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God, Free Will, and Morality

Prolegomena to a Theory of Practical Reasoning

  • Robert J. Richman
Book

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series in Philosophy book series (PSSP, volume 27)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 1-4
  3. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 18-30
  4. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 31-56
  5. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 57-74
  6. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 75-93
  7. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 94-119
  8. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 120-132
  9. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 133-164
  10. Robert J. Richman
    Pages 165-181
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 183-195

About this book

Introduction

"He [Francis Bacon] writes of science like a Lord Chan cellor" - William Harvey "Don't say: 'There must be something common . . . ' - but look and see" Ludwig Wittgenstein In the history of western moral philosophy since Plato, there has been a pervasive tendency for the moral theorist to wri~e, in effect, like a scientist, Le. to seek completely general prin­ ciples of right conduct. Of late, moreover, there has been an attempt to set forth a theory underlying the general principles, not of right conduct, admittedly, but of justice. To be sure, we are sometimes warned that the principles (which must exist?) may be too complex to be formulated. Also they may not exist prior to action - nonetheless, we are told, they serve as guides to conduct! One inight argue that Baconian inductivism provides one basis for skepticism with respect to a number of familiar epistemological problems. Thus, the skeptic argues, a certain conclusion - say, the existence of another's pain - is not justified on the basis of (behavioral) evidence either deductively or inductively, and hence it is not justified at all. Similarly, I should claim, by establishing an unattainable standard, the search for exceptionless principles may become a source of moral skepticism. After all, when con­ fronted with a supposed principle designed to justify a particular ix x PREFACE action, one can generally imagine a counter-example to the prin­ ciple without excessive difficulty.

Keywords

Plato moral philosophy morality skepticism

Authors and affiliations

  • Robert J. Richman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-7077-9
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1983
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-009-7079-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-7077-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site