1 Thing Today

I'm Sean Johnson, the founder of Snooty Monkey. Each day I post 1 thing I learned.

Moore’s Naturalistic Fallacy

G.E. Moore’s naturalistic fallacy is related to, but not the same as, Hume’s law. According to Moore, in Principia Ethica, you succumb to the naturalistic fallacy when you define what is good (or bad) in natural terms. That is, when you suggest that what is good is what is pleasant to people, or what makes people happy, or removes pain, etc.

While the quality of goodness and other natural qualities may describe the same thing, a cure for cancer is both life preserving and good, it is a fallacy to suggest that the quality of life preserving and the quality of goodness are the same.

According to Moore goodness is ineffable. Since it’s not a natural property, it can’t be synonymous with any natural properties. This is directly opposed to the ethical naturalism of thinkers like Sam Harris, which attempts to define morality with natural properties.


Hume’s law, is-ought problem, Hume’s guillotine

Hume’s Law is a name for the is-ought problem, which is the problem of how to make the logical transition from facts about the world (descriptive statements about what is) to moral statements (prescriptive statements about what ought or ought not be done).

This problem has been discussed in less clear form since antiquity, and little accepted progress has been made on this problem since Hume’s careful formulation in the 18th century. 

It’s also called Hume’s Guillotine.

(Source: rationalwiki.org)


Dyad, Dyadic

dyad is two people, the smallest social group possible. 

"The rape/victim dyad is organized around the cultural power that men have and women do not.”

Many other fields besides sociology use the word dyad. For example, it’s 2 students working together in education, 2 notes sounding together in music, and a pair of chromatids in biology.

(Source: wordnik.com)



chromatid is one half, a strand, of a duplicated chromosome pair, joined to its sister chromatid by a centromere. Both chromatids are identical (homozygous), unless there are small differences due to mutation. The sister chromatids separate during cell division to become chromosomes.

Chromatid diagram



Han is an emotion, unique to the Korean culture. It is a feeling of undifferentiated, undirected oppression, resentment and injustice. It develops not from a direct personal experience, but is instead inherited from the culture.

Han has no truly accurate direct translation into other languages because it is contextual to Korea. In this sense, it is similar to how we have no word for ennui in English, so we use the French.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Nonce word

nonce word is a word created for one time use, often in advertising, pop culture, or fictional dialogue. Nonce words have to convey their own meaning, which they often due through their sound, or their similarity to other words.

Usually they are used just once, but sometimes they catch on and become part of the language. Some examples of nonce words that have caught on are: quark, panjandrum and nincompoop.

A nonce word is similar to a neologism, but without the deliberate intent to create a new, lasting word.

(Source: Wikipedia)



panjandrum is both fun to say, and a powerful person that is overbearing, pretentious and self-important.

And busy Americans have never been fussy about the qualifications of even the most exotic panjandrum.”

The Grand Panjandrum was a character of Samuel Foote in the 18th century.

(Source: wordnik.com)



Extirpate means to root out and destroy completely. Also used in medicine to mean to remove by surgery.

Despite many noble attempts, it doesn’t seem possible to extirpate all sources of generational poverty.

From the Latin, exstipare, to root out.

(Source: wordnik.com)



The fisher is a forest dwelling North American weasel with the majority of their population in Canada.

Fisher range

They are non-discriminating omnivorous predators, that remain solo except for breeding, which features an unusually long one year gestation.

Able to climb trees when needed, the fisher is most comfortable on the forest floor.

Leaping fisher

Fishers have been threatened due to fur trapping and have been commercially raised for their pelts at times.

(Source: Wikipedia)



codicil is a supplement or appendix to a legal document, especially a will.

I suggest you add a codicil in the event your death is by foul play.

From the Latin codicillus, a form of codex, meaning tablet.

(Source: wordnik.com)



Chiaroscuro is use of especially bold contrasts between light and shade in a work of visual art.


It also has more specialized meaning in the art world. A wood cut picture made from different blocks of wood to provide different colors is a chiaroscuro. A monochromatic picture made up of all shades of the same color is also called a chiaroscuro.

It comes from Italian, chiaro, meaning light and, oscuro, meaning dark.

(Source: Wikipedia)


King Canute, King Cnut

"Who does he think he is - King Canute?"

King Canute was an 11th Century King of England (and Viking) mostly remembered for the tale that he was so convinced of his divine rule that he commanded the waves not to break upon the shore.

When the waves continued to come in he is said to have pronounced the power of all earthly kings as empty and only the king of the heavens as worthy.

While we use the phrase, “King Canute”, to ridicule someone deluded about their own power, it was the opposite with King Canute. It’s believed the intent of his commandment to the waves was to show his court how powerless he was.

King Canute holding back the waves

(Source: BBC)