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

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2006 00:20:51 -0700

Lawrence Helm wrote:

I was seeing Taylor as advocating a sort of philosophical pluralism. His frameworks are the /Best Accounts/ that we can achieve to account for our places in the world. We define Goods, even Hyper-goods and have them established as goals to be pursued. In Utilitarianism and Kantianism
morality is what one does, the actions one takes, but in Taylor it is what one is and what one is becoming.

I don't think that 'morality' itself is what one does, for either of them; as 'isms,' these simply set out what one ought to do, morally speaking, although for Kant, who seemed to think that the outcomes of actions were of far less importance than was the purity of the Will behind them, what one actually accomplished might not matter. (Walter and Phil know all this stuff.)

If Hare is pluralistic about his Universalized prescriptions
then he is much more trivial than I imagined.

I think he'd not be 'pluralistic' if this meant allowing for 'different' moral (beliefs, practices, codes, etc.) other than the ones at Oxford, although I can't remember if he ever discusses this. It seems to me that he ought to be a moral relativist if all that matters is the universalizibility and prescriptivity of one's pronouncements. I don't know how he avoids the problem. There's a passage in The Language of Morals, in which he imagines an encounter with a 'fanatic' (a Nazi, of course), who's willing to grant that if he were a Jew he should be disposed of himself; but why this troubles Hare is puzzling.

A clever fellow named Don Locke, once wrote a piece in the Philosophical
Review, called 'The Trivializibility of Universalizibility.'

Robert Paul

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