Allan Ramsay, David Hume, 1711 - 1776. Historian and philosopher

What is
Had ought
To wash

David Hume’s impossible postulation…

“In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when all of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, ’tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. But as authors do not commonly use this precaution, I shall presume to recommend it to the readers; and am persuaded, that this small attention would subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason”

…is summed up in Western ethics as ‘Hume’s guillotine’ or the ‘ought-is problem.’ Now, forgive my naiveté when faced with this immutable Western dilemma of philosophy where the ‘ought-is problem‘ is posed…

“how, exactly can an “ought” be derived from an “is”? The question, prompted by Hume’s small paragraph, has become one of the central questions of ethical theory”

…as it occurs in my small universe if my ass IS dirty I had OUGHT to wash it. Correct? Or, if it is in the natural order of things one were to have a dirty ass as a matter of fact, expectation and normalcy, and those hairy-assed little shit-balls, quaintly known as ‘dingle-berries’ in the vulgar tongue, must endure .. would it be a violation of IS to pull them out? Had one OUGHT *NOT* do that? What I’m getting at is, there was this time during my progressing baldness I had my head waxed to remove what amounted to an annoying residual fuzz. Now, it’d never occurred to me (previous to faced with Hume’s ‘ought-is problem’) hairy people OUGHT to have an ass-wax-job, but now this seems a logical progression from dirty ass as a result of hairy ass-crack, or that is an IS to an OUGHT.


Perverts of Western Philosophy

The Satires