Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point

Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point

Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point

Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point

Synopsis

This book is a continuation of the enterprise which the author began with 'The Language of Morals and Freedom and Reason'. In the present work, R. M. Hare has fashioned, out of the logical and linguistic theses of his earlier books, a full-scale but readily intelligible account of moral argument.

Excerpt

I offer this book to the public now rather than later, not because I think it needs no improvement, but because of a sense of urgency -- a feeling that if these ideas were understood, philosophers might do more to help resolve important practical issues. These are issues over which people are prepared to fight and kill one another; and it may be that unless some way is found of talking about them rationally and with hope of agreement, violence will finally engulf the world. Philosophers have in recent years become increasingly aware of the role that they might have in preventing this; but they have lacked any clear idea of what constitutes a good argument on practical questions. Often they are content with appeals to their own and others' intuitions or prejudices; and since it is these prejudices which fuelled the violence in the first place, this is not going to help.

I have had to leave many questions unresolved, including even some that I mentioned in my earlier book Freedom and Reason as requiring solution. But nobody can hope to write the last word on a philosophical subject; the most he can do is to advance the discussion of it by making at least some things clearer. in particular, I wish that I could have given a fuller and more satisfactory account of prudential thinking. David Richards, David Haslett and Richard Brandt have done much to clarify it in their books, and Derek Parfit, from whom I have learnt a lot, will, I am sure, do more in his when it appears.

The relation between this and my first two books is similar to the relation between those two: I have tried not to presume knowledge of their contents; but those who want a fuller account of what is here summarized will turn to them. the same applies to the numerous recent papers of mine in which some of the ideas here presented were first sketched. But one of these papers seems crucial enough to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.