The great bulk of what we are pleased to deem knowledge comes to us via the words of others. But such knowledge is limited to (mere) information or plain fact.Theoretical, Ethical and Aesthetic discourse are three regions in which, even when we accept the words of others, we transmit content with what I dub prefaces, not flatly, not in our own voice. Explanation of this is suggested: in these regions assertions claim truth without claiming knowledge. So fact-theory and fact-value differ (...) from plain fact for similar reasons, reasons which alleviate the urge to downgrade ethical discourse to the expressive or prescriptive. (shrink)
The paper suggests a revival of the 17th century distinction between truths of reason and truths of fact. Some points are made which seem to me show it obviously false that a fact is merely a true proposition. Truths of fact, contingent truths, are rightly seen as corresponding to facts. Other truths, including ethical truths of right and wrong are, if true, necessarily true. In general, necessarily ture statements, including those of mathematics are wrongly construed as factual. Ethics and aesthetics, (...) it is maintained, can be construed as noncognitive; but not because claims in these domains are other than claims to truth. They are, in large part, not claims to knowledge, which does not bar them from being claims to truth. (shrink)
D.M. Armstrong is an eminent Australian philosopher whose work over many years has dealt with such subjects as: the nature of possibility, concepts of the particular and the general, causes and laws of nature, and the nature of human consciousness. This collection of essays, all specially written for this volume, explore the many facets of Armstrong's work, concentrating on his more recent interests. There are four sections to the book: possibility and identity, universals, laws and causality, philosophy of mind. The (...) contributors comprise an international group of philosophers from the United States, England, and Australia. An interesting feature of the volume is that Armstrong himself has written responses to each of the essays. There is also a complete bibliography of Armstrong's writings. (shrink)
Lloyd Reinhardt (1982). Social Engineering. In D. R. Oldroyd (ed.), Science and Ethics: Papers Presented at a Symposium Held Under the Aegis of the Australian Academy of Science, University of New South Wales, November 7, 1980. New South Wales University Press.