The Varieties of Goodness

The Varieties of Goodness

The Varieties of Goodness

The Varieties of Goodness

Excerpt

In 1959 and 1960 I gave the Gifford Lectures in the University of St. Andrews. The lectures were called 'Norms and Values, an Inquiry into the Conceptual Foundations of Morals and Legislation'. The present work is substantially the same as the content of the second series of lectures, then advertised under the not very adequate title 'Values'. It is my plan to publish a revised version of the content of the first series of lectures, called 'Norms', as a separate book. The two works will be independent of one another.

I take this opportunity to express my thanks to the University of St. Andrews for honouring me with the invitation to give the Gifford Lectures and to the members of staff and students at St. Andrews, with whom I was able to discuss the content of the lectures when they were in progress. Giving the lectures afforded me with an urge and opportunity to do concentrated research, for which I am deeply grateful.

In the course of revising the contents of my lectures and preparing them for publication I have had the privilege of regular discussions over a long period with Professor Norman Malcolm. I am indebted to him for a number of observations and improvements and, above all, for his forceful challenge to many of my arguments and views.

There is very little explicit reference to current discussion and literature in this book. I hope no one will interpret this as a sign that the author wishes to ignore or belittle the work which is being done by others. It is true, however, that the works of the classics have provided a much stronger stimulus to my thoughts than the writings of my contemporaries. In particular have I learnt from three: Aristotle, Kant, and Moore. I have been successively under the spell of the Kantian idea of duty and the Moorean idea of intrinsic value. In fighting my way against Kant I was led to reject the position sometimes called 'deontologist', and in resisting Moore I became convinced of the untenability of value-objectivism . . .

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