[lit-ideas] Re: Presuppositions and Value Systems

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 13:00:56 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 10/6/2011 12:40:36  P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
The people  I’ve debated have never, without exception (to the best of my 
recollection)  sought to “recognize disparity between external reality and 
the internal  appreciation of that reality.”  They presupposed (sorry Hughes) 
the truth  of their value system and their conclusions were based upon their 
 presuppositions which was in their estimation external reality.   

Helm may regard this as a minor Griceian subtle (fine? nice?) point  
("Aspects of Reason"), but I'm not sure 
VALUE systems
are _true_.
The whole point of 'alethic valuation' as Grice following von Wright (who  
coined 'alethic', after Greek for truth, aletheia) is that it is NOT 
practical  valuation, as involved in, er, practical syllogisms (will, rather 
belief)  and action.
Grice is never clear what the right word would be here. He does speak of  
'satisfactoriness', and McEvoy may have something to say on this:
"p" is true (i.e. factually satisfactory) if p
"The dog is asleep" is true iff the dog is asleep.
"Wake up!" is NOT true (in the same 'sense').
Value systems are arguably systems of hypothetical IMPERATIVES (Foot,  
"Morality as a system of hypothetical imperatives"). Even when we ground those  
imperatives onto one SINGLE *categorical* (i.e. not hypothetical: "Always 
wake  up!") this does not make the 'imperative' "true" by any standard.
Or something.
I like Helm's point about examining presuppositions and value systems.  
Again, 'presupposition' is best understood, I find, alla Collingwood and  
Strawson as a pre-condition:
"God exists" ----- presupposes ----- "Respect your neighbour!"
say. But it may be argued that without the presupposition holding, a  
practical syllogism would not be rendered therefore ineffective, but  vacuous.
------ Grice considers this when he wonders that there ARE possibly NO  
practical gaps (as Strawson thought, but Grice disagreed, that there are  
Or something.
J. L. 
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: