[lit-ideas] Re: SOS - BA vs Hare's prescriptive

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 19:10:24 -0700

I don't think I am being misleading if you read what immediately precedes
the paragraph you quote from, namely "He [Hare] argues that claims are moral
if and only if they take the form of universalizable prescriptions. They are
universalizable in that an agent must be willing to apply them to all cases
that are alike in all the relevant respects. They are prescriptive in that
they provide guidance about how to act and they are necessarily connected to


The term "universalizable," I would think, implies a sort of Kantian
Categorical Imperative, i.e., able to be made universal.  


Or are you saying the reviewer has Hare wrong?






-----Original Message-----
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Robert Paul
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 6:52 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: SOS - BA vs Hare's prescriptive


Lawrence Helm wrote:


[some interesting things which I'm skipping over for now]




> One can see that Taylor (at least at this point) is taking a very 

> different tack from Hare and yet I wonder if Hare doesn't have the truer 

> hold on this matter.  Do we really think as Taylor argues that we settle 

> for the BA, Best Account?  Or do we with Hare believe our framework is 

> the truth and that it should be universalized.


This is fairly misleading. Hare isn't arguing that we first discover 

some moral 'truth' and then work to get it universalized (or 

universalised). He's arguing that something about the 'logic' of moral 

language requires that anything we put forward as a moral judgment must 

be universalizable: that if it's correct in such and such circumstances 

then it must be correct in any similar circumstances (no idiosyncratic 

judgments). Some have argued that this is trivially true with respect to 

any judgment.


Robert Paul


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