Different questions generate different forms of practical reasoning. A contextually unrestricted ‘What shall I do?’ is too open to focus reflection. More determinately, an agent may ask, ‘Shall I do X, or Y?’ To answer that, he may need to weigh things up—as fits the derivation of ‘deliberation’ from libra. Ubiquitous and indispensable though this is, I mention it only to salute it in passing. Or he may ask how to achieve a proposed end: if his end is to do (...) X, he may ask ‘How shall I do X?’ Or he may ask how to apply a universal rule or particular maxim. Aristotle supplies examples in De Motu Animalium, whose wording I freely adapt to my own purposes: A1 reasons to a necessary means to achieving an end: I will make a cloak. To make a cloak I must do A. So, I will do A. (shrink)
If we cannot agree that evaluations are judgements that both describe things and express sentiments, we lack any shared understanding of a common topic. If we ever come to agree how the describing and expressing relate, we shall lose a debate. Suppose that evaluation is a mode of description essentially expressive of sentiment, and that some evaluations can be known to be true: then there must exist properties of such a kind that they can be apprehended only from appropriately affective (...) points of view. Alternatively, it may be that evaluation involves some element distinct from description, so that, in principle, one could always accept the descriptive core of an evaluation while distancing oneself from a non-descriptive element that makes it evaluative. We may distinguish the two kinds of view as lumping , or descriptivist- cum -expressivist, and splitting , or descriptivist- plus -expressivist. Both ascribe to evaluations an expressive aspect as well as a descriptive content; what is at issue is whether the former is integral to the latter, or detachable from it. (shrink)
How, in pursuit of ontological neutrality, should one talk about values? I propose to say: there are values . Those three words do nothing to define within what kind of conception of a world values are at home. 1 I take it that the ‘realist’ must have more to say about values and their world . I recognize that an ‘anti-realist’ may prefer to talk of value- terms ; I ask him to wait and see whether taking the linguistic turn (...) is the only way to put values in their place. (shrink)
I am very grateful to Professor R. W. Sleeper for his critical comments on my article, as also for the kind way in which he has expressed them. I should now like to make a few comments on his comments. May I first say that I have no objection to being metaphysical? I do not like the word ‘metaphysics’ very much, and wish that we could find a less provocative one. But still, I do think that the difference between the (...) reducible and the irreducible belief-in is a difference which there really is . Moreover, I fully admit that when we believe in God we are making a factual claim. It is, of course, a factual claim of rather a special kind. If it is a fact that there is a supreme Being, ‘The Lord of All’, this is not just one fact among others. It is not quite like the fact that there is a stormy north-westerly wind this morning. One could not just give a list of facts and add at the end, ‘There is also another fact which I had forgotten to mention: there is a God’. All the same, this factual claim, like others, does need to be justified; and how is it to be justified? I am afraid that the brief hint which I offered elsewhere on this subject is indeed ‘not good enough’ as it stands . To be even half good enough, it needs much more elaboration, and I agree that there is much force in Mr Gunderson's criticisms. (shrink)
Modern historical criticism of the gospels and Christian origins began in the seventeenth century largely as an attempt to debunk the Christian religion as a pious fraud. The gospels were seen as bits of priestcraft and humbug of a piece with the apocryphal Donation of Constantine. In the few centuries since Reimarus and his critical kin, historical criticism has been embraced and assimilated by many Christian scholars who have seen in it the logical extension of the grammatico-historical method of the (...) Reformers. The new views of New Testament exegesis and of early Christian history are important and well known. Many New Testament scholars would now hold with Schweitzer and Bultmann that Jesus was a preacher of the imminent end of the world. He may have secretly considered himself to be the Messiah, or he may have simply sought to pave the way for another, the apocalyptic Son of Man. After his execution, his disciples' experiences of his resurrection forced on them a conclusion already implicit in his teachings and personal piety: that Jesus was indeed, or had become, the Messiah, and was in fact God's Son. They expected he would soon return as the Son of Man he had predicted. (shrink)
This essay attempts to elucidate and restate in modern terms richardprice's reduction of our obligation to keep promises to our obligation to veracity. It next defends this reduction against standard criticisms. This defence is, However, Limited, Since the voluntarists (descartes) and the utility theorists (hume), Whom price is most anxious to refute, Could accept this reduction and reassert their theories with respect to our obligation to veracity itself.
Over ten years ago Professor A. E. Taylor pointed out that one of the most unfortunate effects of that philosophical conquest of England by Germany in the nineteenth century was the almost complete neglect of the great line of British moralists from Cumberland to Price. Little has been done since then to remedy this defect. There is a widespread study of Bishop Butler by students in our Universities, but as regards the other members of the series, there appear no (...) signs of a renaissance. The selections of Mr. Selby-Bigge are admirable, but they serve, as all selections from the authors of a period must, to focus attention on historical similarities, not to stimulate to an examination of individual philosophies. (shrink)