Essay on Definition of “Good” Under Ethical Matters

Published: 2021/11/09
Number of words: 1562

Good is a word that is commonly used among people in society. However, dissecting the meaning and detailed aspects of the use of this word brings forth some other uncertain nature of the word. Moore (2013) argued that “good” is a generally indefinable word. First and foremost, the first argument on the definition of “good” as a word is the general definition that is portrayed by most of the people in the society. It is well established that this is an idea that is brought forth by the fact that “good” as a word can be used to define objects that are either bad or good. This shows that the word cannot be defined effectively by philosophers. According to philosophy, good cannot be considered only the objects that give pleasure or are desired. A Person may refer to an object as a good object while it is not desirable by several people and it is generally harmful. Therefore, Moore (2013) argued that “good” is generally synthetic and never analytical. This brings forth the concept of the uncertainty of this word and the fact that this is a word that has to be considered as of great challenge in as per philosophical concepts.

From the arguments by Moore (2013), it was brought out that “good” can be considered a concept that cannot be defined. That is people just know it and it is in their synthetic memory just like the color yellow. If one is asked what is yellow, the best answer that they can give is that yellow is just yellow, no further definitions. The definition of words is a complicated endeavor that entails numerous actions. First and foremost, it is well established that a word is defined based on numerous aspects. For example, one can define a horse based on the characteristics that the horse has that is it is an animal with four legs, and so on. From this example, it can be seen that a definition of a word is linked to the characters that can be enumerated on the object that is referred to. Reflecting on the general definitions, they are just characters that one perceives as far as the object is concerned. This is the case in all words that can be defined. A major definition of objects has to be done based on the perceived qualities of the object. However, this is not the case in defining “good” as a word.

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It is well documented that “good” is an adjective. In ethics, the definition of this word is very important in outlining the nature of some objects in terms of philosophical arguments. However, based on the general perception of the word “good”, it can be argued that this is a word that can be defined in several ways by the use of philosophical paradigms. Addressing the definition of this word has therefore to ensure that the definition covers some important aspects such as the addressing of that to which the adjective applies or will always apply. Besides that, the definition has to address an aspect that is different from the adjective itself. This is a common aspect of most of the definitions. It is well established that it is not correct to define a word by itself. An example is defining a “horse” as “an animal that has the characteristics of a horse”. From this definition, it can be argued that this definition is definitely not conclusive and therefore this is not a definition that can be used in explaining concepts.

In defining “good” as a word, there are no characteristics that can be used in defining the parameters of the object in question rather the available definitions by different scholars have outlined that the attar of the objects that people refer to as good offers differ in quality. In the real world, it can be argued that good is a word that cannot be defined because it has no parts and is simple. It is well established that the definition of any word is always by scrutiny and detailed analysis. This means that a word that has no parts is hard to define. This is the kind of quality that “good” as a word project. It can be seen that the word cannot be defined as it has no specific definition or qualities. Therefore, by analyzing a definite numerical value or reflection in a word, one can come up with a definite explanation of a word.

Considering some forms of definitions, it is evident that a word or an object can be defined by its equivalent. This is because one may not be able to find the meaning of one word but be able to analyses the meaning of another word. As a result, explaining the other object based on another one becomes easy and people can thus understand. Therefore, this is an aspect that is also common in the definition of both words and objects. Nevertheless, this is a concept that still brings problems when it comes to defining “good” as a word. It is well documented that all kinds of things that are regarded as good are always something else. This is a concept that brings forth the concept of defining an object using another object’s qualities. However, philosophy emphasizes defining all the aspects including the characters of the other nature. Therefore, under this parameter, it can be argued that defining “good” as a word still becomes a tricky quest. This is a concept that is always seen in the different perceptions of people about the term “good”.

Under the concepts of defining an object based on the definition of other objects, the concept of defining “good” as a word is of grave importance in society. One of the greatest examples as outlined by Moore (2013) is when someone claims that he or she is pleased. This is a state that can mean several things. This statement brings forth the fact that the person has a good feeling about an event or object. However, defining the extent of pleasure as well as the nature of the pleasure is not possible. However, one can say that he has a pleasure that is similar to the one that is given by another certain action. In this explanation, someone who has had the experience from the other action is always capable of analyzing the exact feeling that the person with pleasure has. On the other hand, one does not have to have experience from the other referred object. Nevertheless, one cannot be able to outline how good pleasure is and this still brings forth the fact that “good” cannot be defined exclusively by the people.

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Generally, the definition of the word good is mainly linked to the concept of desire. It can be argued that a good can be defined as an object that one desires to desire. Nevertheless, this is an object that differs from one person to another. The object has to be based on some important arguments for them to be able to be argued conclusively. People arguing on whether something is good or not may, therefore, end up having a pointless argument as the action or object may be good and not good at the same time depending on different aspects. The concept of intrinsic value and worth is of great importance when attempting to define the word “good”. As a result, basing the arguments on the concepts of intrinsic value and worth, people may be able to define “good” but rule out the argument of different other parameters. Nevertheless, for better judgment and reasoning, people have to consider all the parameters when considering the definition of this word. As a result, this problem will be solved in society in general.

Studies have outlined the importance of word definition in the past. This is a common concept in society especially when it comes to philosophical concepts. However, Moore (2013) argued that one of the common problems in the definition of the word is the definition of “good”. Basing the argument on different word definition parameters as per the rule of definition, it is well established that word definition can be done based on prospects such as linking the word with other common objects apart from the one that the word represents. This is a concept that can be used in defying “good” as a word. Nevertheless, the definition of good, even under this rule still brings forth an inconclusive definition of the word. On the other hand, the definition of “good” has to be done based on several aspects. Generally, it can be argued that good can be defined as an object that we dire to desire. However, this is also an inconclusive definition of the word. Therefore, about the ethical standards and concepts, defining the concept of good has to be accompanied by different scrutiny and analysis. The definition of this word under ethical concepts has to ensure that all the needed parameters are considered. It can be argued that this is a word that has no conclusive definition but one can use different word definition paradigms to explain it to another party.


Moore, G. E. (2013). The Subject Matter of Ethics. Ethical Theory: An Anthology, Second Edition. Edited by Russ Shafer-Landau. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Published 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 49 – 53

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