Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers

By Stuart Brown; Diané Collinson et al. | Go to book overview
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Main publications:
(1941) The Philosophy of Schleiermacher, New York: Greenwood Press.
(1954) Hopi Ethics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
(1959) Ethical Theory, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
(1979) A Theory of the Good and the Right, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
(1993) Morality, Utilitarianism and Rules, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Secondary literature:
Goldman, Alvin I. and Kim, Jaegwon (eds) (1978) Values and Morals, Dordrecht: Reidel.
Hooker, Bradford W. (ed.) (1993) Rationality, Rules, and Utility, Boulder: Westview Press.

Brandt was initially trained in classics and religion, as well as philosophy, and his study of Schleiermacher is a standard work. He has written widely in philosophy, but his most important work is in ethics. In A Theory of the Good and the Right (1979) he replaces the question 'What is the right thing to do?' (which he regards as having no clear meaning) with the question 'What is the moral code that a fully rational person would support for a society that he had to live in?' Brandt holds that such a person would support a code that would maximize the expectable happiness of some group (the size of the group depending on the extent of his benevolence). Such a code would be a plural code, rather like the one that we now have. His view is thus a form of rule utilitarianism.

Sources: Personal communication.


Braybrooke, David

American (naturalized Canadian), b: 18 October 1924, Hackettstown, New Jersey. Cat: Analytical political philosopher; ethicist; social scientist. Ints: Ethical theory; political philosophy; philosophy of the social sciences; applied business and economics ethics. Educ: Hobart College, New School for Social Research; Downing College, Cambridge, UK; Harvard University BA 1948 and Cornell University, PhD, 1953; New College, Oxford. Infls: Brooks Otis, F.R. Leavis, Norman Malcolm, J.L. Austin and C.E. Lindblom. Appts: Instructor, History and Literature, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1948-50; Teaching Fellow, Economics, Cornell, 1950-2; Instructor, Philosophy, Michigan, 1953-4; Instructor, Philosophy, Bowdoin College, 1954-6; Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Yale, 1956-63; Associate Professor, Philosophy and Politics, Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, 1963-5, Professor, 1965-88, McCulloch Professor of Philosophy and Politics, 1988-90, Professor Emeritus from 1990; Texas, Austin, from 1990, Centennial Commission in the Liberal Arts (Government and Philosophy).

Main publications:
(1963) (with C.E. Lindblom) A Strategy of Decision: Policy Evaluation as a Social Process New York: The Free Press.
(1965) Philosophical Problems of the Social Sciences, New York: Macmillan.
(1968) Three Tests for Democracy, New York: Random House.
(1974) Traffic Congestion Goes Through the Issue-Machine, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
(1983) Ethics in the World of Business, Totowa: Rowman & Allanfield.
(1987) Philosophy of Social Science, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.
(1987) Meetings Needs, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Secondary literature:
Boenvac, D. (1991) 'Ethical impressionism: a response to Braybrooke', Social Theory and Practice, 157-73.
Goldman, Alvin (1974) 'Power, time, and cost', Philosophical Studies 26:263-74.
-(1976) 'Reply to Braybrooke', Philosophical Studies 30:273-6.
Mulholland, L.A. (1971) 'Norm explanations in history', Dialogue 10:96-102.
Phillips Griffiths, A. (1963) 'The generalization argument: a reply to Mr. Braybrooke's “Collective and distributive generalization in ethics”', Analysis 23:113-15.

Braybrooke's early writings address concerns of analytic epistemology and philosophical linguistic analysis, which along with ethical analysis have direct bearing on the social sciences. His general 'unitarian' approach has led him to deal with theoretical considerations involved in effecting a rapprochement between the humanities and social science, and he has explored the project of effecting a similar unification of various schools of social science itself, by attacking the alleged independence of their methods, investigations and explanations. A vision of interdisciplinary unity is reflected in his claim that 'doing philosophy is a way of doing social science', and although his work has suggested a primacy of social science over philosophy, Braybrooke as


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