Professor Findlay in this book, originally published in 1961, set out to justify, and to some extent carry out, a ‘material value-ethic’, ie. A systematic setting forth of the ends of rational action. The book is in the tradition of Moore, Rashfall, Ross, Scheler and Hartmann though it avoids altogether dogmatic intuitive methods. It argues that an organised framework of ends of action follows from the attitude underlying our moral pronouncements, and that this framework, while allowing personal elaboration, is not (...) a matter for individual decision. The relations connecting our fundamental value-judgements with one another, and the frames of mind behind them, are not rigorously deductive but are sufficiently compelling to be called logical. Something of a ‘transcendental deduction’ of a well-ordered family for our basic heads of valuation is both possible and necessary. The work is further critical of the notion of obligation which has been extended far beyond legal contracts and understandings. The book also contains a chapter on religion. (shrink)
This chapter discusses the following: (i) The Kantian concept of the Transcendental Object, and of its relation to that of the Noumenon and the Thing-in-itself; (ii) Kant's theory of knowledge cannot be positivistically interpreted, but requires underlying unities that hold appearances together, and which, by their identity, give the latter constancy of character; (iii) Kant's theory of knowledge cannot be idealistically interpreted, since it accepts the reality of a Transcendental Subject and of transcendental acts that exist beyond experience and knowledge, (...) and are constitutive of it. It also accepts the reality of many Transcendental Objects that affect our subjectivity and which have characters and relations not given to the latter, at best corresponding to phenomenal characters and relations; (iv) Kant's phenomenalism is more radical than other phenomenalisms in that it accepts space and time only as ordering forms for phenomena. But it advances important arguments, based mainly on ontological criteria, for restricting them to what is thus phenomenal; (v) The regular connection among the appearances of objects is the necessary empirical surrogate for the unity of the objects from which they spring. Kant therefore makes use of his metempirical presuppositions to illuminate phenomenal data. (shrink)
This is a remarkably interesting and valuable book on the value-theory of Nicolai Hartmann. As its content is very complex, we shall sum up the main points made in its various chapters before proceeding to comment on them.