Practical Reasoning: The Structure and Foundations of Prudential and Moral Arguments and Their Exemplification in Discourse

Practical Reasoning: The Structure and Foundations of Prudential and Moral Arguments and Their Exemplification in Discourse

Practical Reasoning: The Structure and Foundations of Prudential and Moral Arguments and Their Exemplification in Discourse

Practical Reasoning: The Structure and Foundations of Prudential and Moral Arguments and Their Exemplification in Discourse

Excerpt

The first ten chapters of this study are a considerably shortened version of my doctoral thesis, accepted by the University of Oxford in 1961. The remaining three chapters are based on a study of principles, obligation, and duty undertaken at Oxford in 1961, and financed by a Humanities Research Grant from the University of Toronto.

The entire study owes more than may be apparent to Mr. R. M. Hare's excellent book, The Language of Morals, with which I have so often disagreed. It was this book, which I read first as a graduate student at Harvard in 1955, which convinced me that moral philosophy was a profitable field of inquiry, and induced me to begin the investigations of which this is the result.

I must express my gratitude to the late Professor J. L. Austin, the original supervisor of my doctoral studies, who clarified my thinking concerning advice, to Mr. Patrick Gardiner of Magdalen College, who read and discussed with me two drafts of my manuscript, to Mr. Aaron Sloman, who took time from his own studies to read and comment voluminously upon my doctoral thesis, and to my colleague, Professor John Hunter, who read and commented upon an earlier draft of Chapter VIII. I am also grateful for the patience of my wife, who understands, and my children, who are too young to understand, why daddy is sometimes so busy.

I should like to believe that I have said something true. But, warned by the fate of others, I shall be content if I have indicated some promising fields for further examination.

D. P.G.

University of Toronto October 1962 . . .

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