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

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 19:29:16 -0700

Lawrence Helm wrote:

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 motivation.”

This is certainly not misleading as far as it goes. But in what I'll quote again to you (which would seem to be your interpretation of the difference between Taylor and Hare) what you say either ignores or is inconsistent with this.

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.

It is the last sentence that is misleading, and especially so as Hare is nowhere concerned with the truth of moral judgments or with the truth of frameworks, whatever that might mean.

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 (again) ------------------------------------------------------------------ To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off, digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

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