosein's argument and conclude by some remarks on how my perspective on this debate is different from theirs.

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