[lit-ideas] Re: More exasperation for our Kantians

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 22:35:50 +0100 (BST)

Even if this approach (giving a kind of factual explanation for how morals 
evolve) were correct (and who would doubt there is not some kind of factual 
explanation?) unless it amounted to a deterministic explanation, it is only a 
theory of likely "constraints" on what we would or would not regard as moral 
and would not refute the position that whatever factual explanation there might 
be for morals we can still ask whether those morals are right [see Popper on 
"The Dualism of Facts and Standards" in the Addendum to _The Open Society_ 

There were other points that arose but then my mind was distracted by 
'"Various" factors with "various" weights? Is that not a little vague? But 
Duke's Owen Flanagan Jr. defends this highly pragmatic view of morality. "Where 
we get a lot of pushback from philosophers is that they'll say, 'If you go this 
naturalistic route that Flanagan and Churchland go, then you make ethics merely 
a theory of prudence.' And the answer is, Yeah, you kind of do that. Morality 
doesn't become any different than deciding what kind of bridge to build across 
a river. The reason we both think it makes sense is that the other 
stories"—that morality comes from God, or from philosophical intuition—"are 
just so implausible."'

Pushback. Where did I last hear that term? Ah, yeh. Kelly Jones of the 
Stereophonics used it to explain why Welshmen like to take their sheep right to 
the edge of a cliff. Great pushback.


--- On Tue, 21/6/11, John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [lit-ideas] More exasperation for our Kantians
To: "Lit-Ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tuesday, 21 June, 2011, 22:03

Interesting Chronicle of Higher Education review of Patricia Churchland's 
latest book.


John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

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