+0
Hi MrP, how’s it going? Finally, one of my papers was accepted for publication, but the referee suggested that I should simplify “some of the over wrought grammatical constructions”.

1) “One of the views most commonly adopted by contemporary ethical skepticism is the one which denies that moral values or moral facts form part of the objective world. The most prominent defender of this view has been J. L. Mackie, who in his influential book Ethics defines his ethical skepticism as the negative stance which says…”

2) “J. Annas has affirmed that the kind of contemporary ethical skepticism which denies the existence of objective moral values is essentially local, which means that it is based upon a worldview that is itself immune to skepticism. R. Bett, on the contrary, has objected that this is not a sine qua non for espousing that type of ethical skepticism. My purpose in this paper is to attempt to show that Bett’s argument does not succeed in proving that the skeptical position in question is not by nature local.”

3) “I believe that an analysis of this debate is still relevant, because it will allow us to identify definitively the exact theoretical underpinnings of the view that morality has no objective validity."

4) “Since it is Annas’ and Bett’s use, I shall employ the label ‘contemporary ethical skepticism’ to refer specifically to ontological ethical skepticism.”

5) “I shall begin by presenting Annas’ interpretation of the local character of contemporary ethical skepticism. Then, I shall expound Bett’s argument against it.”

6) “Taking Mackie’s ethical skepticism as the starting point of her argumentation, Annas claims that the denial of the existence of objective moral values is based on the idea that their existence would come into conflict with the certain knowledge one possesses in other areas. Within this frame, Annas refers to two common lines of argumentation put forward by contemporary ethical skepticism. The first refers to…”

7) “He points out that these skeptics regard science as a kind of knowledge that can explain much more efficaciously the facts which morality claims to account for.”

8) “Of course, epistemological ethical skepticism is implied by ontological ethical skepticism (but not the other way round). For, if there are no objective moral values, all moral judgments are false (Mackie’s ‘error theory’) and, hence, there can be no moral knowledge and no justified moral beliefs.”

10) “Other authors have followed Mackie in defining their ethical skepticism.”

11) “From the Pyrrhonean stance described in the previous section, contemporary ethical skepticism cannot be deemed an authentic form of skepticism, but rather a ‘dogmatic’ position.”

12) “The Pyrrhonist does not assert that each of the issues about which he suspends judgment is in itself undecidable, but, on the contrary, he continues to investigate the questions for which he has not as yet found any answer. Neither does he affirm that what he says is really as he says, but for example he makes it clear that when he employs the term ‘is’, it must be understood not in the sense of what is actually the case, but in the sense of ‘appears’”.

13) “More precisely, the Pyrrhonist finds a) an undecidable disagreement between ethical doctrines which have differing views about what the good, the bad, and the indifferent are, or about what things these notions apply to, and b) an undecidable disagreement between the doctrines which assert that things are good, bad, or indifferent by nature, and those that deny this.”

14) “In this section, I shall briefly describe the ethical skepticism found in Sextus Empiricus’ work.”

15) “On the other hand, it is possible that he retains the notion of an objective reality as coherent, but denies that…”

16) “Hence, once again, if the point of view which objectively describes the world were undermined, the contrast with morality would vanish and ethical skepticism would lose its foundation.”

17) “But, on the other, it may be argued that even though science has not been completely capable of providing an objective knowledge of reality, its method can ensure such knowledge to a greater extent than morality.”

18) “These facts determine that one cannot talk of progress or accumulation of knowledge, in contrast to what happens in other areas.”

Thank you in advance. Cheers, Sextus
Comments  
Congratulations! Very good news indeed.

Hmm. The referee must have a short attention span. Will consider and re-post.

Have you seen our new Spanish forum, by the way?

See you later,

MrP
Hi MrP.

Actually, I've tried to improve the style in general. And some of the sentences are rewritten taking into account the referee's remarks (for him, they make sense, but they were hard to read or follow).

And yes, I took a look at the Spanish forum and tried to post, but then I realized I had to register there too. Perhaps I'll do it later.

All best,

Sextus
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hello Sextus

Here are my efforts:

1) "It is a commonplace of contemporary ethical skepticism that moral values and moral facts do not form part of the objective world. The leading proponent of this view is J. L. Mackie, who in his influential book Ethics defines his ethical skepticism as the negative stance which says…"

2) "J. Annas has affirmed that the kind of contemporary ethical skepticism which denies the existence of objective moral values is essentially local. In other words, it is based upon a worldview that is itself immune to skepticism. R. Bett, on the contrary, has objected that this [what does "this" refer to here?] is not a sine qua non for espousing that type of ethical skepticism. My purpose in this paper is to show that Bett's argument fails to demonstrate that the skeptical position in question is not by nature local."
3) "I believe that an analysis of this debate is still relevant, because it will allow us to identify the exact theoretical underpinnings of the view that morality has no objective validity."

4) Fine.

5) "I shall begin by presenting Annas' interpretation of the local character of contemporary ethical skepticism. Then I shall expound Bett's argument against it."

6) "Taking Mackie's ethical skepticism as the starting point of her argumentation, Annas claims that the denial of the existence of objective moral values is based on the idea that their existence would conflict with the certain knowledge one possesses in other areas. Within this frame, Annas refers to two common lines of argumentation advanced by contemporary ethical skepticism. The first refers to…"

7) "He points out that these skeptics regard science as a kind of knowledge that can explain much more effectively the facts which morality claims to account for."

8) "Of course, epistemological ethical skepticism is implied by ontological ethical skepticism (but not vice versa). For if there are no objective moral values, all moral judgments are false (Mackie's 'error theory'). Hence there can be no moral knowledge and no justification for moral beliefs."

10) "Other authors have followed Mackie in defining their ethical skepticism." [This seems incomplete.]

11) "From the Pyrrhonean stance described in the previous section, contemporary ethical skepticism cannot be considered an authentic form of scepticism; rather, it is a 'dogmatic' position."

12) "The Pyrrhonist does not assert that each of the issues about which he suspends judgment is in itself undecidable. On the contrary, he continues to investigate the questions for which he has not as yet found any answer. Nor does he affirm that things are as he says they are; he makes it clear that when he employs the term 'is', for instance, it must be understood not in the sense of what 'is', but what 'appears' to be the case.

13) "More precisely, the Pyrrhonist finds a) an undecidable disagreement between ethical doctrines which have differing views about what the good, the bad, and the indifferent are, or about what things these notions apply to; and b) an undecidable disagreement between the doctrines which assert that things are good, bad, or indifferent by nature, and those that deny this."

14) "In this section, I shall briefly describe the ethical skepticism found in Sextus Empiricus' work."

15) "On the other hand, it is possible that he retains the notion that a coherent objective reality exists, but denies that…"

16) "Hence, once again, if the point of view which objectively describes the world were undermined, the contrast with morality would vanish and ethical skepticism would lose its foundation."

17) "But, on the other (hand), it may be argued that even though science has not been entirely successful in providing an objective knowledge of reality, its method can ensure such knowledge to a greater extent than morality."

18) Ok.

See you later,

MrP
Hi MrP. Many thanks for your "efforts". I rephrased some of the sentences.

1) "One of the most common forms [versions?] of contemporary ethical skepticism denies that moral values or moral facts form part of the objective world. The leading proponent of this view is J. L. Mackie, who defines his ethical skepticism as..."

Here I had wrote “has been J. L. Mackie” because the book I quote is from 1977 and he’s dead, but I suppose it’s ok anyway.

2) "J. Annas has affirmed that the kind of contemporary ethical skepticism which denies the existence of objective moral values is essentially local; this means that it is based upon a worldview that is itself immune to skepticism. R. Bett, on the contrary, has objected that being non-skeptical about some conception of reality is not a sine qua non for espousing that type of ethical skepticism."

3) "I believe that an analysis of this debate is still relevant, because I hope it will allow us to identify more clearly the theoretical underpinnings of the view that morality has no objective validity – a view quite common nowadays." (I know this doesn’t sound quite right, but I can’t figure out how to put it).

8) "Of course, epistemological ethical skepticism is implied by ontological ethical skepticism (but not vice versa). For if there are no objective moral values, all moral judgments are false (Mackie's 'error theory'), and therefore there can be no moral knowledge and no justification for moral beliefs." (Does “vice versa” goes in italics in English?).

10) "Other authors have adopted Mackie’s definition of ethical skepticism. Francis S. tells us…"

12) "Nor does he affirm that things are as he says they are; he makes it clear that when he employs the term 'is' (esti), for instance, it must be understood not in the sense of what is actually the case, but in the sense of what 'appears' (phainetai) to be so.”

15) "On the other hand, it is possible that he considers that the notion of an objective reality does make sense, but denies that…"

In the case of the following two sentences, you left them unchanged. So they’re ok?:

14) "In this section, I shall briefly describe the ethical skepticism found in Sextus Empiricus' work."

16) "Hence, once again, if the point of view which objectively describes the world were undermined, the contrast with morality would vanish and ethical skepticism would lose its foundation."

I take the freedom to write other doubts I have:

a) “To accomplish this, it will be of help to consider the Pyrrhonean attitude towards morality expounded in Sextus Empiricus’ work.”

b) “Within this frame, Annas refers to two common lines of argumentation advanced by contemporary ethical skepticism. The first refers to the permanent disagreement which exists in morality and the impossibility of resolving it in a satisfactory way. These facts determine that one cannot talk of progress or accumulation of knowledge, in contrast to what happens in other areas.”

c) “This adoption of science as a paradigm of knowledge, with which morality is contrasted, can take two forms. On the one hand, it is possible to affirm that science has succeeded in apprehending what the world is like in its real nature.”

d) “The other line of argumentation which leads, according to Annas, to the denial of the existence of objective moral values does not refer, unlike the previous one, to the state of ethical investigation, but to our conception of its subject-matter. This second perspective consists in affirming that those values do not exist independently of us, since they are just projections of ours.”

e) “Hence, the view that Bett rejects is the one which asserts that contemporary skepticism about morality rests on the adoption of a non-skeptical attitude towards some other domain, and not necessarily towards science.”

f) “The Pyrrhonist neither affirms nor denies the existence of objective moral values, since in ethics, as in all other areas, he finds conflicts between incompatible arguments which appear to him to be of equal force, so that the balance cannot be tipped in favor of any of the sides.

g) “He would say that the arguments against morality put forward on the basis of the worldview provided by science or common sense appear to him to be equal in force to those advanced by the ethical realist, and hence that he must suspend judgment about the existence of objective moral values. On the contrary, the contemporary ethical skeptic does believe that the arguments put forward against the existence of objective moral values are stronger than those which purport to prove their existence.”

h) “Note that even though the person that the Pyrrhonist calls ‘dogmatist’ is arrogant and is convinced that his doctrines cannot be false, he does not prefer authority to arguments and evidence, but bases his assertions upon reasoned theories.”

Many thanks in advance,

Sextus
Hello Sextus

1) Yes, "forms" is fine. To avoid repeating it, you could say "are part".

2) Fine!

3) I would omit "I hope" and add "that is" after "view".

8) Fine - yes, italics usually for vice versa.

10) Fine.

12) Yes, fine!

15) Fine!

14) Yes, that sounds fine.

16) I would probably say "described", on second thoughts, for the sake of consonance.

Back soon with A to H.

See you,

MrP
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hello again Sextus

a) “To accomplish this, it will be useful to consider the Pyrrhonean attitude towards morality as expounded in Sextus Empiricus’ work.”

b) "...in contrast to what happens in other areas.” ] I'm not sure how this last part fits.

c) Fine.

d) Fine; but it took a number of readings to grasp.

e) Fine, though difficult out of context.

f) Tricky; a balance only has two sides. "...of either side"?

g) Fine.

h) Difficult without context; but maybe: “Note that even though the person that the Pyrrhonist calls ‘the Dogmatist’ is somewhat arrogant, and convinced that his doctrines cannot be false, he does not prefer authority to arguments and evidence, but bases his assertions upon reasoned theories.”

MrP
Hello MrP. Many thanks for your suggestions, which were very useful. I have changed several things in some of my sentences, so as to make them more intelligible:

1) “He makes it clear that when he employs the term ‘is’ (esti), for instance, it must be understood not in the sense of ‘really is’, but in the sense of ‘appears’ (phainetai). Thus, if he says ‘I think pity is good’, what he means is ‘Pity appears good to me’”.

2) You pointed out that I should omit the comma after ‘then’ when saying “Then I shall expound the argument that…”. Should I also omit it in when using ‘next’: “Next, I shall expound the argument that…”?

3) “Hence, once again, if the point of view which objectively describes the world were undermined, the contrast with morality would vanish and ethical skepticism would lose its foundation.”

In this case you suggested that I should employ ‘described’ for the sake of consonance. But it is true or it is a fact that there is such a point of view. Or perhaps it is a very subtle grammar rule which I ignore.

4) “Since it is Annas’ and Bett’s use, I shall employ the label ‘contemporary ethical skepticism’ to refer specifically to ontological ethical skepticism. Actually, Annas and Bett use the label ‘modern moral scepticism’”.

I don’t know if “actually” is ok or I should instead use “strictly speaking” or something like this.

5) “Within this frame, Annas refers to two common lines of argumentation advanced by contemporary ethical skepticism. The first springs from the widespread and permanent moral disagreements and the impossibility of resolving them in a satisfactory way. These facts determine that one cannot talk of progress or accumulation of knowledge, in contrast to what happens in other domains of inquiry. Annas points out that the empirical sciences are taken in this case as a model, since…”

6) “The other line of argumentation which leads to the denial of the existence of objective moral values does not arise, unlike the previous one, from the state of ethical investigation, but from our conception of its subject-matter. This second perspective consists in affirming that those values do not exist independently of us, since they are just projections of ours.”

See you,

Sextus
Hello Sextus

1) Very clear!

2) Oddly enough, I would probably keep the comma after "next".

3) "Describes" and "described" are both fine; "describes" for the reason you give, and "described" as a kind of "courtesy hypothetical", for the sake of consonance. I would usually choose the latter; but many native speakers are uncomfortable with this usage.

4) Maybe: "...skepticism; though strictly speaking, Annas..."

5) “Within this frame, Annas refers to two common lines of argumentation advanced by contemporary ethical skepticism. The first springs from the widespread and permanent moral disagreements [about -- ?] and the impossibility of resolving them in a satisfactory way. These facts determine that one cannot talk of progress or accumulation of knowledge, in contrast with what happens in other domains of inquiry. Annas points out that the empirical sciences are taken in this case as a model, since…”

6) I'm not sure about the last phrase; "since they are merely our projections"?

MrP
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.