UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Morality and the amoral agent Durward, Gregory William 1978

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MORALITY AND THE AMORAL AGENT by GREGORY WILLIAM DURWARD B.Math., U n i v e r s i t y o f Waterloo, 1969  A THESIS SUBMITTED  IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  . THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF . DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department  of Philosophy)  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1978  ©  .Gregory; W i l l i a m Durward, I978  :  In p r e s e n t i n g  this  an a d v a n c e d  degree  the  shall  Library  I further for  agree  scholarly  thesis  ih p a r t i a l  fulfilment  of  at the U n i v e r s i t y  of British  Columbia,  make  that  it  permission  this  thesis  written  of  The U n i v e r s i t y  Date  for financial  gain  of British Place  shall  Canada  1W5  fyiA^  |\<\V)  Columbia  copying  of  I agree  that  copying  or  for  that  and s t u d y . this  thesis  by t h e Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t  i s understood  Philosophy  Wesbrook  Vancouver, V6T  It  for reference  for extensive  permission.  Department  2075  available  p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d  by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . of  freely  the requirements  or  publication  n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  ABSTRACT  The  thesis  of amoral  i s an e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e p o s s i b i l i t y  agency.  mode o f p r a c t i c a l the o b j e c t i v i t y principles, persons  A characterization deliberation  or impersonal  and t h e c o n c e r n  i n general.  of the moral  i s developed, validity  and r a t i o n a l i t y agent  and h i s  t a k i n g as c e n t r a l  o f moral  j u d g m e n t s and  of morality with the welfare of  T h i s p r o v i d e s t h e framework f o r a  discussion  o f two main f o r m s o f a m o r a l i t y . A p e r s o n may q u a l i f y little  o r no c o n c e r n  no v a l i d  a s an a m o r a l  f o r other persons'  c l a i m on h i m t o t h u s  operates with a r a d i c a l l y and  principles  cussed  agent  of action.  concern  e i t h e r b e c a u s e he h a s  w e l l - b e i n g and r e c o g n i z e s  h i m s e l f , o r b e c a u s e he  subjectivist  view o f p r a c t i c a l  As an i n t e r e s t i n g  example o f t h e f o r m e r  and w i d e l y  s o r t o f amoralism,  f o r m s o f e g o i s m a r e d i s c u s s e d and i t i s a r g u e d ethical  egoism i s untenable,  more i n t e r e s t i n g  that,  outline  a subjectivist  while  there are i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c  s o r t o f a m o r a l i t y , from  p o i n t o f view, i s the s u b j e c t i v i s t  egoistic  arguments. a philosophical  one and some e f f o r t  theory of p r a c t i c a l  dis-  a number o f  t h e o r i e s w h i c h a v o i d t h e most s e r i o u s a n t i - e g o i s t The  reasons  reasoning.  i s made t o Subjectivist  m e t a m o r a l t h e o r i e s a r e c o n s i d e r e d and r e j e c t e d  as accounts  of the  o r d i n a r y moral  of treating  such  theories  consciousness.  as r e v i s i o n i s t i c  The p o s s i b i l i t y  i n nature  is  t h a t , w h i l e t h e y may u n d e r w r i t e  be  regarded  as m o r a l ,  i s d i s c u s s e d and t h e c o n c l u s i o n an o u t l o o k w h i c h c a n p l a u s i b l y  the s u b j e c t i v i s t moral  (ii)  agent  can m a i n t a i n  his  p o s i t i o n only with d i f f i c u l t y .  T h i s i s because t h e r e i s a  n a t u r a l d r i f t from m o r a l t h i n k i n g t o an o b j e c t i v i s t p o s t u r e vice versa.  (iii)  and  CONTENTS  INTRODUCTION I  II  III  MORALITY AND THE MORAL AGENT 1  The m o r a l a g e n t  introduced  2  The o b j e c t i v i t y  o f moral  3  The w e l f a r e o f o t h e r s  4 5  The m o r a l p o i n t o f v i e w Some o t h e r f e a t u r e s o f m o r a l i t y and m o r a l  6  The a m o r a l  judgments  agency  agent  EGOISM 1  Egoism  as a f o r m o f a m o r a l i s m  2  Morality  3  The c o n c e p t o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t  4  Ethical  5  P e r s o n a l egoism  6  Kurt  7  David Gauthier  8  Subjectivist  9  The r a t i o n a l i t y o f e g o i s m  and  self-interest  egoism  - an o b j e c t i v i s t  amoralism  - another o b j e c t i v i s t  amoralism  Baier egoism  THE GROUNDS OF MORAL AGENCY 1  The p o s s i b i l i t y o f a m o r a l i t y - non-rational capacities  2  The p o s s i b i l i t y o f a m o r a l i t y - c o n c e p t u a l s t r u c t u r e s and r a t i o n a l i t y  3  Does "Why  be m o r a l ? " make  4  The G o l d e n  5  Thomas N a g e l  Rule  (iv)  sense?  IV  V  VI  OBJECTIVISM AND  SUBJECTIVISM  125  1  Objectivism  125  2  Subjectivism  133  3  The e r r o r t h e o r y  139  4  Against  146  5  The p r o b l e m s i n m e t a m o r a l s u b j e c t i v i s m  154  6  Revisionist theories  160  objectivism  REASONS AND VALUES - A SUBJECTIVIST OUTLOOK  167  1  Facts, reasons,  167  2  Reasons and e x p l a n a t i o n ;  174  3  R e a s o n s and j u s t i f i c a t i o n  178  4  Practical  184  5  What c a n be v a l u e d ?  187  6  Valuing  191  7  Facts  and'the d e f i n i t i o n  o f "moral"  d e b a t e and v o c a b u l a r y  and commending  and r e a s o n s a g a i n  197  MORAL AND AMORAL SUBJECTIVISM  203  1  The i n d i v i d u a l m o r a l  203  2  Forms o f m o r a l  3  M o r a l and a m o r a l s u b j e c t i v i s m c o n t r a s t e d  212  4  Existentialism  214  5  Jean-Paul  216  6  Nietzsche  subjectivist  subjectivism  Sartre  204  220  BIBLIOGRAPHY  226  (V)  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  The another and this  responsibility  PhD must be b o r n e c h i e f l y  M. Lynne Durward, my s p o u s e .  burdened w i t h y e t  by D.G. Brown, my Without t h e i r  supervisor,  patient  support  t h e s i s w o u l d u n d o u b t e d l y have met t h e f a t e i t s o o f t e n  i n my e y e s , for  f o r the world's being  to deserve.  h i shelpful  I am e s p e c i a l l y  indebted  seemed,  t o D r . Brown  comments o n my work t h r o u g h o u t t h e p a s t  three  years.  S t i m u l a t i n g d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h E d w i n L e v y , G a r y Wedeking,  Alister  Browne a n d  for  thought.  typist,  E l b r i d g e Rand a l s o p r o v i d e d  Finally,  my t h a n k s t o my d i l i g e n t  Bev Thompson.  (vi)  valuable  food  and c h e e r f u l  1  INTRODUCTION  Everyone one  will  agree,  reason or another,  Persons  whose m e n t a l  whose m e n t a l through  I think,  cannot  be  inclined  their  have m o r a l  actions  ( i f any)  obligations  t h e y have o b l i g a t i o n s i s not easy  cases of the kind them m o r a l l y ?  other things?  neither  of a s i m i l a r  f a r as t h e i r We  may  and  are  they cannot  situation,  sort. towards  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  why  they are not  o r i s i t some c o m b i n a t i o n  that  exempt  of r i g h t  and  rational  on  t o what d e g r e e  and  and  of a  capacities  While  a r e and  coherent  of these  as a m o r a l  t h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e room f o r d e b a t e  extreme  do we  c a n hope f o r b y way  there are c e r t a i n  we  do n o t t h i n k  w h i c h someone must have i n o r d e r t o q u a l i f y  capacities  think  f o r m o r m a i n t a i n a s t a b l e and  t h e b e s t we  answer i s t o n o t e  attitudes  because  we  responsibility  they l a c k the concepts  so on,  them  suppose t h a t  or c o r r e l a t i v e  f o r our  j u s t mentioned.  Perhaps  as  Such  praise  t o them, o f c o u r s e , b u t we  to account  wrong, o f o b l i g a t i o n  of t h e i r  cases.  I n e x t r e m e c a s e s we  i s concerned.  Is i t because  b e i n g s , because  we  impaired  t o t h i n k o f them i n r o u g h l y t h e way  of vegetables or animals, at l e a s t  general  been s e v e r e l y r e t a r d e d o r  criticism;  actions.  for  agents.  a c c i d e n t o r d i s e a s e a r e among t h e c l e a r e s t  strongly  view  as m o r a l  f u n c t i o n s have b e e n h i g h l y d i s o r d e r e d o r  n o r blame them f o r t h e i r  It  t h e r e a r e p e o p l e who,  classed  d e v e l o p m e n t has  p e o p l e a r e exempt f r o m m o r a l  for  that  agent.  j u s t what  i n what c o m b i n a t i o n  these they  2 must be p r e s e n t , we c a n e x p e c t t h a t of  general  intelligence,  degree o f r a t i o n a l i t y  a r e a s o n a b l e amount  a r e a s o n a b l y r e l i a b l e memory, a  i n means/end t h i n k i n g ,  view o f t h e n a t u r e o f t h e i r central.  things like  environment,  a fairly  "normal"  and so o n , w i l l  T h e r e may a l s o be some c o n s t r a i n t s  fair  be  concerning their  e m o t i o n a l makeup. In  any c a s e , I t h i n k t h a t  holds  some p r o m i s e o f e n a b l i n g  which  a r e non-moral  sense  o f "moral."  of  entities  certain  us t o d i s t i n g u i s h  from those which Roughly,  inanimate objects,  relatively  those  entities  a r e m o r a l , i n one v e r y b r o a d  what we c a n e x p e c t i s a b i f u r c a t i o n  sorts of "defective"  rational, are  into  the consideration of c a p a c i t i e s  t h e a n i m a l s and p l a n t s , and  human b e i n g s on t h e one hand, and  n o r m a l m a t u r e a d u l t s on t h e o t h e r .  bound t o be v e r y d i f f i c u l t  borderline  There  cases i n v o l v i n g not  o n l y q u e s t i o n s o f degree o f c a p a c i t y development,  but also  q u e s t i o n s about whether  capacities  which a r e t o count. arily  disabled,  interested  i t i s actual or potential  What a b o u t c h i l d r e n ,  and t h e m e n t a l l y d i s t u r b e d ?  i n these d i f f i c u l t  that  i s required  can,  albeit with d i f f i c u l t y ,  non-moral are  on.  I am n o t v e r y much  i s a distinction  which  be drawn between t h e m o r a l and t h e  of those c a p a c i t i e s ,  whatever  they a r e , which  f o r someone t o f o r m m o r a l c o n c e p t s , p a r t i c i p a t e i n  moral debate, d e l i b e r a t e m o r a l l y , so  t h e tempor-  q u e s t i o n s h e r e , however. A l l  i s t o note t h a t there  i n terms  required  the s e n i l e ,  To be n o n - m o r a l  a p p r e c i a t e m o r a l r e a s o n s , and  i s to exist  incapable  of participating  be a m o r a l  i s to exist  outside  o f t h e m o r a l by b e i n g  i n the moral realm.  outside o f the moral  By c o n t r a s t , t o  i n some o t h e r way.  3  I for  think that  moral t h i n k i n g  another  t h e r e a r e p e o p l e who meet a l l t h e p r e r e q u i s i t e s and y e t who  sense o f "moral."  agents.  They  fail  These  are r e l a t i v e l y  to qualify  p e o p l e a r e n o t non-moral  normal  human b e i n g s b u t t h e y do n o t  operate w i t h t h e normal moral p e r s p e c t i v e . of  the o r d i n a r y moral c o n s c i o u s n e s s which  from t h e i r  practical  thinking.  investigated  i n due c o u r s e .  stage l i t t l e  h a s been  amoral  agents.  be u s i n g with  The  prisoner,  c a n be s a i d  I will  to restrict  be c o n c e r n e d .  t h e h e r m i t , t h e castaway lives  be a p p r o p r i a t e t h e y would  at this  them, I w i l l  call  i t contrasts  o f a m o r a l a g e n t s , a s we w i l l  i s no o p p o r t u n i t y o r no need  may a l l l e a d  be  agent."  i s one t h i n g w h i c h  there  identify  i n t h e sense i n which  p e r s o n s who a r e a m o r a l o n l y b e c a u s e  that  absent  Unless the context indicates otherwise, I w i l l  persons w i t h which in  are conspicuously  Such p e o p l e , and I r e a l i z e  done t o p r o p e r l y  T h e r e a r e many s o r t s there  There a r e f e a t u r e s  What t h e s e f e a t u r e s a r e w i l l  t h e term "moral agent"  "amoral  as moral agents i n  largely  t o say that  t h e range o f  I am n o t h e r e their  see,but  interested  environment  i s such  f o r them t o t h i n k and t h e s o l i t a r y  morally.  scientist  d e v o i d o f m o r a l c o n c e r n s b u t i t would they are s t i l l  m o r a l a g e n t s as l o n g as  begin to appreciate things morally  i f t h e i r circum-  s t a n c e s were t o c h a n g e . So  f a r I have c o n t r a s t e d  "amoral."  I f we c a n s a y t h a t  senses o f the term in  which  "moral" w i t h "non-moral"  and w i t h  t h e s e c o n t r a s t s c o r r e s p o n d t o two  "moral," t h e n "moral" has a l s o a t h i r d  i t c o n t r a s t s w i t h "immoral."  The  judgment  p e r s o n , o r some a c t i o n o f a p e r s o n , i s immoral  that  sense some  i s c l e a r l y an  4  e v a l u a t i v e one  and  operates within  can  only  "contrary  therefore  only  u s e s ) by  made s i n c e r e l y by  a c e r t a i n conceptual  means r o u g h l y can  be  be  someone who  to the  used  i s made by known and for  an  an  and  amoral  the  i t will  the  But  not  term  f o r a m o r a l a g e n t t o use  open t o c e r t a i n s o r t s o f c o n s i d e r a t i o n s  considerations  Calling  persuasion  misleading  (moral o n e s ) .  and  and  acted,  not  Unfortunately  we  should  say  so much a g a i n s t  I find  i t be  i t difficult  an  his  outside  abstention to of  say  I trust  p e r s o n s who vindicated  are  claim  to  amoral agents.  not  i n due  that there  i s an  n o n - m o r a l and  c o u r s e as  the  he  from  that  he  them. s a y much more a t  The  ongoing p r o j e c t i n v i r t u a l l y  t h a t my  be  moral  i n and the  also  amoralist's  ested  be  misleading  c e r t a i n modes o f  t o h e l p make c l e a r j u s t what s o r t o f p e r s o n s I am  will  is  amoralist  point  whom I c a l l  if i t  suggests that  I t i s the and  being  this  i t could  t h i n k i n g w h i c h make i t m i s l e a d i n g He  and  judgment i s  someone immoral  to these considerations  immorally.  there  i t to d e s c r i b e  is  acted  be  "immoral,"  some a c t i o n o f h i s .  m o r a l forms o f  The  only might  or  unsusceptibility  of  (or e v e n n o n - m o r a l ) a g e n t , u n l e s s  a m o r a l a g e n t t o use  d i s c u s s i o n and  "Immoral"  possibility  actions.  therefore  taken i n t o account.  misleading  who  s i n c e r e l y ( i g n o r i n g i n v e r t e d comma  recognizes  a m o r a l one  framework.  requirements of m o r a l i t y "  r e q u i r e m e n t s o f a c e r t a i n s o r t on properly  someone  attempt  a l l o f what  inter-  t o do  nature of  are  so  follows.  i n t e r e s t i n g category  y e t who  this  amoral, w i l l  of be  amoral agency i s  discussed. Before  proceeding,  something  should  p e r h a p s be  s a i d by  way  5  of p r o v i d i n g and  a r a t i o n a l e f o r some o f t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e t h e s i s  of explaining  me a t t e m p t  why I d e a l w i t h some o f t h e t o p i c s  t o do t h i s  by r e c o n s t r u c t i n g  I came t o s e e a m o r a l i t y Hopefully of  this will  a perspective I have l o n g  if  as a s u b j e c t  help  on what  to provide  deserving  (according  no s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d  could  theory.  form o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l  I held  of the notion  e g o i s m m i g h t p r o v e p l a u s i b l e enough. t h e view t h a t  there  reasons f o r a c t i n g  i s a correct  better  i n c e r t a i n ways and f u r t h e r t h a t than o t h e r s .  I believed  c o r r e c t normative p r i n c i p l e s with the help  full  being  possible  that  some  there  o f which i t i s i n  t o determine which s o l u t i o n s t o a p r a c t i c a l  acquaintance with the f a c t s of the case. identical  of the  of a person's i n t e r e s t ,  problem a r e c o r r e c t and which a r e i n c o r r e c t , g i v e n , a  egoism,  I supposed t h a t c e r t a i n s o r t s o f t h i n g s a r e  reasons are " r e a l l y "  principle  I t seemed c l e a r  Y e t I had hoped t h a t u n d e r a s u f f i c e . . .  of e t h i c a l  L i k e many p e o p l e  "really"  which  b u t w h i c h a t t h e same t i m e  be t r u e w i t h o u t a g r o s s p e r v e r s i o n  sophisticated version  some f o r m u l a t i o n  are  i n e t h i c s m i g h t be f o u n d  asking  t o w h i c h no one d o e s o r c a n e v e r a c t e x c e p t o u t o f  concept o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t .  ethical  best,  have f o r d o i n g  T h u s , I began by  t o t h e f a c t s o f human m o t i v a t i o n .  self-interest)  iently  something  the very  reasons a person could  such reasons a c e n t r a l p l a c e  enough t h a t  consideration.  b e e n a t t r a c t e d by t h e v i e w t h a t  some f o r m o f e g o i s t i c t h e o r y  does j u s t i c e  t h e way i n w h i c h  the reader with  something a r e reasons o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t .  allows  Let  follows.  not u l t i m a t e l y the only,  if  briefly  I do.  i n their  of course  Human b e i n g s ,  e s s e n t i a l n a t u r e , must a l l be  subject  6  to the requirements My me  same n o r m a t i v e a tenable  a number o f d i f f i c u l t i e s .  interest  i s very  a good r e a s o n situations faith?  restrictive.  t o be  honest  i n w h i c h one  And  no  one  beset with the e t h i c a l  however, t h e  practical  e g o i s t holds  self-interest  and  their  have  theory  t o suppose t h a t under  such  good r e a s o n  to  literature  egoism i s  full  on  or t h e o r e t i c a l  egoism i s  inconsistencies.  the  less  than  Since own  e g o i s t must h o l d a t h e o r y w h i c h  of holding e t h i c a l  a good d e a l more t o here  the p o s s i b i l i t y  about the nature  will  e n t h u s i a s t i c about  T h i s i s enough t o show t h a t t h e r e a r e  s i m p l y want t o i n d i c a t e seriously  breaking  s i n c e h i s s e c u r i n g advantages f o r h i m s e l f  p r o b l e m s i n t h e way I will  or  imaginable  t h a t everyone ought t o pursue h i s  interests,  cannot advocate.  lying  t o show t h a t e t h i c a l  sometimes r e q u i r e t h a t o t h e r s be pursuing  b e t t e r by  have  promise?  which purport  either  self-  f o r example, c o u l d one  c o u l d p o s s i b l y have a v e r y  importantly,  "refutations"  the n o t i o n of  o r t o keep p r o m i s e s u n d e r  plausible  the t r u t h o r keep a More  theory.  f o r m o f e g o i s m , however, l e d  First,  How,  c o u l d do  is i t really  circumstances  of  the  attempts to develop  into  tell  of  e g o i s m as  how  one  of adopting  m i g h t be  theory.  but  d r i v e n to  a practical  grave  a moral  say a b o u t e g o i s m l a t e r  I  take  theory  o f one's reason) which i s not  he  ( a  a moral  theory. The position, theory  more I t h o u g h t the  less  seemed.  morality,  as  about the r a t i o n a l i t y  peculiar  I f the  the  i d e a o f a non-moral  egoist could r a t i o n a l l y  i t seemed he  of the e g o i s t ' s practical  remain  c o u l d , might there not  be  outside  other  forms  7  o f a m o r a l i t y p e r h a p s more r a d i c a l  and more i n t e r e s t i n g  and no  less  rational? Having ality  come t o t h e p o i n t o f b e i n g p r e p a r e d  seriously,  i t became c l e a r  to take  t h a t I needed t o g e n e r a t e  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f m o r a l i t y , m o r a l t h i n k i n g and m o r a l in order  to explore  thinking  and a m o r a l a g e n c y .  investigation  The r e s u l t s o f t h i s  i n Chapter  I.  There  f e a t u r e s o f m o r a l t h i n k i n g ; an  posture  c h a p t e r , on e g o i s m , t h e n c o n s t i t u t e s  one  form  o f a m o r a l i s m ; v i z . , one i n w h i c h no  the welfare o f other persons In s p i t e o f t h e f a c t  indeed,  i t s real  and t h i s  interest.  found  i t useful  and is  (direct)  concern f o r  possible positions,  The e g o i s t ' s c o n c e r n s robs  the e g o i s t i c  they  argue,  a r e none-  are very  orientation  narrowly  o f much  I t w o u l d be much more i n s t r u c t i v e i f which a l l o w a r a t h e r  But b e f o r e proceeding  t o attempt  broader this  I  t o p a u s e t o c o n s i d e r some o f t h e a r g u m e n t s w h i c h  have b e e n a d v a n c e d amoral agency.  an e x p l o r a t i o n o f  t h a t some f o r m s o f e g o i s m a r e , I  f o r m s o f a m o r a l i t y c o u l d be f o u n d range o f i n t e r e s t s .  persons.  i s present.  and p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y  somewhat p e c u l i a r .  regarding  f o r the welfare of other  next  of  part of the  i n t e r m s o f two b a s i c  The  delimited  amoral  I a r g u e t h a t most o f  objectivist  q u e s t i o n s o f v a l u e and a c o n c e r n  theless  agency  i n t h e p l e t h o r a o f metamoral t h e o r i e s which  have b e e n a d v a n c e d c a n be u n d e r s t o o d  logically  a  s y s t e m a t i c a l l y the ideas of amorality,  appear  what seems r i g h t  amor-  i n support  Chapter  o f m o r a l a g e n c y , and h e n c e a g a i n s t  I I I i s a survey  o f some o f t h e s e  i t simultaneously focusses the o b j e c t i v i t y i n the adoption  of a r a d i c a l l y  arguments  i s s u e somewhat.  s u b j e c t i v e approach t o value  It  8  questions  that  I attempt  to  l o c a t e a more i n t e r e s t i n g k i n d  of  amorality. Chapter objectivity  IV  i s d e v o t e d t o an  and  subjectivity.  metamoral t h e o r i e s  are  phenomena o f o r d i n a r y in objectivist account of evident VI,  an  and  discourse.  discussed.  Chapter V  the  be  with considerable  Finally,  conception.  Since  amoralist,  there  moral from the versions  of  a t i o n of  J.P.  concept of  developed  amorality  This  a possibility  existentialist  of  and  tentative  their  is  i n Chapter  i s not  form of  strictly  subjectivism  maintained a certain  differs  only self-  from t h a t o f  of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g  an  the  consider s u b j e c t i v i s t  theory  relevance  i t is a real person to  and  stand  most p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y  hence the  which i n v o l v e s  is a  and  consider-  Nietzche's  to amorality  as i t  thesis.  reflective  and  Some p r o b l e m s  chapter concludes with a b r i e f  show t h a t  The  be  help  self-conception  ubermensch  i n the  c e r t a i n ways.  w i t h the  a m o r a l a g e n t e v e n when we  Sartre's  I hope t o a m a t u r e and  this  and  is still  each.  das  a m o r a l agent can  effort  of  the  o b j e c t i v i s m which I c l a i m  c e n t r a l t o , moral agency.  a d o p t e d by  concepts  attempts to d e s c r i b e  i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h moral agency, the  which can  one  the  I argue t h a t s u b j e c t i v i s t  moral t h i n k i n g  a l t e r n a t i v e to  of  I suggest that while a s u b j e c t i v i s t outlook  entirely  is  There  u n a c c e p t a b l e as  approaches are  i n , and  exploration  an  one  the  nature of  hoped t h a t  the  exploration  outside  interesting form  individualistic  practical of  reasoning.  for  of m o r a l i t y  in  of  w h i c h r e c e i v e s most a t t e n t i o n  extremely  o u t l o o k on  r a t i o n a l option  is  the  and s u b j e c t i v i s t I t i s a l s o tQ.-be.  amoral agency w i l l  shed  some u s e f u l  9 l i g h t on the concept o f m o r a l agency i n r o u g h l y the way  that  a t t e n t i o n to exceptions helps to c l a r i f y  poss-  the r u l e .  The  i b i l i t y o f a m o r a l i t y i s not o f t e n t a k e n v e r y s e r i o u s l y by m o r a l p h i l o s p h e r s and I know of no s y s t e m a t i c e x p l o r a t i o n o f the i d e a . Too o f t e n i t i s s i m p l y assumed e i t h e r t h a t t h e r e arguments a g a i n s t anyone who  must  be good  f a i l s to appreciate things morally  ( i f o n l y we can f i n d them) o r worse, t h a t t h e r e i s no use w i t h such a person a t a l l . be w e l l j u s t i f i e d understanding  arguing  In some cases these assumptions  but i n g e n e r a l t h e y a r e based on no  of the amoral o u t l o o k .  s e r v e as a b e g i n n i n g toward t h a t  may  real  Perhaps what f o l l o w s w i l l  understanding.  10  I  MORALITY AND THE MORAL AGENT  1  The m o r a l a g e n t Since  introduced  I am c o n c e r n e d t o e x p l o r e t h e  nature of a c l a s s of  p e r s o n s who o p e r a t e , i n some s e n s e , o u t s i d e o f m o r a l i t y , place  t o b e g i n i s w i t h an a t t e m p t  Unfortunately,  this  to c h a r a c t e r i z e a moral  i s n o t a t a l l a simple m a t t e r , l a r g e l y  the concept o f m o r a l i t y  i s n o t one w h i c h  the natural agent. because  c a n be a n a l y z e d i n a v e r y  s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d way.  Many a t t e m p t s have b e e n made t o g e t c l e a r on  j u s t what i s i n v o l v e d  i n thinking morally  t o t h e meaning o f m o r a l character  and so o n .  amount o f e n e r g y w h i c h  h a s been  problems,  a clear  I certainly resolution  expended  of these d i f f i c u l t  that  on t h e s e and r e l a t e d  the following  a n a l y s i s o f moral  value of a line  arise  a l o n g t h e way.  Round t r i p  something  i s one w h i c h  not i n the  the issues  which  i f we seem t o end where we s t a r , t e d ,  of interest  h a s been  f a r e s a r e n o t even u s u a l l y  a waste  that  the case i n  of enquiry l i e s ,  answer, b u t i n t h e p r o c e s s o f e x p l o r i n g  c a n hope t h a t  language  As i s o f t e n  final  Even  constitutes a  p r o b l e m s , b u t t h e n I am n o t s u r e  h o l d s much p r o m i s e o f s u c c e s s anyway. the r e a l  Yet i n spite of the  c o n s e n s u s h a s e v e n begun t o emerge.  do n o t w i s h t o c l a i m  the quest f o r a d e f i n i t i v e  philosophy,  some a c c o u n t  terms, t h e n a t u r e o f moral debate, t h e  of moral p r i n c i p l e s ,  nothing l i k e  and t o g i v e  g l i m p s e d en r o u t e . o f money.  we  11  Let by  me  b e g i n the attempt  simply producing a composite  to c h a r a c t e r i z e  consideration.  Throughout  (the  of h i s counterpart,  this  agent).  chapter there w i l l  i n keeping c l e a r  not-moral agent) This  p e r s o n and  their  the d i s t i n c t i o n  and  i s because  t h e immoral  fac-  cannot but c a l l a moral agent,  have been made, e s p e c i a l l y  construct a portrait  involved  have g i v e n t h e p r o b l e m  I f t h e end p r o d u c t i s a r e c o g n i z a b l e  s i m i l e o f a t y p e o f p e r s o n we progress w i l l  agent  s k e t c h whose e l e m e n t s a r e drawn  f r o m t h e t e s t i m o n y o f p h i l o s o p h e r s who careful  the moral  i f i t e n a b l e s us t o the  amoralist.  be  something  (or m o r a l l y  of a  problem  between t h e m o r a l  t h e m o r a l l y good a g e n t the d i s t i n c t i o n  some  (the  agent  not-immoral  between t h e m o r a l l y  inferior)  good  person i s l a r g e l y i  a m a t t e r o f how  consistently  as a m o r a l a g e n t - o f how involvement  a game o f g o l f .  letter,  conscientiously  f r o m where i t l i e s  successfully  He may  As an a n a l o g y , c o n s i d e r play  following  e a c h t i m e , and  certain  f r u s t r a t i o n s which d e t r a c t  Insofar  as t h i s react  s e c o n d man  i n one  admit  the r u l e s  so on. either  o r more o f c e r t a i n  golf,  playing  the  may  t o win o r t o a v o i d  however, he w i l l  typ-  p r e d i c t a b l e ways i f c o n -  He may  deny t h a t he has  them and a t t e m p t t o j u s t i f y  ( " A f t e r a l l we're h e r e t o e n j o y o u r s e l v e s " ) advocate that  to the  B u t a n o t h e r man  committed  them i n some  e.g. by an a p p e a l t o some a l l e g e d l y h i g h e r p r i n c i p l e  to  man  f r o m h i s e n j o y m e n t o f t h e game.  i s playing  fronted with his transgressions. them; he may  a  n o t i n g h i s s t r o k e s on e a c h h o l e ,  cheat, breaking or bending the r u l e s ,  ically  a person operates  s e r i o u s l y and c o n s c i e n t i o u s l y he t a k e s h i s  i n the moral realm.  playing  ball  and how  o r he may  or go  way,  purpose so f a r as  t h e r u l e s o f t h e game be c h a n g e d t o c o n f o r m w i t h  1 2  his practice. not  always,  validity  S u c h a man i s p l a y i n g g o l f  or carefully,  o f those  Contrast  following the rules,  rules.  course,  sometimes h i t t i n g  manner, sometimes t h r o w i n g  unperturbed. those  i t and sometimes k i c k i n g  rules  o f cheating or unsportsmanlike  H i s o n l y answer i s t h a t he i s n ' t a n d c o n s t r a i n t s b e c a u s e he i s n ' t  man i s n o t c h e a t i n g a t g o l f man we c o n s i d e r e d  i s like  the  Both are,  immoral man.  morality. defend  right  typically  or punish  t h e game o f g o l f ,  him.  i s like  cheating or acting  not voluntary.  analogy  interested  playing golf.  i t o r not,  deny,  I n any c a s e ,  The f i r s t  justify,  like  excuse o r  o f m o r a l wrong-  an excuse, of their  the amoral agent.  a  justification right to  immorally,  P r o p e r l y speaking  unless p a r t i c i p a t i o n  he  i n t h e game  t h a t i s the p o i n t a t which the I t h i n k , do n o t s u p p o s e  of m o r a l i t y are escapable  and y o u r  This  The t h i r d man, t h e one who i s n o t p l a y i n g  i s w e a k e s t b e c a u s e most p e o p l e ,  t h e way t h e r u l e s o f g o l f  in a l l  p l a y i n g t h e game o f  and t h e a c c e p t a n c e  (Actually  the requirements  he i s q u i t e  o f m o r a l i t y and a c c e p t s t h e  o f o t h e r s t o r e q u i r e o f him e i t h e r of g u i l t  Occasion-  Confronted  playing golf.  i n some s e n s e ,  He r e c o g n i z e s t h e v a l i d i t y  reprimand  like  i t .  t h e m o r a l l y good man and t h e s e c o n d  The immoral man w i l l  o r an a d m i s s i o n  isn't  - he i s n ' t  hole  i n the "correct"  conduct,  h i s a c t i o n s when c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e c h a r g e  doing.  that  the b a l l  he s k i p s a h o l e o r p l a y s one t w i c e , and so o n .  w i t h the charge  is  he r e c o g n i z e s t h e  t h e s e 'cases w i t h one i n w h i c h a man g o e s f r o m  to h o l e on a g o l f  ally  a n d e v e n t h o u g h he i s  are.  i n anything  like  I f y o u can p l a y , y o u must p l a y ,  only choice i s to play well or poorly.)  i n d e s c r i b i n g the rules of golf,  one c a n l a r g e l y  13  ignore the f a c t  that  some p e o p l e c h e a t , and  the n a t u r e o f m o r a l i t y o r m o r a l agency, that  people often  admits,  perverse  and  (within  l a x he may limits  be  one may  i n h i s very e f f o r t  i s engaged L e t me  i n the moral offer  t h e immoral  o f m o r a l r e q u i r e m e n t s , , however  in living  those claims,  and  however  by c o n v i n c i n g  himself  exempt f r o m t h e u s u a l r u l e s : t o make o f h i s own  c a s e an  the  exception,  a thumbnail sketch of the moral agent. be e l u c i d a t e d  and  expanded  (The  i n sub-  sections.)  sees h i m s e l f  i n which  as s u c h .  the i n t e r e s t s  group a r e i n v o l v e d ,  Confronted with a p r a c t i c a l  he c o n s i d e r s  f u n c t i o n as v a l i d do as he p l e a s e s . involved, be r i g h t  He  the e f f e c t s  problem  of h i s actions  i t i s to h i s b e n e f i t  he r e c o g n i z e s a r e q u i r e m e n t t h a t c a r e s about them).  he do  so  t o do  so b u t  (and i d e a l l y  In s i t u a t i o n s  i n which  ways o f r e s o l v i n g  and  strong  so on, and  the w e l f a r e of o t h e r s  what t o do b u t h i s d e c i s i o n  i n d o i n g so he  he  faces.  he  h i s freedom t o  sense, there are c o r r e c t  the p r a c t i c a l problems  because  which  he a s k s h i m s e l f what he o u g h t t o do, what a c t i o n s o r wrong t o do,  on  because  r e c o g n i z e s d u t i e s and o b l i g a t i o n s  c l a i m s on him and w h i c h r e s t r i c t  i n some f a i r l y  unit  or welfare of other persons i n h i s s o c i a l  these persons, not because  that,  that  on  The m o r a l a g e n t i s a p a r t i c i p a t i n g member o f a s o c i a l and he  man  enterprise.  features of the sketch w i l l sequent  fact  o f c o u r s e ) h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f them.  c a s e i s a s p e c i a l one  contrary,  i n describing  overlook the  i s because  d o e s n o t become a m o r a l , f o r example,  h i s own  he  This  i n some s e n s e , t h e v a l i d i t y  inconsistent  He  a c t immorally.  similarly  or  is  would  supposes incorrect  He must d e c i d e  c a n be m i s t a k e n s i n c e t h e r e  i s something  14  like  a fact  o f t h e matter about  t h e q u e s t i o n o f what he o u g h t t o  do. In d e l i b e r a t i n g , w h i c h he s e e s h i m s e l f h i s own f i r s t - o r d e r first-order  he t a k e s up t h e m o r a l p o i n t o f v i e w  as j u s t  interests  one p e r s o n among many and f r o m  anyone and e v e r y o n e  From t h i s  a t a r e s o l u t i o n which  since  which  a p p e a r p r e t t y much on a p a r w i t h t h e  interests of others.  be a s s u r e d o f a r r i v i n g  from  i t i s most l i k e l y  p o i n t o f v i e w he c a n i s acceptable to to represent a  s o l u t i o n u n b i a s e d b y p e r s o n a l t a s t e s and d e s i r e s . He u s e s m o r a l c o n c e p t s and p a r t i c i p a t e s others, requiring cations  o f o t h e r s and p r o v i d i n g  f o rvarious  lines  o f conduct.  if for  H i s moral  judgments  and a u t h o r i t y situation,  by i n t e r p e r s o n a l l y  and t h o s e o f o t h e r s ,  t h e y have a d e t e r m i n a t e t r u t h v a l u e . him, and o u g h t  a s b e s t he c a n , j u s t i f i -  H i s r e a s o n s and j u s t i f i c a t i o n s  a r e , he s u p p o s e s , a s s e s s a b l e i n p r i n c i p l e standards.  i n moral debate w i t h  t o have f o r a l l ,  i n p r a c t i c a l matters.  he t r e a t s a s  M o r a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n s have  he t h i n k s ,  an o v e r r i d i n g n e s s  W h a t e v e r t h e outcome o f a  i t s v a l u e i s u n a f f e c t e d by who i s c o n s i d e r i n g  T h e r e a r e q u e s t i o n s o f v a l u e w h i c h c a n n o t be a s s i m i l a t e d of preference or taste, Now who c o u l d and  I suppose not f i n d  that,  the matter. to matters  however deep and p e r v a s i v e .  that  there w i l l  something  t h e r e a r e t h o s e who w o u l d  Still,  valid  h a r d l y be a s i n g l e  to quarrel with i n this reject  a good  philosopher  characterization,  deal of i t outright.  a s t a r t must be made somewhere and i t h a s been my e x p e r i e n c e radical  as i t might  seem, s o m e t h i n g  very l i k e  t h e above  will  be a c c e p t e d by many and p e r h a p s most p e o p l e a s a p p r o x i m a t i n g t h e way t h e y v i e w t h e m s e l v e s .  I do n o t w i s h t o m i n i m i z e t h e i m p o r t a n c e ,  15  however, o f different  the  fact  - ways o f  be  a mistake,  or  no  that  are  d i f f e r e n t - indeed  c h a r a c t e r i z i n g the  I think,  i n t e r e s t to  there  to  The  be  f o r anyone i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e  even i f the  any  The  c a s e , one  to provide point  of  subscribe  to the  dealing with w i l l ,  view I w i l l  which i s w e l l  a p l a u s i b l e and  be  nature of  discussed taking  of  i t would have  analysis  i n l a r g e measure, practical  h e r e seem t o the  enough e n t r e n c h e d  i n t e r e s t i n g , even i f  little  reasoning, be  moral agent i s , i n the  literature  contentious,  departure.  In the elements of  remainder of  the  t h a t most o f mental  be  terms i n which they are  inappropriate. in  I will  does not  1 adopt. issues  But  s u p p o s e t h a t what f o l l o w s w i l l  someone who  issues  moral agent.  radically  them c a n  features  of value  and  of  be  the  first.  of  I will  d e a l w i t h the  t h e m o r a l a g e n t and  g e n e r a t e d , as  i t were, o u t  moral outlook:  objectivism  of  i n the  last  section,  amoral agency i n terms of  two  I  various  I will  about  i n t e r e s t s of persons.  Finally,  account of  chapter  sketch  a concern f o r the  these features preliminary  proffered  this  argue  fundaquestions  consider  I attempt  a  these c e n t r a l  features.  2  The  o b j e c t i v i t y of moral In t h i s  section  judgments  I will  moral language users i s t h e i r true  or  false,  or  at  standards f o r t h e i r valid.  Later  some e x t e n t  I will  other  argue t h a t supposition  l e a s t c o r r e c t or assessment are  central fact  i n c o r r e c t , and  this  of m o r a l i t y .  about  t h a t m o r a l judgments  o b j e c t i v e and  a l s o argue t h a t  features  one  that  the  interpersonally  o b j e c t i v i t y explains The  are  d i s c u s s i o n here  to  will  16  be b r i e f length  since the question of o b j e c t i v i s m  i n Chapter  IV.  Grammatically nificantly  speaking, moral  from non-moral  c a t i n g moral d i s c o u r s e (e.g.  "good"  I n d e e d one  involves attending 1  or  "morally r i g h t "  etc.).  is  t h e n t a k e n as a prima  to moral d i s c o u r s e .  language does  language.  o r " m o r a l l y good, "  "ought"  judgments  facie  indication like  into ordinary  this  that  verb  such as Not  "forgot"  or "decided" or  o n l y do m o r a l  judgments  i n a sentence  the sentence belongs  to moral  there  l a n g u a g e on  M o r a l judgments fact.  i s quite distinctive s t a t e m e n t s by  "right"  seems n e c e s s a r y s i n c e  statements of e m p i r i c a l  empirical  sig-  o f demar-  o r " m o r a l l y ought,"  t o make t h e d i s t i n c t i o n .  whose f u n c t i o n  u s u a l way  The p r e s e n c e o f t h e s e t e r m s  Something  same f o r m a s o r d i n a r y  not d i f f e r  t o c e r t a i n words o r p h r a s e s  a r e no g r a m m a t i c a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s p e c u l i a r b a s i s o f which  i s d e a l t w i t h a t some  the  have t h e  Even  "ought"  c a n be t r a n s f o r m e d  substituting  f o r "ought"  a  "promised."  have a g r a m m a t i c a l  and  they a l s o  l a n g u a g e a s i f t h e y a c t u a l l y do  i n ordinary  t o them seem  which  makes t h e a t t r i b u t i o n o f t r u t h function  falsity  form  natural,  a truth value.  U n l i k e matters of t a s t e , moral  ones  the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of opposing views cannot content  over which  themselves with agreeing to d i f f e r , moral  i s s u e s have a p r a c t i c a l  E v e n when t h e p a r t i e s which  typically  i s not simply because  urgency which matters of t a s t e  there  a "real" Moral  and  lack.  t o a m o r a l d e b a t e have r e a c h e d t h e p o i n t  e a c h has done a l l he c a n do t o d i s s u a d e t h e o t h e r s f r o m  position, is  and t h i s  issues are  have  i s usually  the r e s i d u a l  c o r r e c t moral  judgments,  solution  belief to the  among a l l t h a t  at their there  problem.  t h e n , have a f o r m and u s e w h i c h l e n d  consid-  17  erable  support  assertive the  to the idea  t h a t they,  like  other  form, a r e e i t h e r t r u e o r f a l s e .  i d e a which i s i m p l i c i t  personally valid  utterances  The m o r a l a g e n t  i n h i s language t h a t there  of the accepts  are inter-  s t a n d a r d s f o r t h e a s s e s s m e n t o f a c t i o n s , w h i c h do  not  r e f e r t o t h e wants, d e s i r e s , p r e f e r e n c e s ,  e t c . o f the agent.  But  i f m o r a l j u d g m e n t s are t r u e o r f a l s e what makes them s o , a n d  how d o we know w h i c h a r e t r u e a n d w h i c h f a l s e ? not  s t a t e m e n t s o f some  are  they?  history  of moral philosophy  saturated  on  with  the view t h a t  are objectively v a l i d  desires.  i n t h e Western  This  this  view;  there  IV.  But t h e idea  there  tradition.  i s a "real"  right  first-order  i s not t o suggest t h a t there and I w i l l  that morality,  discuss  a u t h o r i t y which r e s i d e s  or  false,  i n spite of epistemological  "right,"  d e l i b e r a t i o n , has  engrained  of the  i n the ordinary  p r o b l e m s o f how we c a n know  false.  not a l l p r a c t i c a l  judgments i n which t h e terms  "wrong," "good" and so on a p p e a r a r e m o r a l  j u d g m e n t s and t h e r e gives  o f as a s e t  j u d g m e n t s a p p e a r t o most p e o p l e t o be t r u e  w h i c h a r e t r u e and w h i c h  "ought,"  i n Chapter  i n s o m e t h i n g o b j e c t i v e and o u t s i d e  seems t o me an i d e a d e e p l y  Obviously,  a r e no p r o b l e m s i n  whether i t i s c o n c e i v e d  an  Moral  that  preferences  them a t l e n g t h  r u l e s o r p r i n c i p l e s o r a s a mode o f p r a c t i c a l  man's t h i n k i n g .  and wrong,  interests,  of  individual,  I think,  r e q u i r e m e n t s on a c t i o n w h i c h have a c l a i m  of their  are,  what  f o r m much o f t h e  l a n g u a g e and o r d i n a r y m o r a l t h i n k i n g a r e ,  persons regardless  and  o f f a c t w h i c h c a n be t r u e o r f a l s e ,  The a t t e m p t s t o answer t h e s e q u e s t i o n s  Ordinary  there  kind  And i f t h e y a r e  an o b j e c t i v i s t  i s no need t o s u p p o s e t h a t t h e m o r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t o a l l o f them.  agent  F o r example,  18  when we is  tell  someone t h a t  d r i v i n g i n the  he  ought t o  wrong g e a r , we  are  s t a n d a r d s o f a c t i o n w h i c h h a v e an have as  a r e s u l t of  actual  paradigmatic of moral p e r s o n o u g h t t o do t o be  true  As  a first  not  a certain play typically  o f what we  approximation,  s o m e t h i n g , where t h e where t h e  i s independent of the  and  preferences  persons involved.  want t o do question the  what he  there  force of  evident  the  o u g h t t o do;  must be  the moral  t r u e or  false,  or  There i s a r e a l  as  e f f e c t that  some  judgment  does the  of  to  wanted t o do  i s not  tastes  course,  thing  in i t but  d e p e n d e n t on  t o do  standards,  problem that  i t , since  mately j u s t i f y  idea  that moral  his  judgments c a n  incorrect according  i s the  view t h a t moral  supremely a u t h o r i t a t i v e i n p r a c t i c a l  sincerely believes  involved he  there  his action.  i n understanding  be  to  judgments matters.  someone  who  ought m o r a l l y  t o do  s o m e t h i n g and  yet  seems t o be  nothing  which could  ulti-  In  some s e n s e , m o r a l r e a s o n s a r e  the  best. There are  of the  moral  "morally might  take  A p e r s o n may,  i f he  judgment  at l e a s t c o r r e c t or  o v e r r i d i n g or  very  indeed  connected w i t h the  interpersonally valid  fails  l e t us  wants, d e s i r e s ,  s e n s e i n w h i c h he  "ought"  person's  wants. Closely  are  some  they  standard's a p p l i c a b i l i t y  action i n question  he  any  speaker takes t h a t  the  of  that  invoking  take that  j u d g m e n t s , a judgment t o t h e  o r c o r r e c t , and  or  a p p l i c a b i l i t y b e y o n d what  a consideration  c o n c e r n s t o be.  see  at  l e a s t two  "ought," both o f  ways o f a c c o u n t i n g them c o n s i s t e n t  ought" e n t a i l s "ought, a l l t h i n g s  suppose t h a t a moral  f o r the  with the  considered."  judgment i n c l u d e s , by  supremacy  notion  that  First,  g i v i n g due  and  one  19  proper  weight t o , a l l of  requiring view by  of  a moral d e c i s i o n .  the moral  C.I.  the v a r i o u s  s o r t s of reasons i n a  T h i s , what we  "ought," i s i l l u s t r a t e d  might c a l l In the  situation  the  summary  f o l l o w i n g passage  Lewis: O t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n s n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , what i s n o t m o r a l l y r i g h t s i m p l y i s n o t r i g h t to do We s h a l l h a r d l y c o n c e i v e o f t h e m o r a l j u d g e ment a s s u c h a f i n a l a r b i t r a r m e n t u n l e s s we a l s o t h i n k o f i t as a judgement i n w h i c h a l l v a l i d c l a i m s upon t h e a c t i n q u e s t i o n a r e d u l y w e i g h t e d and a b j u d i c a t e d . And t h e t e c h n i c a l and p r u d e n t i a l , as w e l l as c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the consequences t o o t h e r s , are such v a l i d claims. (Lewis,  Secondly,  i t m i g h t be  character  such t h a t they  any  sort.  other  1969,  Values  and  Imperatives,  p.  t h o u g h t t h a t m o r a l r e q u i r e m e n t s have a are  incommensurably w e i g h t i e r  I f , f o r example, one  a r i s e o n l y when t h e w i l l  o f God  that nothing  f o r c e i n such s i t u a t i o n s except f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n  what God  wants, then the m o r a l  has  a special  balances  source  and  a number o f v a l i d  I t h i n k t h a t the has  the  a u t h o r i t y and  advantage of  problems. w h i c h any  The  the  allowing  are  some c o n s t r a i n t s p l a c e d  candidate  or welfare  supreme b e c a u s e i t and  kinds.  f o r a r a t h e r broader range of held  i n the  i t  moral  extreme form i n  " o u g h t " judgment c o u n t s as m o r a l r e g a r d l e s s  nature  best  of  summary v i e w i s t h e more p l a u s i b l e and  the  moral problem can  could  because i t i n c l u d e s  of v a r i o u s  summary v i e w c o u l d be  practical of  claims  not  be  situation  arise.  in this  i n which i t arose, on  the  In the  regard  of persons other  s o r t of  next  i s the  than the  of  questions  have any  "ought" w i l l  special  than claims  t h i n k s t h a t moral  i s i n v o l v e d and  7)  but  usually  situation  there  i n which  s e c t i o n , I argue t h a t  of  a  the  requirement t h a t the i n t e r e s t s a g e n t be  involved.  20  I  said  judgments  will  the issue of the p r a c t i c a l  Actually  the connection  "ought," b e i n g e q u i v a l e n t  have  the required  which the o n l y v a l i d judgment will  have  i s quite  trivial  of moral  F o r example,  o v e r any and a l l t h e prima  the f i n a l  involves accounting a m o r a l judgment  facie  valid  makes t h e judgment  facie  "oughts"  t o c o n s t r u e e v e r y "ought, E v e n when t h e "ought"  f o r the welfare of persons, i t w i l l  only  i f i t c a n be s u p p o s e d t h a t  a more o r l e s s d e t e r m i n a t e way o f w e i g h t i n g be prima  ones, t h e  judgment.  t h i n g s c o n s i d e r e d , " a s a m o r a l judgment.  seem l i k e  i n a situation i n  ( a l l t h i n g s c o n s i d e r e d ) t o do t h i s o r t h a t  However, i t i s n o t v e r y p l a u s i b l e  judgment  considered,"  r e a s o n s a p e r s o n has a r e p r u d e n t i a l  a supremacy  of moral  s i n c e any  t o "ought a l l t h i n g s  authority.  t h a t he o u g h t  w h i c h go i n t o  all  supremacy  i s connected with the t h e s i s of the o b j e c t i v i t y  judgments. summary  that  there i s  t h e c l a i m s supposed t o  w h i c h c a n n o t l e g i t i m a t e l y v a r y d e p e n d i n g on who  o r when i t i s made.  some a t t e m p t s t o t a c k l e  In Chapter I I I I w i l l  t h e p r o b l e m o f showing  that  examine  there a r e such  v a l i d modes o f r e a s o n i n g . Most objectivist  a t t e m p t s a t u n d e r s t a n d i n g m o r a l i t y have line;  non-objectivist acceptability to  and I w i l l  c o n s i d e r them l a t e r  a s a n a l y s e s o f m o r a l phenomena.  the extent that  practical  however, t h e r e a r e m e t a m o r a l  thinking  they are acceptable, o f an a m o r a l i s t .  myself w i t h the unargued  t h e o r i e s which a r e as regards It will  emotion o r a t t i t u d e  For the present  statement o f the c l a i m  a l lfail  their  turn out that,  t h e y do n o t c a p t u r e t h e  that  t h e o r i e s which attempt t o a n a l y z e m o r a l judgments of  t a k e n an  I must  content  metamoral  as e x p r e s s i o n s  t o make s e n s e o f t h e l i f e  moral  21  concepts do  actually  lead  n o t p r o v i d e an  morality  account  involves real  which are independent and  in ordinary thinking.  and  of the  sense  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  t h a t most p e o p l e  o b j e c t i v e c l a i m s , d u t i e s and  of t h e i r  own  have  they that  obligations  p e r s o n a l emotions, v a l u a t i o n s  attitudes. Sidgwick,  ments  a l l o w i n g f o r the emotional content of moral  judg-  says: The p e c u l i a r e m o t i o n o f m o r a l a p p r o b a t i o n i s , i n my e x p e r i e n c e , i n s e p a r a b l y bound up with the c o n v i c t i o n , i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t , t h a t the conduct approved i s ' r e a l l y ' r i g h t i . e . t h a t i t c a n n o t , w i t h o u t e r r o r , be d i s a p p r o v e d by any o t h e r m i n d (p. 2 7 ) . So f a r , t h e n , f r o m b e i n g p r e p a r e d t o a d m i t t h a t t h e p r o p o s i t i o n "X o u g h t t o be done" m e r e l y e x p r e s s e s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a c e r t a i n sentiment i n myself or others, I f i n d i t s t r i c t l y i m p o s s i b l e so t o r e g a r d my own m o r a l j u d g m e n t s w i t h o u t e l i m i n a t i n g f r o m the concomitant sentiment the p e c u l i a r q u a l i t y s i g n i f i e d by t h e t e r m ' m o r a l . ' (Sidgwick,  This  seems t o me  1966,  A note about use  the terms  Sometimes t h e y w i l l moral will  language, refer  correctly ive  terminology: "objectivist" refer  described by  those c o n c e p t s as w e l l A  subjectivist,  and  "subjectivist"  to a t h e o r e t i c a l so on.  these t h e o r i e s . he w i l l  as use  view  be  p. of  28)  object-  of the t h e s i s i n two  about  and  the nature  language  I f someone i s h i g h l y  h o l d a t h e o r y about  of they  are reflect-  the nature  d e s c r i b e d by  someone who  I  ways.  Sometimes, however,  them i n t h e way  f o r example, may  Ethics,  consciousness.  o f p e r s o n whose c o n c e p t s  of concepts  of  of the element  In t h e r e m a i n d e r  v a l u e j u d g m e n t s and  to the s o r t  i n h i s use  Methods  t o be a v e r y good s t a t e m e n t  i v i s m present i n the o r d i n a r y moral  will  The  the theory.  does n o t a s s i g n  o b j e c t i v e v a l u e t o a n y t h i n g , does not r e c o g n i z e o b j e c t i v e l y  of  valid  22  standards of a c t i o n ,  e t c . and who r e a l i z e s  sequently understands others.  that  o t h e r s do and c o n -  h i s u s e o f c e r t a i n words may m i s l e a d  I hope t h a t w h i c h o f t h e s e u s e s o f " o b j e c t i v i s t " and  "subjectivist"  i s intended i n various contexts w i l l  t h a t no s e r i o u s c o n f u s i o n s w i l l  3  that  be c l e a r , and  result.  The w e l f a r e o f o t h e r s The  persons and  ought  ought  stituting all  acceptance  t o do, o r about  o f judgments about  what s t a t e s o f a f f a i r s  t o be p r o m o t e d , g o e s a l o n g way, I t h i n k , a person  t h e way.  only thing or  of the o b j e c t i v i t y  as a m o r a l  agent.  of real  d o e s n o t go  someone who b e l i e v e s  what o u g h t  Such a p e r s o n  that the  I t h i n k we w o u l d h e s i t a t e  For convenience, "ought"  licly  l e t us c a l l  to c a l l  sort,  them a s v a l i d  the obvious c o n f l i c t  his position  t o advocate  about  An e t h i c a l  a moral one. object-  i n spite of  between t h e s e v a l u e s and a n y t r u e c o n c e r n f o r  amoral  how p e o p l e o u g h t  theory, then, w i l l  an e t h i c a l  advocated  (but amoral)  be a p r a c t i c a l  t o a c t , what o b l i g a t i o n s and d u t i e s  h a v e and so o n , w h i c h c a n be c o n s i s t e n t l y m a i n t a i n e d , publicly  t o make  s u c h v a l u e s pub-  and b i n d i n g on a l l ,  t h e w e a l and woe o f human b e i n g s g e n e r a l l y , agent.  comfort-  and wrong, and so on;  a p e r s o n who i s p r e p a r e d  judgments o f t h i s  and t o d e f e n d  can t a l k  t o be done, what o b l i g a t i o n s and  d u t i e s p e o p l e h a v e , what a c t i o n s a r e r i g h t  and  con-  t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a s much " u n s p o i l e d " n a t u r e a s p o s s i b l e , o r  a b l y enough a b o u t  ive  toward  v a l u e i s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f g r e a t works o f a r t ,  t h e supremacy o f t h e N a z i s t a t e .  yet  have v a l u e  But i t c e r t a i n l y  C o n s i d e r , f o r example,  what  with  some  (perhaps  theory they  a c t e d upon  o n l y minimal)  plausibility  23  and  which claims to express  for  acting.  like and  To  the moral this  use  the t r u t h  Hare's u s e f u l  a b o u t what r e a s o n s  terminology  "ought," i s u n i v e r s a l i z a b l e  commits t h o s e who  use  belief on  t h a t i t i s h i s duty  n o t h i n g beyond  example, r e s t  on  o t h e r s happy. there  itself  i t makes, l i t t l e we  are  n o t be  crucial,  t h a t h i s own  what he nature  difference  Falk  calls  the  (1963,  practical  problems w i l l highest  the  for  happiness  d e p e n d s on  making  but  the b a s i c i d e a i s t h a t  of pleasure.  On  and  count  of f e e l i n g  the  and  but  pleasure.  " n o n - f o r m a l i s t " views of to the  v i e w any  formalist,  a person's resolution  (overriding) values.  the welfare of other persons.  p a i n and  faculty  Others") d i s t i n g u i s h e s  as m o r a l p r o v i d e d  a p p r o a c h i s more i n l i n e w i t h o u r  Different  a r e endowed w i t h t h e  According  this  and  for others d i f f e r e n t l y  "Morality, Self,  " o u g h t " judgment i s m o r a l o n l y  with  on  p o i n t h e r e w h e t h e r , f o r example,  are capable  "ought."  or p r i n c i p l e s .  that person's  rests  concern  i t cannot,  judgment i s n o r m a l i f i t e x p r e s s e s  concerns  some d i r e c t  the  but  concern  t o my  "formalist"  of the moral  "ought"  an  ground t h i s  or because they  W.D.  understand  between t a k i n g p l e a s u r e i n h e l p i n g o t h e r s  to r e s p e c t o t h e r s because they  of reason  (1963)  t o c a r e f o r o t h e r s o r whether i t r e s t s  helping others i n order to get a f e e l i n g moral t h e o r i e s w i l l  normally  must d i s p l a y  More a b o u t t h a t l a t e r ,  i s a difference  "ought,"  prescriptive  Whether h i s c o n c e r n  may  a belief  have  i t to public discussion.  i d e a o f m o r a l i t y , a moral agent the w e l f a r e of persons.  the e t h i c a l  and  What I want t o c l a i m i s t h a t , as we  for  people  i f i t also  the  an  overriding of a  person's  t h a t i t embodies  For the n o n - f o r m a l i s t , involves a  I have s u g g e s t e d  concern  t h a t the  ordinary understanding  of  latter  moral  24  agency.  Moral t h i n k i n g , then, has a c e n t r a l formal f e a t u r e - the  o b j e c t i v i t y o f moral judgments and t h e i r attendant and  a c e n t r a l substantive  overridingness;  f e a t u r e - a manifest involvement with  the w e l f a r e of persons. Various philosophers  have t r i e d i n v a r i o u s ways t o account  f o r the n e c e s s i t y o f c o n s i d e r i n g ations.  o t h e r s i n our p r a c t i c a l d e l i b e r -  David Hume, f o r example, p o s t u l a t e d  a universal  natural  a f f e c t i o n or sentiment d i r e c t e d toward the b e n e f i t o f o t h e r persons and  society i n general.  thought, could  Only i f men have such a sentiment, he  they be moved t o moral a c t i o n .  He says:  [T]hough t h i s a f f e c t i o n of humanity may not g e n e r a l l y be esteemed so strong as v a n i t y or ambition, y e t , being common t o a l l men, i t can alone be the foundation o f morals, o r of any general system o f blame o r p r a i s e . (Hume, 1966, Enquiry Concerning the P r i n c i p l e s of Morals, IX, I,  p. U D  Hume's problem, however, was t o show how t h i s n a t u r a l a f f e c t , supposing i t e x i s t s , comes t o appear i n the guise o f o b j e c t i v e and e x t e r n a l requirements on a c t i o n - whence d u t i e s and o b l i g a t i o n s , etc.?  Joseph B u t l e r t r i e d t o s o l v e t h i s problem by p o s t u l a t i n g  a f a c u l t y o f c o n s c i e n c e whose nature i t was t o i s s u e a u t h o r i t a t i v e d i r e c t i v e s on b e h a l f  o f our v a r i o u s  ( B u t l e r , 1967, esp. p. The  sentiments  (notably  benevolence)  53).  c e n t r a l importance o f the n o t i o n of the w e l f a r e of  o t h e r s to moral agency i s f u r t h e r a t t e s t e d to by the f a c t t h a t  love  of humanity, benevolence, k i n d l i n e s s , b r o t h e r l y l o v e , c h a r i t y and so on have always been primary moral v i r t u e s . Not  content w i t h the postulation  o f a n a t u r a l and u n i v e r s a l  sentiment as the b a s i s f o r the requirement t o d i s p l a y a regard f o r  25  others  i n moral t h i n k i n g ,  have a r g u e d t h a t others  language being is,  R.M.  Hare  (1963) f o r example,  the moral requirement t o consider the i n t e r e s t s o f  i s derivative  discourse.  some w r i t e r s ,  from a f o r m a l o r l o g i c a l  Hare m a i n t a i n s t h a t  feature o f moral  the d i s t i n c t i v e  f e a t u r e s of moral  are i t s prescriptiveness and i t s u n i v e r s a l i z a b i l i t y ,  the source o f the moral  injunction  any a c t i o n which has consequences  a g e n t c a n be t h e s u b j e c t o f a m o r a l ments a r e u n i v e r s a l i z a b l e ,  the l a t t e r  to consider others.  f o r persons other than the  judgment  and s i n c e moral  t h e a g e n t , i f he c o n c e r n s h i m s e l f  t h e m o r a l n a t u r e o f h i s a c t i o n s , must be p r e p a r e d t o a c c e p t prescribe) roles  That  judgwith (even  a c t i o n s o f t h e same s o r t b y o t h e r s i n c a s e s where t h e  are reversed.  This  i s because moral  acceptance o f a p r i n c i p l e which  judgments  a p p l i e s t o anyone.  imply the Thus,  when  c o n s i d e r i n g what t o do, t h e m o r a l p e r s o n c o n s i d e r s t h e e f f e c t s o f h i s a c t i o n s on o t h e r s a s t h o u g h he were i n t h e i r their  concerns.  as u n d e r l y i n g ing  t o Hare, Other  idea  this  imagined r e v e r s a l  rules.  the morality  t h e same; m o r a l i t y  of the l o g i c  i t i s , accord-  game. The  r e q u i r e s us t o l o o k  o f moral  judgments,  principles  I n s p i t e o f t h e wide a c c e p t a n c e o f such arguments they f a i l  to address the c r u c i a l  questions,  ox- .  among I think.  t o be e x p l a i n e d why anyone s h o u l d be c o n c e r n e d t o engage  i n moral d e l i b e r a t i o n s logical  rather  o f o u r a c t i o n s on o t h e r s a s t h o u g h we were i n t h e i r  because  philosphers, needs  of roles;  s t a t e m e n t s o f s u c h a G o l d e n R u l e a p p r o a c h abound.  i s always b a s i c a l l y  position  sentiment of benevolence i s postulated  a requirement o f p l a y i n g  to the e f f e c t s  It  No g e n e r a l  shoes, h a v i n g  implications  and hence  to subject  o f making moral  themselves t o the a l l e g e d  judgments.  Even  i f a deep  26  concern f o r o t h e r s c o u l d e x p l a i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the moral realm, the use o f moral language, e t c . , the v e r y f a c t t h a t moral r e q u i r e ments a r e so o f t e n seen as e x t e r n a l i m p o s i t i o n s  s e r v i n g t o modify  the " n a t u r a l " course o f behaviour suggests t h i s sentiment i s not strong enough, i n g e n e r a l  and i n i t s e l f , to account f o r the f e e l i n g  t h a t moral t h i n k i n g i s r e q u i r e d .  T h i s may l e a d t o the p o s t u l a t i o n  of a d i s t i n c t i v e l y moral s o r t o f m o t i v a t i o n  such as Kantian "love  o f duty" o r "reverence f o r the moral law" and t o the i d e a t h a t moral requirements a r e o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d and independent o f even the l i m i t e d concern which people have n a t u r a l l y f o r t h e i r  fellows.  S e t t i n g a s i d e f o r now t h e problems i n v o l v e d i n attempting to show t h a t a concern f o r o t h e r s i s somehow r e q u i r e d , what form t h i s concern takes f o r the moral agent.  l e t me suggest  The next s e c t i o n  d e a l s w i t h the concept of t h e moral p o i n t of view, a p o i n t o f view from which i t i s i n e v i t a b l e t h a t one take f u l l cognizance o f other persons' i n t e r e s t s .  In Chapter I I I , I w i l l  take up the ques-  t i o n of why i t might be supposed t h a t anyone i s r e q u i r e d t o take up t h a t s p e c i a l p o i n t o f view i n h i s p r a c t i c a l d e l i b e r a t i o n s .  4  The moral p o i n t o f view Moral t h i n k i n g i n v o l v e s the adoption of a s p e c i a l p o i n t o f  view.  Kurt B a i e r  (1958) has termed t h i s the "moral p o i n t o f view"  and the "God's eye p o i n t o f view." perspective  The n o t i o n t h a t there i s some  above the concerns o f the d e l i b e r a t i n g agent from which  s i t u a t i o n s r e q u i r i n g a moral d e c i s i o n a r e t o be viewed, however, goes back a t l e a s t as f a r as Adam Smith  (1976, The Theory  of Moral  Senti-  27 ments,  esp.  agent  one  VII,  1.49).  ii,  must, i n d e l i b e r a t i n g  just  one  just  t h e i n t e r e s t s o f one  person  considered  an  concept  particular  one  will  objectivity I will  ideal  a f f e c t e d by  p o i n t of view i s h e l p f u l  inclinations  good  as  of oneself  impersonally)  i t i n more d e p t h  been argued  observer,  with  deliberating  in rising  above one's i n which  ( w e l f a r e ) w i t h what i s t r u l y good.  o f moral judgments b r i e f l y  has  the a c t i o n  t o a view o f one's s i t u a t i o n  o n e ' s own  really,  deal with It  person  as  must r e g a r d o n e ' s i n t e r e s t s  judgments a r e o b j e c t i v e s i n c e  not confuse  (objectively,  one  consider oneself  o f the moral p o i n t of view i s connected  "impersonal"  own  on what t o do,  "someone."  idea t h a t moral  from  b a s i c i d e a i s t h a t t o a c t as a m o r a l  among o t h e r s and  as a  The the  The  I have d i s c u s s e d  i n a previous section  in a later  the and  chapter.  t h a t t h e r e i s a p o i n t o f view, t h a t of  which i s e i t h e r  i n v o l v e d i n t h e v e r y meaning  an  of  m o r a l judgments o r which h e l p s t o g i v e the t r u t h - c o n d i t i o n s f o r moral  judgments.  analyzed  T h e o r i e s which h o l d t h a t moral  a s meaning  t h a t an  in  c e r t a i n ways c a n be  an  i d e a l observer  As  an  sense way  some  who  although  he  has  being  t h e o r i e s which appeal  - the  ideal observer  Hume c a n be  t o be  Five  Types  of  Ethical  Theory,  to  those here  pp.  84-93).  is moral  understood  an e x p o n e n t o f t h e  s t r o n g e r t h e s i s about t h e meaning o f m o r a l judgments 1930,  as  endowed w i t h an u n c o r r u p t e d  been t a k e n  feel  the nature o f moral t h i n k i n g .  aware o f t h e f a c t s . also  be  or think or  c o n s i d e r t h e o r i e s such  theorists  (non-actual)  is fully  to c l a r i f y  latter,  a d v a n c e d by m o r a l s e n s e usually  o b s e r v e r w o u l d do  d i s t i n g u i s h e d from  i n order  example o f t h e  ideal  judgments can  this former  ( c f . CD.  Broad,  28  Roderick F i r t h  (1951-2,  O b s e r v e r " ) more r e c e n t l y ver  theory.  His  has  p r o p o s e s t h a t we  the  is right"  "x  form,  "Any  ideal  under  s u c h and  express the  i n terms of  such c o n d i t i o n s "  the  c o n d i t i o n s under which the  are  instructive,  i s his  observer's reaction. of  the  Firth  The  claims that  experienced  can  be  therefore  d i s c o u n t e d by  objection  r e a c t i o n s of  ideal  The  defining  F i r t h as  situations  an  in  s u c h and  Firth's  the  observer  morally  -the  the  i n terms of of  i s supposed to nature of  be  the  He  the way  the  i s to  of operate  ideal be  one  disapproval.  such emotions which  ethically  of  this there  ideal  notes,  kind is  (p.  observer are reaction  incidentally,  1.  "He  is  i n mind, F i r t h d e s c r i b e s  omniscient  with  respect  T h i s r e f l e c t s the f a c t t h a t : "We sometimes d i s q u a l i f y of a p a r t i c u l a r e t h i c a l  to  the  non-ethical  ideal  to that:  observer. facts."  o u r s e l v e s as- j u d g e s q u e s t i o n on t h e g r o u n d  329). set  [ T ] h e r e i s no good r e a s o n t o b e l i e v e t h a t a l l human b e i n g s , no m a t t e r what t h e e x t e n t o f t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l d e v e l o p m e n t , and no m a t t e r what t h e i r p a s t s o c i a l e n v i r o n m e n t , could analyze t h e i r e t h i c a l statements c o r r e c t l y by r e f e r e n c e t o p r e c i s e l y t h e same k i n d o f i d e a l o b s e r v e r and p r e c i s e l y the same p s y c h o l o g i c a l phenomena (p. 330). , With t h i s c a u t i o n  no  significant  moral emotions"  c o n d i t i o n s under which h i s  significant.  of  description  "unless apparent f a c t s  defining  judgments  such a  moral a p p r o v a l or  seems t o  characteristics  including are  to  obser-  statements  subtle phenomenological a n a l y s i s ,  epistemological  ideal  ethical  observer's reaction  there c e r t a i n l y  and  x  observer  " s p e c i f i c a l l y moral emotions" of  are  by  to  d i s c u s s i o n of ideal  Ideal  s t a t e m e n t s which have  329).  ideal  the  the  meaning o f  other  (p.  and  of  meaning o f  o b s e r v e r would r e a c t  as  Absolutism  attempted a r e v i v a l  i s a t h e o r y about the  i n w h i c h he form  "Ethical  out  29  t h a t we a r e n o t s u f f i c i e n t l y f a m i l i a r with t h e f a c t s o f t h e c a s e , a n d we r e g a r d one person as a b e t t e r moral judge than another i f , o t h e r t h i n g s b e i n g e q u a l , t h e one has a l a r g e r amount of r e l e v a n t f a c t u a l knowledge than the other" (p. 333).  2.  "He  is  This  3.  omnipercipient."  r e f l e c t s the fact that: "We s o m e t i m e s d i s q u a l i f y o u r s e l v e s a s judges of c e r t a i n e t h i c a l q u e s t i o n s on the ground t h a t we c a n n o t s a t i s f a c t o r i l y i m a g i n e or v i s u a l i z e some o f t h e r e l e v a n t f a c t s , and i n g e n e r a l we r e g a r d o n e p e r s o n a s a better moral judge than another i f , other things b e i n g e q u a l , the one i s b e t t e r a b l e to imagine or v i s u a l i z e the r e l e v a n t facts" (p. 335) .  "He i s  disinterested."  I.e., he i s e n t i r e l y l a c k i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t s where a p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i s one w h i c h cannot be suitably d e s c r i b e d . i n terms of u n i v e r s a l s without a l t e r i n g the nature of the i n t e r e s t . This c o n d i t i o n r e f l e c t s the fact that: "We s o m e t i m e s d i s q u a l i f y o u r s e l v e s a s judges of c e r t a i n e t h i c a l q u e s t i o n s on the ground t h a t we c a n n o t m a k e o u r s e l v e s i m p a r t i a l . . . " (p. 335).  4.  "He  is  dispassionate."  This, along w i t h the absence of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t s , p l e t e s the a n a l y s i s of i m p a r t i a l i t y mentioned i n 3: "... we c a n s a y t h a t a n i d e a l observer is d i s p a s s i o n a t e i n t h e s e n s e t h a t he i s incapable of experiencing emotions of t h i s kind [ p a r t i c u l a r emotions] - such as emotions of jealousy, self-love, personal hatred, and others which are directed towards particular i n d i v i d u a l s as such" (p. 340).  5.  "He i s  com-  -;  consistent."  This c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s a consequence of a l l of the other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and the presence or absence of consistency i s a test of the adequacy of the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the ideal observer. That i s , the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the ideal observer must guarantee t h a t h i s r e a c t i o n s w i l l be invariant among s i m i l a r situations.  6.  "In other  respects  The c o n c e p t is that the  he i s  of normalcy i s ideal observer  normal." not i s ,  e a s i l y analyzed but a f t e r a l l , a person  the and  idea his  30  p e r s o n a l i t y should pp. 3 4 4 - 5 ) . I isolated certain and  have quoted  other  Firth  persons  as e l i g i b l e  5  Some o t h e r  a c t u a l l y a r e used  judgments.  to  Also  features  of morality  In  this  persons section  features other  that  moral  moral  of moral  I w i s h t o show t h a t  h i s account  gives of  deliberations  involves  judgments  o f view  Morality  i sutterly  between m o r a l i t y  and a p r e p a r e d the interests  practical significance.  i ti s reasonable to take  and moral  i spractical  primarily  from which  t o be c e n t r a l ones by c o n s i d e r i n g  One t h i n g w h i c h connection  debate  agency  agency  come t o h a v e c o n s i d e r a b l e  aspects of morality (i)  discount  t h e i n t e r e s t s and w e l f a r e  and moral  t o t a k e up a d e l i b e r a t i v e p o i n t  other  he h a s  agent.  acceptance of the o b j e c t i v i t y  of  to  that  f o r inclusion i n serious  p a r t i c u l a r moral  So f a r I h a v e a r g u e d  two  I think  p e r s o n s may c o m e t o g e t a g r i p o n t h e p r a c t i c a l  the moral  ness  because  i n d i c a t i o n o f o n e way i n w h i c h  of  the  t h e bounds o f t h e normal ( c f .  a t length  most o f t h e f a c t o r s which  to discount  a good  l i ewithin  their  and a c t i o n .  relationship  agency.  - the problem beyond  dispute  of  motivation  i s the intimate  A s Hume p u t i t :  I f m o r a l i t y h a d no i n f l u e n c e o n human p a s s i o n s and' a c t i o n s , ' t w e r e i n v a i n t o take such pains t o i n c u l c a t e i t ; and nothing wou'd be more f r u i t l e s s t h a n t h a t multitude o f r u l e s a n d precepts.,- w i t h w h i c h a l l m o r a l i s t s abound. Philosophy i s commonly d i v i d e d between s p e c u l a t i v e and p r a c t i c a l ' , and a s m o r a l i t y i s a l w a y s comprehended under t h e l a t t e r d i v i s i o n , ' t i s supposed to i n f l u e n c e o u r passions and a c t i o n s , and t o go beyond t h e calm and i n d o l e n t judgments  of t h e understanding.  these  And t h i s  i s confirmed  31  by common e x p e r i e n c e , w h i c h i n f o r m s u s , t h a t men a r e o f t e n g o v e r n ' d by t h e i r d u t i e s , and a r e d e t e r " d f r o m some a c t i o n s by t h e o p i n i o n o f i n j u s t i c e , and i m p e l l ' d t o o t h e r s by t h a t o f o b l i g a t i o n . (Hume, 1888, T r e a t i s e , I I I , 1,1,' p. While  457)  i t i s p r o b a b l y t o o much t o s a y t h a t  properly classed  as a m o r a l  to  i s an u n d e n i a b l e and e s s e n t i a l  action,  morality  there  judgment  must be  and q u e s t i o n s a b o u t what t o do.  questions are candidates f o r moral clearly,  i t i s always  thinking  morally.  At  relevant  c o n n e c t i o n between not a l l p r a c t i c a l  and, p e r h a p s  less  t o d e c i d e what t o do w i t h o u t  judgment  t h e r e b y makes a commitment t o a c t i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h a t  judgment  i n s o f a r as he  arise.  pp.  this:  immediately  Clearly  solution  utterance  s i n c e r e l y makes a m o r a l  Moral  least  possible  every  anyone who  i s c a p a b l e o f d o i n g so, s h o u l d t h e o c c a s i o n  judgments,  i n some s e n s e , commit t h e w i l l .  163-8) p u t s t h e m a t t e r  imperatives. judgments the  CL.  will  Stevenson  as e x p r e s s i n g  practical  i n terms o f moral (1944, pp.  attitudes  bearing of moral  Falk  a distinction  (1947-8,  between two  judgments  ensuring  judgments  and K a n t made t h e  good  evaluations.  "'Ought' and  Motivation  morally  "ought."  On  r e q u i r e m e n t on him. of  b e i n g grounded  the e x t e r n a l i s t i s to point The  ")  introduced  v i e w s on t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between  and m o t i v a t i o n o r between two  something  entailing  something,thereby  judgments  t o do  (1952,  13-19) s p e a k s o f m o r a l  "ought"  ought  Hare  toward  the r e f e r e n c e p o i n t of a l l moral W.D.  R.M.  view,  different  t o say t h a t  t o some o b j e c t i v e o r  r e q u i r e m e n t may  be e x t e r n a l  i n t h e commands o f a d e i t y ,  moral  uses of  someone external  i n the  the d i c t a t e s  sense of  32  society  o r even  i n something  uation.  The i m p o r t a n t t h i n g  external  use o f "ought"  depending  i s that  t h e demand e x p r e s s e d i n an  "has an o b j e c t i v e  i n no way on a n y t h i n g p e c u l i a r  constitution" struing  as vague as t h e n a t u r e o f h i s s i t -  (pp. 1 2 5 - 1 2 6 ) .  the moral  "ought"  e x i s t e n c e o f i t s own t o the agent's  The p r o b l e m ,  as e x t e r n a l  psychological  F a l k argues, w i t h con-  i s this:  I f " I o u g h t " means " I am f r o m o u t s i d e m y s e l f demanded t o do some a c t , " w h e t h e r by t h e w i l l o f a n o t h e r , o r more i m p e r s o n a l l y by t h e " s i t u a t i o n , " t h e r e w i l l t h e n be no n e c e s s a r y c o n n e c t i o n f o r anyone between h a v i n g t h e d u t y and b e i n g u n d e r any manner o f r e a l c o m p u l s i o n t o do t h e a c t . F o r no one r e a l l y need do any a c t m e r e l y b e c a u s e i t i s demanded o f him, w h e t h e r by a d e i t y o r s o c i e t y or the " s i t u a t i o n , " but only i f , i n a d d i t i o n , he f i n d s w i t h i n h i m s e l f a m o t i v e s u f f i c i e n t f o r s a t i s f y i n g t h e demand (p. 1 2 6 ) . But t h e r e one,  according  to Falk.  or  "motivational  to  say  that  i s a n o t h e r use o f "ought"  besides the e x t e r n a l i s t  I t i s what he c a l l s  use."  someone o u g h t  When " o u g h t "  the " i n t e r n a l i s t use"  i s used m o t i v a t i o n a l l y ,  t o do s o m e t h i n g  '  i s to:  express nothing other than a c e r t a i n r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n a p e r s o n ' s d i s p o s i t i o n a l and occurrent motives: t h a t though o c c u r r e n t l y he had no i m p u l s e o r d e s i r e t o do an a c t o r none s u f f i c i e n t l y s t r o n g , d i s p o s i t i o n a l l y he was u n d e r an e f f e c t i v e and o v e r - r i d i n g c o m p u l s i o n t o do i t (p. 1 2 9 ) . In o r d i n a r y m o r a l  l a n g u a g e , F a l k m a i n t a i n s , t h e s e two u s e s a r e  not adequately d i s t i n g u i s h e d : The external and i n t e r n a l u s e s o f " o u g h t " r e m a i n u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , and a r e i m p e r c e p t i b l y j u x t a p o s e d and c o n f u s e d . T h e r e may be an u n n o t i c e d s w i t c h f r o m t h e u s e o f " o u g h t " f r o m one t o t h e o t h e r , f r o m a d i v i n e command, o r r e q u i r e m e n t o f o t h e r s , t o a d i c t a t e o f c o n s c i e n c e , o r , when t h e more s o p h i s t i c a t e d speak t h e l a n g u a g e o f  '  33  o b j e c t i v e " c l a i m s , " an a l t e r n a t i o n between a n e b u l o u s e x t e r n a l i s t and an i n t e r n a l i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f one and t h e same t h i n g (p. 1 3 7 ) . T h e r e may and o t h e r s  w e l l be c a s e s i n w h i c h  i n which  i t i s used i n t e r n a l l y  o u g h t t o d r i v e on t h e r i g h t f o r m e r and of  "You  the l a t t e r .  d i s c o u r s e we objectivist "ought" that  hand  i s used  s i d e , " may  be an example  t o make a c h o i c e between t h e s e two  c a n , i t seems, p e r f e c t l y w e l l speaking, neither  i t i s , i n i m p o r t a n t ways, b o t h .  herence i n arguing  that moral  constitution  basic  facts  eration  extent external,  t o be g r o u n d e d  It  distinguish  "externalist"  of  " o u g h t , " t o senses  of  "ought."  uses o f "ought" d e f i n e d views about which use context.  According  and  inco-  demands psycho-  but  ( o r any  that fairly  conditions.  Of c o u r s e ,  somehow i n some v e r y the p o i n t of  i s not very  "internalist"  supposes above  or  judgments)  o f " o u g h t , " and t o views  I t h i n k he  the moral  delib-  sort.  s h o u l d p e r h a p s be n o t e d t h a t F a l k  to  An  t o make m o r a l  a b o u t human n a t u r e , r a t i o n a l i t y ,  or something o f t h a t  uses.  person's p e c u l i a r  be m o t i v a t e d t o p e r f o r m u n d e r c e r t a i n have  i n moral  present  t h e y n e v e r t h e l e s s recommend a c t i o n s w h i c h anyone  t h o s e c o n d i t i o n s would  example  nor e x t e r n a l ,  judgments  n o r m a l p e r s o n a b o u t whom i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e  "You  of the  T h e r e i s no o b v i o u s  "ought"  and a r e t o t h a t  argue t h a t  internal  w h i c h a r e i n d e p e n d e n t o f any p a r t i c u l a r  would  be an  However, i t i s n o t a t a l l o b v i o u s t h a t  need  externally  or m o t i v a t i o n a l l y .  o u g h t t o w a t c h what you e a t , " may  i s , strictly  logical  "ought"  that  and t h a t  i s involved  t o F a l k , we  careful  as a p p l i e d about the  there are at l e a s t there are  to  meaning the  at least  i n t h e u s e o f "ought"  uses  two  two  i n a moral  must d e c i d e w h i c h u s e o r v i e w  best  34  r e f l e c t s what we that  there  alist not  want t o s a y u s i n g  i s no need  "ought" m o r a l l y .  t o c h o o s e between t h e i n t e r n a l i s t  views about the nature o f the moral  be two  distinguishable  uses  o f "ought"  I do n o t w i s h t o s u g g e s t t h a t the  way  of discovering  "ought"  will  become c l e a r  as we  externmay  discourse.  a n a l y s i s of moral and  in  discourse  internalist  serious d i f f i c u l t i e s  i n d e e d as  p r o c e e d ; however, I d i s a g r e e w i t h F a l k ' s  claim  t h a t what one  moral  l a n g u a g e i s a c o n f u s i o n o f two  i s dealing with i n attempting to understand  Certainly Falk objectivist  and  t h e r e a r e no d i f f i c u l t i e s  an o b j e c t i v i s t  I think there are very  suggesting  since there  i n moral  w h i c h e f f e c t s a s y n t h e s i s between e x t e r n a l i s t views.  I am  uses of  "ought."  i s a d e q u a t e l y aware o f t h e a p p e a l o f  analyses which attempt the s y n t h e s i s .  He n o t e s :  P e o p l e v e r y commonly combine a v i e w o f " o u g h t " as a r e q u i r e m e n t f r o m o u t s i d e , o r an i n n e r c o m p u l s i o n o f a s p e c i a l q u a l i t y , w i t h adherence t o a p u r i s t view of i t s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h m o t i v a t i o n , n o t so much as l o n g as t h e y v i e w t h e m o r a l law as t h e demand o f a d e i t y o r o f s o c i a l c o n v e n t i o n , b u t o n c e t h e y t h i n k o f i t as somehow o b j e c t i v e l y grounded i n the n a t u r e o f t h i n g s (p. 1 3 6 ) . I is  something  "ought." is  r e j e c t , then, F a l k ' s c l a i m  used  i n t h e n a t u r e o f a d e c i s i o n between two  I f the moral  "ought"  dispositionally,  uses of  i t must be u n d e r s t o o d as  demand o r c l a i m w h i c h d o e s have,  an at  least  an i n t i m a t e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e m o t i v a t i o n s o f  human a g e n t s .  T h i s must be  so i f , as I have a r g u e d , m o r a l  j u d g m e n t s a r e u n d e r s t o o d , by t h o s e who of  required  i s t o be u n d e r s t o o d a t a l l , as i t  i n ordinary moral discourse,  e x p r e s s i o n o f an " e x t e r n a l "  normal  t h a t what i s u l t i m a t e l y  objectively valid  r e q u i r e m e n t s on  make them, as  action.  expressions  35  (ii)  Morality  as a s o c i a l  Another feature  of morality  theories  recognize  thinking  are e s s e n t i a l l y social.  128)  i s that  makes t h e p o i n t  n a t u r e by a s k i n g and  which v i r t u a l l y  Richard  a moral kind  argues, r i g h t l y  can a r i s e u n t i l  the Categorical  living  are social i n  Imperative  life  one w i t h one  I think,  the f i n a l  o f human  that  no  question  s t a g e a t w h i c h we R e c a l l t h a t Kant  have  formu-  i n terms o f r a t i o n a l agents  as a kingdom o f ends. Emphasizing  the s o c i a l  character  suggests a "minimal c o n c e p t i o n He  (1970, p p . 125-  and f i n a l l y  p e r s o n s i n t e r a c t i n g i n a s o c i a l manner. lates  Taylor  t o imagine a world devoid  t h e n one w i t h a s i n g l e i n h a b i t a n t Taylor  a l l metamoral  t h e u s e o f m o r a l c o n c e p t s and m o r a l  that moral considerations  us f i r s t  o r more p e r s o n s . of  institution  of morality,  of morality"  P.P. S t r a w s o n  as a " p u b l i c  convenience."  says: [ I ] t i s a c o n d i t i o n o f t h e e x i s t e n c e o f any f o r m o f s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , o f any human community, t h a t c e r t a i n e x p e c t a t i o n s o f b e h a v i o u r on t h e p a r t o f i t s members s h o u l d be pretty regularly f u l f i l l e d : t h a t some d u t i e s , one m i g h t s a y , s h o u l d be p e r f o r m e d , some o b l i g a t i o n s a c k n o w l e d g e d , some r u l e s o b s e r v e d . ( S t r a w s o n , 1961, " S o c i a l M o r a l i t y and I n d i v i d u a l I d e a l , " p . 5)  This  conception  unless  i s p r o b a b l y much more m i n i m a l t h a n S t r a w s o n  some c o n n e c t i o n  i s made between " e x p e c t a t i o n s , "  and  "obligations" since morality  and  not j u s t expectations.  ization still,  involves every  persons  involves  duties  I t i s a tautology  fulfilling  s o c i e t y d o e s have a m o r a l i t y  may a t l e a s t be an i n t e r e s t i n g  tautology.  and " d u t i e s "  and o b l i g a t i o n s  that  expectations  thinks  social  organ-  "pretty regularly":  o f some s o r t and t h a t  36  The  idea t h a t m o r a l i t y has a function  i s the p r e s e r v a t i o n o f s o c i a l l i f e to i t a r e other  features.  and t h a t i t s f u n c t i o n  i s a powerful one and l i n k e d  For example, m o r a l i t y ,  as a system o f  r u l e s and p r i n c i p l e s or as a mode of d e l i b e r a t i o n , must be teachable and must be such t h a t human nature being what i t i s , people w i l l f o r the most p a r t adopt the r u l e s or d e l i b e r a t i v e procedures and  a c t i n accordance with them.  M o r a l i t y cannot a b s o l u t e l y  r e q u i r e what most people cannot be expected t o do.  The r e q u i r e -  ments o f m o r a l i t y must not seem a r b i t r a r y or o v e r l y and  oppressive  they must c a r r y a u t h o r i t y o f some s o r t i n order  capable o f c u r b i n g of the s o c i a l u n i t .  t h a t i t be  behaviour which would j e o p a r d i z e Most, i f not a l l ,  of m o r a l i t y  the s t a b i l i t y i s thus concerned  with modes o f behaviour which p o t e n t i a l l y a f f e c t o t h e r s . those areas o f p r i v a t e m o r a l i t y  (as opposed t o s o c i a l  Even  morality)  which seem t o concern no one but the i n d i v i d u a l concerned, can g e n e r a l l y be understood i n terms o f the p r o d u c t i o n  of character  types which are b e n e f i c i a l o r a t l e a s t benign from the p o i n t o f view of the s u r v i v a l o f s o c i e t y .  I f a boundary can be drawn between  moral v i r t u e s and v i c e s , and non-moral human e x c e l l e n c e s and deficiencies,  i t i s l i k e l y t o l i e a t the juncture o f those  which a r e s i g n i f i c a n t to the maintenance o f s o c i e t a l and  things  stability  those which a r e not. The  s o c i a l character  o f m o r a l i t y can be seen as a c o r o l l a r y  of the f a c t t h a t moral agents recognize  the ( o b j e c t i v e )  ment t o concern themselves w i t h the w e l f a r e  of others.  requireMoral  problems a r i s e when the a c t i o n s o f one person o r group o f persons a f f e c t the w e l f a r e  o f others  and t h i s means t h a t the a p p r o p r i a t e  37  forms o f s o c i a l will  be d e t e r m i n e d  conducted do  i n t e r a c t i o n ( s o c i e t y ' s r u l e s , c o n v e n t i o n s and laws)  i n t h e m o r a l mode.  not a f f e c t others  anyone's w e l f a r e judgments.  possible  there  Where t h e a c t i o n s  (e.g.  s e t t i n g moral agents w i l l  by p o n d e r i n g  Morality  of others that  that  i t i s o f the essence o f  come t o m i n d ) .  This  and t h a t  i t adjudicate  o f i n t e r e s t among p e r s o n s  suggested that m o r a l i t y  of interests within  of interests  the moral agent c o n s i d e r s the  i t p r e v e n t as f a r as p o s s i b l e ,  i s also often  flicts  of  o f v i e w ) how t o a c h i e v e  conflicts  that  i s the notion  where n o t p o s s i b l e , c o n f l i c t s It  t h e s i t u a t i o n o r a range  adjudicates  Connected with the idea interests  s e t about  c o r r e c t modes o f c o n d u c t .  (iii)  morality  i s t h u s no room f o r m o r a l  s i t u a t i o n s from t h e moral p o i n t  enforce  of individuals  i s no need f o r anyone t o c o n s i d e r  b u t h i s own, and t h e r e  But i n a s o c i a l  determining  and  i n l a r g e m e a s u r e by t h e outcome o f d e l i b e r a t i o n s  a given  serves  i n a society.  t o remove c o n -  i n d i v i d u a l ( P l a t o and B u t l e r  v i e w i s p u t s u c c i n t l y by G.W.  Allport:  [A]11 t h e o r i e s o f m o r a l c o n d u c t have one primary purpose: t h e y s e t b e f o r e u s some appropriate formula f o r handling c o n f l i c t s w h e t h e r t h e c o n f l i c t s be between w a r r i n g i n t e r e s t s i n one i n d i v i d u a l o r among i n d i viduals. ( A l l p o r t , 1959, " N o r m a t i v e Compati b i l i t y i n the L i g h t of S o c i a l S c i e n c e , " p . 139) Many m o r a l p h i l o s o p h e r s can  be c o n s i d e r e d  primary the be  fact  function  as a d e v i c e  have h e l d  the view t h a t  morality  o r method o r s e t o f p r i n c i p l e s whose  i s the r e s o l u t i o n o f c o n f l i c t s which a r i s e  that people o f t e n  a l l simultaneously  have d e s i r e s o r i n t e r e s t s w h i c h  satisfied.  Kurt  Baier  from cannot  goes so f a r as t o say,  38  "  ...  is  by  'the m o r a l p o i n t  a court  The  Moral  of appeal Point  of  o f v i e w ' we  for conflicts  View,  p.  mean  of  190).  a point  i n t e r e s t " (Baier,  O f t e n p e o p l e who  morality  i n t h e s e terms suppose t h a t , m o r a l l y  ests are  equally  things flicted no  l e g i t i m a t e t a k e n by  were a r r a n g e d  r e a s o n f o r and  especially  those  to take t h i s slightly t h a n on itself  the  that  room f o r - m o r a l i t y . by  p l a c i n g the  r e s o l u t i o n of  see  legitimacy  of  I think  i n which m o r a l i t y  actually  the  no  is, if  need f o r  the  tend  prevention  t h i s view m o r a l i t y  approach  them to  others,  i t i s easy t o  be  s e e n as  functioning  The  idea  that  individuals'  there  that  not  how  some  i s c l o s e r to the  interests conflict  u t i o n must be concern  one  or r e c o n c i l e c o n f l i c t s  i n t o account leads l e g i t i m a t e or  t o be  fully  f o r persons' welfare due  s i t u a t i o n s i n which  n a t u r a l l y to the  that  not  satisfied. do  as  he  to the  to view  a l l interests  The  i s consistent  consideration  should  of i n t e r e s t .  combined w i t h a w i l l i n g n e s s  i n w h i c h everyone can  s o l u t i o n which gives  way  interests  i t comes a b o u t t h a t m o r a l i t y  i s a c o r r e c t r e s o l u t i o n of  have a l e g i t i m a t e c l a i m  a true  see  a l l i n t e r e s t s are  concerns  operates.  to avoid  take everyone's welfare  rather  rather  Given t h a t moral agents concern themselves w i t h the of  -  morality  dealt with according  latter  a l l inter-  economists,  interests, evaluating  g i v e n s t o be  calculus.  On  of  utilitarians,  r o l e of  e m p h a s i s on  conflicts.  that  w o u l d be Many  the  think  one's i n t e r e s t s c o n -  modern w e l f a r e  Other t h i n k e r s  them as  no  1958,  speaking,  themselves;  i n t e r e s t s there  influenced  line.  w i t h the  of  no  differently,  than taking sort  i n s u c h a way  w i t h anyone e l s e ' s  of view which  correct  sol-  o u g h t t o do only  welfare  with  and a  (represented,  39  at  least  how  i n p a r t , by  interests)  everyone's welfare  recommends c o n f l i c t come t o be are  t o be  one  and  i s grounded  The  amoral I f my  two  is  plausible,  i t should  the moral  which  interests  i n o b j e c t i v i s m and as  the  First,  characteristic  that a radical  core  out-  concern  of moral  i f the  for  agency.  or minimal,  or h i g h l y s e l e c t i v e ,  concern  b e e n made  t o see t h a t  f o r a way  there  to  of o b j e c t i v i s m  posture,  form o f amoralism.  also provide  search  acceptance  from t h i s  yield  someone may  difficult  o f t h e m o r a l a g e n t , we  departure  one  n o t be  open i n o u r  ivism, w i l l  in  expect  which  Thus m o r a l i t y ' s f u n c t i o n  identifed  of enquiry  amorality.  a central  find  can  see  agent  main l i n e s  understand  we  to  a solution  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e m o r a l a g e n t has  sufficiently are  i t i s hard  w e i g h t by  i n some way,  t o what d e g r e e .  conflicts  Since  g i v e n due  competition,  o t h e r s w h i c h were e a r l i e r  6  be  which s p e c i f i e s ,  satisfied  of r e s o l v i n g  can  of a l l .  can  expect  toward  Secondly,  an  to  subjectabsence o f ,  f o r the w e l f a r e  of  others  g r o u n d s f o r c o n s i d e r i n g him  to  be  crude,  represented  amoral. At  the  risk  of being  the  situation  can  be  as f o l l o w s : objectivist high regard f o r the w e l f a r e of persons i n general  low  regard  for  the  welfare  of persons general  in  <4  *  subjectivist  40  Looking  at things  (A)  a r c h e t y p i c a l moral  The  This  i n t h i s way  i s the  c h a p t e r and  way  explanation.  (B)  The  that  hopefully  understand t h i s  a great  deal  be  more f u l l y  discussed  here.  radical  The  nificant that  The  most e x t r e m e f o r m o f  Satre radical  t h e i r values,  simply  things  valuable  there  him  subjectivism  a c t i o n and  actions  on  and  so  acceptance of  w o u l d commit him  i n t e r e s t i n the  ations  of h i s a c t i o n s  hardly  be  construed  as  sense t h a t  by  his  l e a s t can)  they  persons.  received  that  or  actions  actual  in Sartre's  theory  sig-  valuable  any  very  Being  and  i n some  very  freely  '  choose  on. the  a r c h e t y p i c a l amort o do  so  interpersonally valid  to t r y i n g to  of others  and  would  standards  justify  h i s or  person at  (B)  thus whatever  i n " m o r a l s i t u a t i o n s " he contributions  very  i n the  Furthermore, the  welfare  i s any  be  ideas  on  found  (or a t  require  claims  h i s extreme s u b j e c t i v i s m ,  such grounds.  by  i t will  "really"  w h i c h has  advances the  their character  i n the  the  here  some m a i n  there  being  only  would since  sketch  c a n n o t make s i n c e r e m o r a l j u d g m e n t s s i n c e  involve  o r no  of  s e n s e p e o p l e do  Because of  of  I will  and  (or p o s s i b l y p o t e n t i a l l y ) v a l u e d  Nothingness.  alist  person properly  t r e a t m e n t i s p r o b a b l y t o be  and  further i s required  t o requirements or  Things are  in  agent  notion  actually  real  nothing  s u b j e c t i v i s t denies that  are  extreme p o s i t i o n s ;  I have been d e s c r i b i n g  sort of  later,  anyone i s s u b j e c t  complete  four  s a i d about s u b j e c t i v i s m  sense i n the  "from w i t h o u t . "  isolate  agent  a r c h e t y p i c a l amoral  To  can  s o r t of person  present of  we  gave t h e y  to a moral debate.  others'  takes  little  explancould He  takes  41  no  pains  be  t o remove h i m s e l f  had.  to adopt the  These c l a i m s  moral point f r o m any  will,  concern w i t h the  which appear i n Chapter  (C)  objectivist  Consider  of w i l d l i f e  He  e v e n be  may  the  cause.  to the  prepared  Not  only  total  to  i s he  according  preserved.  that us  human s o u l s  say.  thinks  Rather,  be  is  someone a t with this  to  there  sketch (C)  idea  use  the  follow  bodies of  he  important  that  generations,  the  welfare  goal,  wildlife  (anyway p r i m a r i l y )  i s one  nor  the  of he  of  preser-  anyone.  his l i f e  for  regards i t as  one  (objectively  the  planet  be  wants t o have  t h a t he  b i r d s and  the  believes beasts,  (divine revelation?)  c o u r s e he  recommends.  s o r t of o b j e c t i v e  a t t e n t i o n - the  t o be  egoist.  let he  Other  considered  t o embrace t h e  which  next  vocabulary as  i t m i g h t be  he  the  I am  given,  possibility  h e a v i l y on  s t r u c t u r e of moral discourse  The  a moral agent.  f o r r e a s o n s I have a l r e a d y  a practical  amoralist  has  chapter  egoism.  I have i n d i c a t e d t h a t  H a r e , f o r example, l e a n i n g can  have  dis-  to the  (or m e r e l y g i v e )  the  f o r whatever reason,  o p h e r s seem w i l l i n g  (C)  that  to a d i s c u s s i o n of  I n my  of  I t j u s t i s very  i n h a b i t the  considerable  devoted  might  m a n u f a c t u r e d as w e l l , p e r h a p s l e s s f a n t a s t i c o n e s .  Actually received  would  following.  committed  commited t o t h i s  for future  i t important  c a s e s can  neglect  sacrifice  t o him,  I t i s not  animals preserved  w o r l d he  6 and  III section  is fanatically  which everyone ought to embrace. speaking),  so  amoralist  someone who  vation  t o do  I hope, become c l e a r e r t h r o u g h t h e  cussions The  of view s i n c e  fact  but  possible not  happy  some p h i l o s -  less reluctantly. that  the  i n which a l l of the defines  very  for  person logical  i t i s present,  seems  at  42  tempted moral  to grant the f a n a t i c  agent  (my t e r m ) .  characteristic  of moral  ( h i s t e r m as w e l l ) t h e s t a t u s o f  Ultimately, thought  the i n t e r e s t o f a l l persons"  however, he s a y s t h a t  " i t is  i n g e n e r a l t o a c c o r d equal weight  (Hare, 1963, Freedom  and  Reason,  to  p. 177).  (D) The o t h e r - r e g a r d i n g s u b j e c t i v i s t I n many ways t h e p e r s o n a t deal with the c o m p l e x i t i e s of t h i s seems t o me of a s p e c i a l  that  t h e r e i s here  (D) i s t h e most i n t e r e s t i n g case i n the l a s t  some p o s s i b i l i t y  subjectivist  moral  d e p e n d on s u c h t h i n g s as how  others  of moral  s o r t b u t f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n must w a i t .  other-regarding a g e n t may  i s and what  i s t o be c l a s s e d  chapter.  and I It  agency  Whether an  a s an a m o r a l  o r as a  stable h i s concern f o r  form h i s c o n c e r n t a k e s c o n c e p t u a l l y  f o r him.  43  II  EGOISM  1  E g o i s m as a f o r m o f a m o r a l i s m The  moral agent r e c o g n i z e s ,  a source  of v a l i d  directly  from a b e l i e f  or ate  indirectly  i n the i n t e r e s t s  c l a i m s on h i s a c t i o n s .  T h e s e c l a i m s may  that others' welfare  f r o m an a c c e p t a n c e  of c l a i m s grounded  of a requirement  a necessary recognize people their  v a l u a t i o n s and i n t e r e s t s .  i n the welfare  such  claims w i l l  cognizance  If a recognition argued,  fanatics,  with  religious  g l o r y o f t h e t y p e man,  are r a r e , but there as b e i n g  i s a type  rather less  a b o u t h i s own w e l f a r e ,  T h e r e may be  i n anyone's i n t e r e s t s ,  little  interest  i n anything,  t h e supremacy o f t h e N a z i  of person,  bizarre.  and so o n .  t h e e g o i s t , who  The e g o i s t , a t l e a s t ,  a s we a l l do, a n d h i s p e c u l i a r i t y  in  h i s d i s r e g a r d i n g the welfare of others, except  is  o f more o r l e s s Egoism,  like  direct  including  z e a l o t s , e t c . who c a r e o n l y  d e v o t i o n o f t h e human r a c e t o t h e A l m i g h t y ,  one  t h a t he d e l i b e r -  i s , as I have  be an a m o r a l a g e n t .  interest  own; e . g . n i h i l i s t s  greater  arise  component o f m o r a l t h i n k i n g , someone who d o e s n o t  who t a k e m i n i m a l  idealists,  of others  persons,  h a s an o b j e c t i v e v a l u e  f r o m t h e m o r a l p o i n t o f v i e w , t a k i n g no s p e c i a l  o f h i s own p a r t i c u l a r  of other  f o r the  state, the Such  people  strikes cares lies  when t h e i r  only welfare  c o n s e q u e n c e t o h i s own.  t h e forms o f " f a n a t a c i s m "  mentioned  above may  44 be  held  that  objectively or subjectively.  the only  action  real  i s that  reasons  doing  so conduces  view  i s usually called  that  everyone  be  held  ought  ethical  t o pursue  claims  simply  only  does  care  reflectively  he  we  n o t suppose  non-egoists, ivized views and  since  which  have  forms  Morality  of  and  Because  that moral  h i s own w e a l . that  he w i l l  Later  This  egoist  may  of reasons  about t h e  subjectivist made b y  (whether  section  relat-  I consider  on t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between  I will  consider  - he  his position  some v i e w s a  also  need n o t  i s necessarily being  In the next  sort of  i n the claim  Egoism  i s truly  some  i n more d e t a i l  some  morality  some  self-interest  a l l o f us a r e c o n s i d e r a b l y tempted  i s something  perspective)  Sidgwick  have  B u t i f he  advanced  f o r doing  I f he h o l d s  a r e no o b j e c t i v e v a l u e s  to ignore  has a c e r t a i n i n t e r e s t  there  sorts  thinks  egoism.  a r e sometimes  egoism  interests.  has what  any e r r o r  there  been  self-interest.  and  who  egoist  and i s expressed  The s u b j e c t i v i s t  reasoning. that  have  t o h i s own w e l f a r e .  h i s own  to individuals or not).  various  2  about  can expect  of practical  will  about  has o r c o u l d  egoism  s u b j e c t i v e l y , however.  make a n y g e n e r a l  nature  anyone  The o b j e c t i v i s t  with  i n h i s Methods  egoism. Ethics  about  the interests of  and appeal.  fundamentally  of  concerned  Y e t most  wrong  The p r o b l e m i n this  ourselves  others,  o f us  (and n o t j u s t i s expressed  way:  I f i n d t h a t I u n d o u b t e d l y seem t o p e r c e i v e , as c l e a r l y and c e r t a i n l y as I see any axiom i n A r i t h m e t i c o r Geometry, t h a t i t i s ' r i g h t ' and 'reasonable' f o r me t o t r e a t others as I should think that I myself ought t o be t r e a t e d under s i m i l a r c o n d i t i o n s ,  suspect from by  a  45  and t o do what I b e l i e v e t o be c o n d u c i v e t o u n i v e r s a l Good o r (p. 5 0 7 ) .  ultimately Happiness  [ E ] v e n i f a man a d m i t s t h e s e l f - e v i d e n c e o f t h e p r i n c i p l e o f R a t i o n a l B e n e v o l e n c e , he may s t i l l h o l d t h a t h i s own h a p p i n e s s i s an end w h i c h i t i s i r r a t i o n a l f o r him t o s a c r i f i c e t o any o t h e r ; and t h a t t h e r e f o r e a harmony between t h e maxim o f P r u d e n c e and t h e maxim o f R a t i o n a l B e n e v o l e n c e must be somehow d e m o n s t r a t e d , i f m o r a l i t y i s t o be made c o m p l e t e l y r a t i o n a l . T h i s l a t t e r view, i n d e e d ... a p p e a r s t o me, on t h e w h o l e , t h e v i e w o f Common S e n s e : and i t i s t h a t w h i c h I m y s e l f h o l d (p. 498). (Sidgwick, Many e f f o r t s intuitions will  by  that morality same t h i n g , Plato properly, man  can  soul. is  we  have b e e n made t o r e c o n c i l e t h e s e  attempting  a c t u a l l y best and  to  serve  show t h a t  h i s own  self-interest  sought t o will  be  that  E v e n i f one  show t h a t  able  to  i f we  see  If i t could  understand the  just  be  could  accept  Plato's  should  e v e r y w h e r e and  which conduce t o the  of moral o b l i g a t i o n  evaporate.  happiness  a  well-ordered  i s p o s s i b l e , l e t alone  and  the  ones  n a t u r a l l y from,  suppose can  n e c e s s a r y , on  Joseph B u t l e r thought that between s e l f - i n t e r e s t  flow  just  moral  the  i t i s e v e n more p r o b l e m a t i c  (which we  the  the  p s y c h o l o g i c a l views, i t  f o r e v e r y o n e be  o f , or  i n n e r harmony, and  between t h o s e p a s s i o n s  shown  p r e c i s e l y t h o s e a c t i o n s p r o d u c e d by  production  agent  (the moral)  t r u e h a p p i n e s s w h i c h d e p e n d s on  deliberation  p r e s e n c e o f an  only  that only  why  one  moral  c o i n c i d e o r a c t u a l l y amount t o  t o see  the  conscientious  interests.  difficult  dence)  the  conflicting  i n some s e n s e , t h e n S i d g w i c k ' s p r o b l e m w o u l d  attain  a notion  1966)  such a  crucial  morality,  d i r e c t e d a t o n e ' s own  override  pru-  view.  distinction  but  how  rather  welfare  is  the  and  not  one  those  46  directed  at  the  importantly,  welfare  Butler  of others,  thought t h a t  s e v e r a l l y or  there  i s i n e a c h o f us  w h i c h a r b i t r a t e s among t h e s e p a s s i o n s , occasions  a certain authority.  "Conscience,"  seems t o be  But  isfied  by  guide,  reveals  faction  the  both of  same l i n e the  In B u t l e r ' s  of  a faculty  some on calls  P a s s i o n s have many s o r t s o f o b j e c t s ,  the  these  f a c u l t y as w e l l  various  the  o n e ' s own  welfare  s o r t s of passions  of conduct.  course of  of both kinds  More  being  most i m p o r t a n t o f w h i c h a r e  of others.  b e s t o w i n g on  f a c u l t y , w h i c h he  a cognitive  d i s t i n c t i v e l y m o r a l one. two  This  as m a n k i n d .  a c t i o n which w i l l  passion,  w h e t h e r we  and  in  Conscience,  as  the  fact  as  lead  realize  a  welfare  can  be  sat-  cognitive  to the i t or  satisnot.  words: I must however r e m i n d you t h a t t h o u g h b e n e v o l e n c e and s e l f - l o v e a r e d i f f e r e n t ; t h o u g h t h e f o r m e r t e n d s most d i r e c t l y t o p u b l i c good, and t h e l a t t e r t o p r i v a t e : y e t t h e y a r e so p e r f e c t l y c o i n c i d e n t , t h a t the g r e a t e s t s a t i s f a c t i o n s t o o u r s e l v e s depend upon our having b e n e v o l e n c e i n a due d e g r e e ; and t h a t s e l f l o v e i s one c h i e f s e c u r i t y o f o u r r i g h t b e h a v i o u r towards s o c i e t y . ( B u t l e r , 1967, "Upon Human N a t u r e , " I , Fifteen Sermons, pp. 35-36)  Butler's  theory  theories  and  congruity  one  a l l the  suspects that  o f b e n e v o l e n c e and  more t r o u b l e  and  partakes of  Butler's  than i t apparently Plato  morality,  but  t h e y b o t h make an  conflict.  that  Plato's  idea  of  intuitionist ultimate  have g i v e n  and  i d e n t i t y of  appeal to  i n ..order  self-interest  i n the  should  argue f o r a v i r t u a l  "real" s e l f - i n t e r e s t  of  him  did.  and  obvious f a c t  faith  self-interest  Butler  person's  difficulties  some n o t i o n  to e x p l a i n  morality  self-interest  self-interest  do,  r e s t s on  the at  of  a  apparently l e a s t sometimes,  h i s concept of  true  47  happiness which i n v o l v e s the the  faculty  unruly the  and  our  the  ordinary  be  conception  f o l l o w our the  other  concept of no  real  and  and  the  view are  ically that  to  say  and  "true"  of our  passion  sees our  social  that  i n s o f a r as  the  with  self-interest,  latter  the  justice  our  "true  original  show  to  show  do  fail  which  true  cannot) t h a t  o f v i e w one  general  notion provides  i n a new  to  form.  self-interest? to our  ordinary  show t h a t t h e r e  between a p e r s o n ' s  self-interest  T h i s w o u l d be  values,  our  self-interest"  justice to  to  are  self-interest  morality.  recommend t h e  their  well  to  ordinary  problem  "apparent"  they t y p i c a l l y  of view of  between t h e  as w e l l as  happi-  n a t u r e as  attempts  i n a way  such e f f o r t s  troublesome c o n f l i c t s  i t plainly  do  they d i s t o r t  i n s t e a d o f our  differences and  being  true  and  the moral p o i n t  even i f i t c o u l d  i t makes no  adopts.  be  m o r a l a g e n t and  the  to various  w o u l d be egoist.  temperament o f t h e s e two  susceptibility  pract-  E v e n i f i t were t h e  same a c t i o n s , t h e r e  s o r t s of  case,  i f done  significant The  s o r t s of  of  shown  difference  d e l i b e r a t i o n from e i t h e r p o i n t o f view would always,  correctly,  of  potentially  f u n c t i o n of conscience  ( t h a t i t i s i n our  hand, i n s o f a r as  which p o i n t  Butler  self-interest  "moralizing"  distinct.  (as I t h i n k  happiness.  of m o r a l i t y ,  l e a v i n g us  point  supremacy  i n check, u n c o n t r o l l e d  i t i s the  fair  requirements of The  natural  satisfaction.  desired conclusion moral while  the  t o keep t h e  fulfillment  of m o r a l i t y  self-interest,  Why On  dual  i s probably  coincidence  the  and  p r i v a t e n a t u r e and  It  of  both e v i l  to t h i s  of  reason serves  c o n s i s t i n g i n the  way  the  reason;  d i s r u p t i v e passions  source of  n e s s as as  of  notion  attitudes,  persons,  considerations  48  and  argument  forms, would d i f f e r  Kai Nielsen  (1963) a d d u c e s  mundane s o r t i n f a v o u r of view." to  acting  "weighty • c o n s i d e r a t i o n s  of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s taking  The c o n s i d e r a t i o n s  show t h a t  radically.  the moral  he o f f e r s a r e d e s i g n e d  i n c e r t a i n " i m m o r a l " ways i s l i k e l y  t o produce  s t r a i n s and i m b a l a n c e s w h i c h t e n d t o p r o d u c e  unhappiness.  The m o r a l t e a c h i n g s  a l s o o f t e n make  cult.  B u t , however s u c c e s s f u l  egoist  t o act m o r a l l y ,  personal  o f s o c i e t y a r e l o d g e d deep i n  s u b c o n s c i o u s and a r e n o t e a s i l y  "immorally" w i l l  point  primarily  psychological  our  of a  ignored  or overriden.  interpersonal dealings  Acting  very  diffi-  t h e s e arguments a r e i n g e t t i n g t h e  i t i s doubtful  that  t h e y c a n go v e r y f a r  toward e r a s i n g  t h e d i f f e r e n c e between t h e e g o i s t and t h e m o r a l  For  the egoist's  one t h i n g ,  morality eration nition him.  a r e mere e x p e d i e n t s . of the v a l i d i t y  Nielsen  to the requirements of  and even h i s a d o p t i o n o f t h e moral p o i n t  Of c o u r s e ,  They r e p r e s e n t  of the claims  i t m i g h t be h e l d  offers will  cere) moral t h i n k i n g effect  conformity  suffice  a genuine conversion  o f view i n d e l i b -  no a p p r o p r i a t e  recog-  of the i n t e r e s t s of others  that  t h e "mundane  to get the egoist  and t h a t  agent.  from t h e r e  on  considerations"  involved  i n (insin-  something w i l l  t o moral agency, b u t t h a t  happen t o  i s another  story.  3  The c o n c e p t o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t I have a r g u e d  between m o r a l i t y standing be  t h a t many a t t e m p t s t o m i n i m i z e t h e c o n f l i c t  and s e l f - i n t e r e s t  o f what t h e l a t t e r  said i n this  connection.  run a f o u l of our ordinary  involves  and s o m e t h i n g f u r t h e r  undershould  49  To b e g i n w i t h , i t w o u l d n o t do self-interest  i n a way  which  d e s t r o y s the d i s t i n c t i o n  i d e a o f someone's a c t i n g  from  i d e a o f someone's a c t i n g  to produce  is  interested  erly  called  moral is, is  in bringing  "egoism"  self-interest,  about.  a g e n t o u t t o be c o n c e r n e d  interested  interest  content  of  w i t h h i s own  i n which  insofar  to  be  of  what he  Our  normal  as t h e r e a r e c e r t a i n  i n a person's t a k e s an  self-interest.  thing,  i s acting  to i n t e r e s t  hardly  self-interest.  i n oneself and  s o r t s of t h i n g s which  are  ( i n l a r g e measure, a t  interest  i n , although there i s undoubtedly d e p e n d s on what c o n c e r n s  not  has  regardless  i s not d i f f i c u l t  to begin a l i s t  taken least) a  a person  o f t h i n g s which  health, wealth, happiness, respect,  opportunity,  security  and  so on a r e p r i m e  interested  i n completing or r e f i n i n g  not  d e t e r m i n a t e enough f o r t h i s  likely  i t could  o n l y be  termed  maximal s a t i s f a c t i o n  should  from  agent  concept of s e l f - i n t e r e s t  place here:  the  i t would  That  has.  It  that  he  prop-  interest  component o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t w h i c h actually  a view  the d e d i c a t e d moral  he  i s a concept r e l a t e d oneself.  which  i t w o u l d make t h e most d e d i c a t e d  a c c o r d w i t h common u s a g e t o s a y t h a t  to  the  t h e more g e n e r a l  some s t a t e o f a f f a i r s  i n doing the m o r a l l y r i g h t  "Self-interest"  and  between  T h i s would not y i e l d  at a l l since  w h i l e t h e r e i s some s e n s e  to analyze the concept of  from the moral  candidates.  i s not  I am  not  - the concept i s  anyway - b u t  i t i s clear  miraculous i f i t should turn out  just  the l i s t  for  those a c t i o n s which  p o i n t o f view would r e q u i r e ,  show t h a t m o r a l i t y  intelligence,  such a l i s t  o f a l l i t e m s on  turn out to r e q u i r e  have a  straightforwardly  and  that  a matter  that  everyone  deliberation i s enough t o of  self-  50 interest.  I n s o f a r a s we a r e  ism i n v i r t u e o f t h e f a c t for  considering  that  the welfare of others,  t h e e g o i s t has l i t t l e  i t i s not r e a l l y  how we a n a l y z e s e l f - i n t e r e s t .  sustain  between t h e e g o i s t  agent.  Ethical  very  and t h e m o r a l  e g o i s m - an o b j e c t i v i s t  the necessary d i s t i n c t i o n  f o r m u l a t i o n o f egoism i s t h e  p o s i t i o n w h i c h h a s come t o be known a s e t h i c a l stated  interest. '  e g o i s m and w h i c h i s  " E v e r y o n e o u g h t t o p u r s u e h i s own  The v i e w c e r t a i n l y  1  theory,  i n t h e form,  account o f our  amoralism  The most commonly d i s c u s s e d  usually  o r no c o n c e r n  important exactly  Any v e r y p l a u s i b l e  o r d i n a r y use o f the concept w i l l  4  egoism as a form o f amoral-  h a s t h e a p p e a r a n c e o f an e t h i c a l  b u t s i n c e anyone who h o l d s i t w i l l  any e x t e n t w i t h t h e w e l f a r e o f o t h e r s  not concern himself to  i t c a n n o t be c o n s i d e r e d a  moral theory. Recall as a g e n e r a l  ' „ that  i n the l a s t  objectivist  chapter I defined  practical  ought t o o b t a i n ,  and s o o n .  Hare's  universalizable. the  "ought"  t e r m s , an e t h i c a l  contribute  defended.  t o count as Again, to  i s prescriptive  as w e l l as  I t i s a t h e o r y a b o u t how p e o p l e o u g h t t o a c t and  one who h o l d s t h e t h e o r y wants,  the Nazi,  "ought"  i n i t s f o r m u l a t i o n must  o u g h t t o do.  theory  what s o r t s o f s t a t e s  The t h e o r y ,  e t h i c a l , must be one w h i c h c a n be p u b l i c l y u s e R.M.  an e t h i c a l  t h e o r y a b o u t what s o r t s o f r e a s o n s  p e o p l e have, what s o r t s o f t h i n g s a r e v a l u a b l e , of a f f a i r s  self-  F o r most  f o r example, i n whatever  "carry  the w i l l "  so t h a t  some-  i n some s e n s e , p e o p l e t o do a s t h e y  "fanatics"  this  i s n o t a s e r i o u s problem -  c a n w h o l e h e a r t e d l y hope t h a t e v e r y o n e way t h e y c a n t o e s t a b l i s h i n g  will  t h e supremacy  51  of  t h e T h i r d R e i c h and he c a n p u b l i c l y  ethical question of  advocate h i s views.  e g o i s t , however, h a s p r o b l e m s h e r e . whether e t h i c a l  i s worth pausing  this  to consider  advanced t o t h e e f f e c t  that  a t a l l or else  question  ethical  egoism  it  i s not a c o n s i s t e n t p r a c t i c a l  be  summarized  theory.  i n recent  the issue.  of  >1.  Indeed t h e r e  egoism i s a t e n a b l e  a t t e n t i o n has been p a i d  i s some  A good  deal  y e a r s and i t  Many a r g u m e n t s have b e e n  egoism  i s e i t h e r not a  i t i s n o t an e t h i c a l theory.  theory  theory  or else  that  The m a i n a r g u m e n t s c a n  as f o l l o w s : I f the e t h i c a l  egoist's doctrine  i s an e t h i c a l one  (a q u a s i - m o r a l one) he must be a b l e publicly; others  that  accept  when t h e i r since  i s , he must be a b l e i t , pursuing  their  interests conflict  the  t o promulgate i t t o advocate  ethical  himself  egoist  w i t h h i s own.  But  Therefore,  cannot both accept the d o c t r i n e  i s involved  "ought"  of  occur,  and a d v o c a t e t h e u n i v e r s a l a c c e p t a n c e o f i t .  If ethical  the  But,  will  his interests.  T h u s , anyone who a d o p t s t h e d o c t r i n e theory  that  own i n t e r e s t s e v e n  i t i s almost c e r t a i n that c o n f l i c t  t h i s w o u l d be t o a c t a g a i n s t  2.  The  egoism  in a practical i s an e t h i c a l  i n i t s formulation  sense t h a t affairs  the e t h i c a l  must  a s an e t h i c a l  inconsistency.  theory  then the  "carry the w i l l " i n  e g o i s t must w i l l  i n w h i c h e v e r y o n e p u r s u e s h i s own  the state interests.  t h e n h i s own i n t e r e s t s a r e n o t h i s m a i n c o n c e r n and  he  i s n o t an e g o i s t  at a l l .  "A  Short  of Ethical  Refutation  (See C a m p b e l l , 1972, Egoism.")  52  3.  I t would will  be  that  irrational  t h a t end.  situation (See  t o , o r even opposed  But t h e e t h i c a l  when h i s i n t e r e s t s  Silverstein,  Egoism"; M e d l i n , Egoism";  i n some s e r i o u s way  to  someone p u r s u e some end and a t t h e same t i m e  remain i n d i f f e r e n t ing  o r odd  1968, 1957,  egoist  to, h i s achievi s i n just  clash with  others'.  "Universalizability  and  "Ultimate P r i n c i p l e s  and  N a r v e s o n , 1967,  Morality  and  this  Ethical pp.  u t i l i t y ,  268—  271.) 4.  I f someone o u g h t to  s o m e t h i n g , t h e n no one  a t t e m p t t o p r e v e n t him  egoist are is  t o do  from d o i n g  committed  analytic  truth  Thus t h e e t h i c a l  able to accept the p r i n c i p l e Baumer, 1967,  Baier,  ethical  t o which  he  by h i s u s e o f " o u g h t " i n i t s e t h i c a l  sense i n h i s d o c t r i n e .  (See  The  a c t s and c o u n s e l s o t h e r s t o a c t i n ways w h i c h  inconsistent with t h i s  not  it.  ought  1973,  "Indefensible  "Ethical  E g o i s m and  egoist i s  he t h i n k s he  accepts.  Impersonal Egoism"; Interpersonal  Com-  patability.") 5.  The  ethical  satisfies to the  "ought" commits one  t h e "ought" i s o b j e c t i v e l y  be p r o m o t e d . view t h a t  affairs  Other arguments  The  ethical  egoist  w h i c h o u g h t t o be p r o m o t e d , (See Moore, 1903,  96-105; Q u i n n , 1974, c a n be  good  and  one  f o r each  Principia  Glasgow  to  states of  Ethica,  " E g o i s m as an E t h i c a l  f o u n d , f o r example,  what  ought  i s committed  t h e r e a r e many i n c o m p a t i b l e  person roughly. pp.  to the view t h a t  (1968,  System.")  "The  53  Contradiction  i n Ethical  Egoism");  Singer  (1959,  "On D u t i e s t o  Oneself"). Some a t t e m p t s have b e e n made t o s a v e e t h i c a l these  problems.  following avoids they  (eg. Branden,  t h e arguments.  are prepared  conception in  Ayn Rand  the person s 1  But they  t o defend  a g e n t w h i c h among o t h e r integrity,  succeed  a very  egoism which  only to the extent  special  that  and n o t a t a l l o r d i n a r y  according  t o be a c e r t a i n  t o which i t i s  sort of ideal  t h i n g s i n v o l v e s a commitment t o  rational honesty,  and s o o n .  John Hospers has suggested avoided  a form o f e t h i c a l  self-interest,  interests  from  (1964) and members o f h e r O b j e c t i v i s t  1970) d e f e n d  o f a person's  egoism  by supposing  t h a t t h e o b j e c t i o n s above c a n be  t h e e g o i s t t o be s a y i n g s o m e t h i n g l i k e  this:  " I hope e a c h o f y o u [ e v e r y o n e ] t r i e s t o come o u t o n t o p , " o r " E a c h o f y o u s h o u l d t r y t o come o u t t h e v i c t o r . " There i s s u r e l y no i n c o n s i s t e n c y h e r e . The hope he i s e x p r e s s i n g h e r e i s t h e k i n d o f hope that the i n t e r e s t e d but i m p a r t i a l specta t o r e x p r e s s e s a t a game. Perhaps the e g o i s t l i k e s t o l i v e l i f e i n a dangerous c u t t h r o a t manner, u n w i l l i n g t o h e l p o t h e r s i n need b u t n o t d e s i r i n g o t h e r s t o h e l p him e i t h e r . He wants l i f e t o be s p i c y and d a n g e r o u s ; t o h i m t h e w h o l e w o r l d i s one v a s t e g o i s t i c game, and l i v i n g l i f e a c c o r d i n g l y i s t h e way t o make i t i n t e r e s t i n g and e x c i t i n g . ( H o s p e r s , 1961, " B a i e r and M e d l i n on E t h i c a l E g o i s m , " p . 16) Under s u c h istic  f l a v o u r , although  interest but  a formulation, the doctrine retains i t i s clear  some o f i t s ego-  that the thing of greatest  t o t h e e g o i s t i s no l o n g e r h i s own w e l f a r e s i m p l i c i t e r  h i s attempting  to achieve  which others a r e attempting  his self-interest  i n a world i n  t o do t h e same, o r p e r h a p s i t i s s i m p l y  54  to  live  i n a world  i n w h i c h e v e r y o n e a t t e m p t s t o do a s w e l l f o r  himself  a s p o s s i b l e a n d where t h e a c t u a l a c h i e v e m e n t o f h i s g o a l  in  game h a s no more i n t r i n s i c  this  tection  o f h i s k i n g i n a game o f c h e s s .  I suppose, b u t i t i s a p e c u l i a r n o r m a l one o f e t h i c a l  his  has v a l u e  than  i t might a t f i r s t ,  because there interests  sort  This i s a p o s s i b l e theory, i s the  or else  the s a t i s f a c t i o n of  f o r h i m o n l y u n d e r a c o n d i t i o n o f compet-  and n o t i n i t s e l f .  theory of t h i s  the pro-  t h e o r i e s , t h e e g o i s t must be t a k i n g an odd  view o f h i s i n t e r e s t  interests  f o r him than  one s i n c e , i f t h e "ought"  disinterested  ition  interest  T h i s makes t h e t h e o r y  look  b u t i t must be a d m i t t e d  c o u l d be h e l d .  egoistic  t h a t an e t h i c a l  I t i s not a moral  i s no p r o v i s i o n f o r a s e t t l e m e n t  less  theory  of conflicts of  and t h a t i s one mark o f a m o r a l t h e o r y .  The t h e o r y  d o e s n o t h o l d t h a t t h e s t r o n g e s t s h o u l d w i n ; t h e a c t u a l outcome of any s t r u g g l e i s e t h i c a l l y participant any  c a n be e x p e c t e d  truly  as  although  t o p r e f e r winning  each  egoistic  to losing,  as i n  game. Attempts  and  irrelevant  ethical  advocated  to preserve  theory,  satisfying  capture  to morality  a b o u t how p e o p l e  ought t o a c t without  They a l s o ,  through  the " e t h i c a l n e s s " o f the theory, t h e egoism o f t h e o r i g i n a l  h a r d l y be c o n s i d e r e d be m i s l e a d i n g  ( i n t h e sense o f s e r v i n g necess-  a l l o f t h e c o n s t r a i n t s on a m o r a l t h e o r y ) , seem  u l t i m a t e l y very desperate. preserve  egoism as a  i . e . a s a t h e o r y w h i c h c a n be a r t i c u l a t e d  a s an a l t e r n a t i v e  a u n i v e r s a l theory  arily  t h e cogency o f e t h i c a l  to c a l l  a fatal  their  inevitably  position.  f a i l to  Of c o u r s e  o b j e c t i o n to a theory  i t a k i n d o f egoism.  efforts to  i t can  t h a t i t would  The o n l y r e a s o n  I  55  have drawn a t t e n t i o n cal  egoism  theory  turn out to involve  i s that  5  own  some a t t e m p t s t o s a v e  t h e o r i e s u s u a l l y must  plausibility  support of the g e n e r a l l y  one's  that  forgo  t h a t e g o i s m g a i n s by  recognized  rationality  i t s claiming  of a c t i n g i n  interest.  P e r s o n a l egoism I have been  - another o b j e c t i v i s t discussing  as a t h e o r y someone m i g h t  egoism  hold  amoralism  a s an e t h i c a l  a b o u t how  theory, that i s ,  people ought  to a c t or  a b o u t what s o r t s o f r e a s o n s p e o p l e have,, where t h e f o r c e "ethical"  has been  be one w h i c h  to r e t a i n  is objectivist  as a u n i v e r s a l l y theory  ethi-  t h e d e f e n s e o f some n o n - e g o i s t i c  such a l t e r n a t i v e  most o f t h e i n t u i t i v e the  to the f a c t  the requirements that and c a n be a d v e r t i s e d  adoptable p r a c t i c a l  s h a r e s w i t h a m o r a l t h e o r y and  theory.  of  the theory and  promulgated  T h i s much an  ethical  t h u s I have u s e d t h e t e r m  "quasi-moral." There that  i s a tendency t o analyze a statement to the  someone o u g h t  t o do  statement to the e f f e c t r e a s o n s t o do  that  something that  thing.  as r o u g h l y e q u i v a l e n t  t h e p e r s o n i n q u e s t i o n has  This  effect  tendency  i s harmless  (conclusive)  i n some  c o n t e x t s b u t i t i s t o be r e s i s t e d  i n others,  the  i n t e r m s o f what p e o p l e  formulation of e t h i c a l  t o do and  I have a s s o c i a t e d  egoism  the term  "ethical"  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e f o r c e o f the "ought" particular, is  I have s u p p o s e d  t o commit o n e s e l f ,  that  I think.  to a  with a  i n that  t o make s u c h an  I have u s e d  specific  judgment.  "ought"  i n some s e n s e , t o w a n t i n g o r w i l l i n g  people a c t i n accordance with i t .  ought  There i s something  In  judgment that  peculiar, i f  56  not  actually  ought  t o do  self-contradictory,  i n saying,  t h a t , b u t I hope he d o e s n ' t . "  f o r example,  "Jones  Expressed ought  judg-  ments i m p l y t h a t t h e s p e a k e r i s p r e p a r e d t o s u p p o r t , e n c o u r a g e , and p r o m o t e a c t i o n  i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h o s e judgments.  Statements  a b o u t what r e a s o n s someone h a s , on t h e o t h e r hand, do n o t the  same s o r t o f i m p l i c a t i o n s .  but  I hope he d o e s n ' t , " i s n o t an odd Thus,  egoism  as an o b j e c t i v i s t that  stated  " J o n e s has e v e r y r e a s o n t o do i t thing  t o say.  i n terms o f r e a s o n s ,  position)  does  The  view  are  reasons of s e l f - i n t e r e s t ,  carry  n o t have q u i t e  (still,  remember,  t h e same  flavour.  t h e o n l y o f t h e v e r y b e s t r e a s o n s anyone c a n  have  d o e s n o t seem t o r e q u i r e any  commit-  ment o f t h e w i l l  where t h e a c t i o n s o f o t h e r s a r e c o n c e r n e d .  view  p e r s o n a l egoism because  yet  I will be u n d e r  holds the  call  it.  no r e q u i r e m e n t t o a d v o c a t e i t o r e v e n  The  ethical  egoist  nature of p r a c t i c a l  toward,  (in e f f e c t  the  ethical  his practical  on r e f l e c t i o n  egoism.  The  and  I t would  a c e r t a i n way egoist  and  Jack  i t f o r something  egoist  ethical  that  egoist  else) or f a l l  about  supposes  consistently attitude  self-interest into  p e o p l e ought  commits him t o more t h a n t h e  personal  egoists  e g o i s t s and d i f f e r thinks  he  c a n n o t be m a i n t a i n e d  t o say t h a t p e r s o n a l  t h e o r y as e t h i c a l  The  agree  e g o i s t ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f , and  be m i s l e a d i n g  i s committed Henry  egoist  t h a t h i s p o s i t i o n c a n be  t h e o r y i s one w h i c h  exchanging  strategy.  the p e r s o n a l  i t and  to admit  so he must a l t e r h i s c o n c e p t i o n o f  same p r a c t i c a l  their  and  reasons but the e t h i c a l  ( m i s t a k e n l y I have argued) promulgated.  someone c a n h o l d  This  hold  only i n to act i n  personal  to. ( 1 9 6 9 , p. 479)  suggests that  egoism might  be  57  u n d e r s t o o d as ism,  on  an  "attempt to  have and  gated c o n s i s t e n t l y only the  the  by  he  admits t h a t  promulgation of p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r u t h .  bound t o a d v e r t i s e The  personal  t r u t h and,  i s no  that  evident  tell  the  i n the  find  i t expedient to withhold  what he  any  e n d s , he  t a k e s t o be  the  as  h i s own  i n t e r e s t s and  that others interests,  best  he  can,  have r e a s o n s o f he  a s i m i l a r kind  g e n e r a l l y makes no  he  recognizes  no  requirement  in  principle,  to t e l l  the  egoism  opens the  that  be  required.  albeit  Plato  can  be  achievement of  may  t o aim  require  that  the  concealing read  as and  some end  a c t i o n must r e c k o n w i t h t h e end  i s not  t o w a r d a d i f f e r e n t end,  makes t h e  to t e l l  the  only  people g e n e r a l l y  acts  to  s e e s no  reason  It is interesting  this  theory  sort of  told  that  which may  deception,  theory  appropriate  be  his  Because  which  goal  t h a t achievement of  not  so  believes  t r u t h about e t h i c s  s t a t e the  well  about  when he  teleological  possibility  He  practical  endorsing any  truth  them s o .  t r u t h he  the  may  to act contrary  t r u t h about e t h i c s .  to note t h a t personal possibility  effort  to t e l l  anyone must  his selfish  l i e about t h i s .  as  state  o b l i g a t i o n to  even t o  serve,  lies  i t publicly.  what r e a s o n s p e o p l e have and to  promul-  happiness  r e a s o n why  recognize  p u r s u i t of  be  the  I f egoism does  t r u t h or defend  e g o i s t need n o t  Ego-  about  i t could  someone whose g r e a t e s t  t r u t h about e t h i c s t h e r e  feel  t r u t h about e t h i c s . "  h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l theory  reasons people r e a l l y  in  s t a t e the  of that  they  ought  at i t . The  personal  e g o i s t , of  course,  argument we  e n c o u n t e r e d above a g a i n s t  r e s t on  fact  the  that  the  ethical  i s not ethical  egoist  open t o t h e  sorts  egoism s i n c e  they  i s required,  by  his  use  of  58  of  the e t h i c a l  mean t h a t egoist?  "ought," t o promulgate h i s view.  no a t t a c k I think  i s possible against  there  But does  this  the p o s i t i o n o f the  personal  a r e a t l e a s t two ways i n w h i c h he c a n be  confronted. First, ethics for  since  the personal  i s t h e t r u e o n e , we c o u l d ,  thinking  that  d e b a t e on t h a t  people only  front.  (although  have r e a s o n s o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t ,  i n thinking  showing t h e p e r s o n a l  i s any o b j e c t i v e v a l i d i t y  else)  has f o r a c t i n g . as w e l l  of morality  d o e s open a l i n e  there  That  i s , there  This  line  as p e r s o n a l  someone t h i n k s  that  his real  he may n o t be v e r y  Whether we c o u n t  notion  to undercharacter-  was c o r r e c t , b u t  Once t h e e g o i s t g i v e s  up  t o g e t him t o change h i s  a concern f o r others. r e a s o n s a r e a l l ones o f  susceptible  As  long  self-  t o c e r t a i n modes o f t h i n k i n g .  i t a s a f o r m o f argument o r n o t , r u b b i n g someone's  n o s e i n t h e f a c t s o f human e x i s t e n c e  the  that  (or someone  seems t o me  as i t i s o r d i n a r i l y c o n c e i v e d  so a s t o i n c l u d e  basis  may be a way o f  e g o i s m a t l e a s t i f my  of investigation.  argue  i s any t r u t h a b o u t  o f argument  practical  Since  Secondly  e g o i s t t o change  t o t h e r e a s o n s he  i t may be p o s s i b l e  interest  be  he i s m i s t a k e n i n t h i n k i n g  his objectivism  as  reagrd.  that  egoist that  there  ization  t h a t he c o u l d  i s to get the personal  i n t h e way he s u p p o s e s .  mine m o r a l i t y  i n this  open  i t i s n o t c l e a r how t h i s w o u l d h e l p ) , one c o u l d  t h a t he i s m i s t a k e n ethics  h i s view of  i f we knew more a b o u t h i s r e a s o n s  he was m i s t a k e n  i f the project  h i s behaviour,  that  I t i s not inconceivable  brought t o admit t h a t  it  egoist thinks  I am h e r e  of ethical  c a n be e f f e c t i v e .  interested i n the personal truth, I shall  shelve  e g o i s t who  accepts  t h e second o f t h e above  59  a p p r o a c h e s t e m p o r a r i l y and c o n c e n t r a t e arguments then The  and most p o p u l a r  which there a r e a c t u a l l y  good r e a s o n s  of self-interest  to f u l l y appreciate the nature  recognizes.  (In t h e next  egoism?  a p p r o a c h i s one a c c o r d i n g t o  t h a t i s , i t l o c a t e s the personal e g o i s t ' s m i s t a k e  failing  What s o r t s o f  are available against objective personal  most p r o m i s i n g  moral;  on t h e f i r s t .  o f the reasons  f o r being in his he a l r e a d y  two s e c t i o n s I w i l l be c o n s i d e r i n g some  a r g u m e n t s w h i c h have b e e n r e c e n t l y a d v a n c e d a g a i n s t e g o i s m . most o f t h e s e d i s c u s s i o n s c o u l d be a p p l i e d t o e t h i c a l take  i t t h a t enough h a s b e e n s a i d  credit  t h a t v i e w and c o n s e q u e n t l y  egoist  i s t h e t a r g e t o f what  6  Kurt  i n the previous I shall  profits  Socrates  the just  tried  to satisfy  Thrasymachus t h a t  man, p h i l o s o p h e r s have t r i e d  (1958) i n w h i c h i t i s a r g u e d  reasons"  s t a t e s h i s case  to  show t h a t m o r a l r e a s o n s  of  every  and a g a i n t o  i n self-interest. B a l e r ' s Moral  One  P o i n t of  that there are "the very  other  type.  i n terms o f types  a r e b e t t e r than,  He b e g i n s  with  of a morality i s to yield  self-interest  interest  i s Kurt  time  justice  best  f o r t a k i n g up t h e m o r a l p o i n t o f v i e w .  Baier  of  the'personal  follows.)  t h e b e s t known r e c e n t a t t e m p t s  d'etre  section to dis-  assume t h a t  show t h a t somehow m o r a l i t y c a n be g r o u n d e d  view  egoism, I  Baier Since  of  While  i n those  would be h a r m f u l  cases  reasons  and t r i e s  o r s u p e r i o r t o , reasons  the claim:  "The v e r y  raison  which o v e r r u l e the reasons  when e v e r y o n e ' s  t o everyone"  w o u l d be b e t t e r o f f i n a w o r l d  of reasons  following self-  (p. 3 0 9 ) .  Since  everyone  where e v e r y o n e f o l l o w s m o r a l  rules  60  t h a n i n a w o r l d where e v e r y o n e f o l l o w s moral r u l e s are s u p e r i o r see  to rules of self-interest.  t h a t moral r u l e s a r e superior  have b e e n g i v e n moral r u l e s . superiority The  argument r e s t s c r u c i a l l y  suppose t h a t  should  erion it  we  sorts of rules.)  or  k i n d must be  vice versa,  and a s i d e  o f why t h e r e a s o n s w h i c h a r e s u p e r i o r  be t h o u g h t t o be s u p e r i o r feel  o f one k i n d o f  A s i d e from t h e q u e s t i o n  a l l reasons of a given  a p r o b l e m o f why we s h o u l d  B u t o n c e we  want f o r f o l l o w i n g  on t h e n o t i o n  t o another.  to a l l reasons o f another kind question  argues,  t a l k s a s t h o u g h he h a s e s t a b l i s h e d t h e  of moral r u l e s t o a l l other  superior  Baier  to r u l e s of s e l f - i n t e r e s t ,  a l l t h e r e a s o n we need o r c o u l d  (Actually Baier  reason's being we s h o u l d  self-interest,  also  superior  from t h e  f o r one p e r s o n  f o r everyone e l s e , there i s  inclined  f o r s u p e r i o r i t y as t h e r e l e v a n t  o f why  to accept Baier's  one.  I t would  crit-  seem t h a t i f  makes s e n s e t o s p e a k o f c h o o s i n g what s o r t o f r e a s o n s a r e t o be  treated  as s u p e r i o r ,  then the r e l e v a n t  a consideration  of the point  at  himself,  all).  Baier  criteria  of deliberation  tries  t o do j u s t  should  come f r o m  ( i . e . of using  reasons  this:  Our v e r y p u r p o s e i n " p l a y i n g t h e r e a s o n i n g game" i s t o m a x i m i z e s a t i s f a c t i o n s and m i n imize f r u s t r a t i o n s . D e l i b e r a t e l y to f r u s t r a t e o u r s e l v e s and t o m i n i m i z e s a t i s f a c t i o n w o u l d c e r t a i n l y be t o go c o u n t e r t o t h e v e r y p u r p o s e f o r w h i c h we d e l i b e r a t e and weigh t h e p r o s and cons. These c r i t e r i a are, therefore, n e c e s s a r i l y l i n k e d with the very purpose o f t h e a c t i v i t y o f reasoning (pp. 3 0 1 - 2 ) . I f we g r a n t in  order  Baier's  claim  t h a t we " p l a y  the reasoning  game"  t o m a x i m i z e o u r s a t i s f a c t i o n s and m i n i m i z e o u r f r u s t r a t i o n s ^  what we n e e d superiority  i s some l i n k  between t h i s  and t h e c o n c e p t o f t h e  o f one s o r t o f r e a s o n s o v e r a n o t h e r .  H i s attempt/to  61  provide  t h i s l i n k has a l r e a d y been n o t e d :  r e a s o n s o f type A a r e  s u p e r i o r t o r e a s o n s o f type B j u s t i n case everyone would be b e t t e r off  (experience  more s a t i s f a c t i o n s and fewer f r u s t r a t i o n s ) i n a  w o r l d w h e r e i n everyone gave A-reasons p r i o r i t y over B-reasons. The  t r o u b l e here i s t h a t w h i l e i t may be up t o an i n d i v i d u a l t o  t r e a t m o r a l r e a s o n s as s u p e r i o r point of view), do s o . one  ( t o d e l i b e r a t e from t h e m o r a l  i t i s n o t up t o an i n d i v i d u a l t o have everyone  I f i n c h o o s i n g what s o r t o f r e a s o n t o count as s u p e r i o r ,  were f a c e d w i t h t h e c h o i c e between a w o r l d  f o l l o w s m o r a l r u l e s and a w o r l d o t h e r s o r t o f r u l e s , t h e n one  i n which everyone  i n which everyone f o l l o w s some  wou-ld  have a r e a s o n ( r e l a t e d t o  one's c o n c e r n t o maximize one's s a t i s f a c t i o n s ) t o o p t f o r m o r a l i t y . However, t h i s i s c l e a r l y not a c h o i c e which does c o n f r o n t  anyone.  B a i e r ' s argument c o u l d be made good i f he c o u l d e s t a b l i s h the  ( o b v i o u s l y f a l s e ) premise t h a t i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e f o r anyone  (the e g o i s t i n p a r t i c u l a r ) t o maximize h i s own s a t i s f a c t i o n s w i t h out f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s o f t h e " s u p e r i o r " k i n d .  But t h e e g o i s t may  w e l l be i n a p o s i t i o n such t h a t he i s b e s t o f f f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s of s e l f - i n t e r e s t w h i l e o t h e r s a l s o pursue h i s i n t e r e s t s , second b e s t o f f i f he f o l l o w s r e a s o n s o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t w h i l e o t h e r s  follow  m o r a l r u l e s , t h i r d b e s t o f f i f he f o l l o w s s e l f - i n t e r e s t and o t h e r s do whatever t h e y w i l l  i n f a c t do (assuming, as i t i s r e a s o n a b l e  t o assume, t h a t h i s c h o i c e w i l l n o t g r e a t l y a f f e c t o t h e r s '  choices),  f o u r t h b e s t o f f i f he and everyone e l s e f o l l o w s e l f - i n t e r e s t , and w o r s t o f f i f he f o l l o w s m o r a l i t y and everyone e l s e f o l l o w s interest.  self-  I f t h e p o i n t o f d e l i b e r a t i o n i s t o maximize s a t i s f a c t i o n s  t h e n t h e e g o i s t i s b e s t o f f f o l l o w i n g reasons o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t  62  it  seems. The  is  only  way  t o suppose t h a t  point act  I can  see o f making B a i e r ' s  i t is really  of d e l i b e r a t i o n i s to generate  rationally  i s to f o l l o w the best  reasons  are the ones i d e n t i f i e d  I think  this  run,  given  way  p r o b a b l y i s t h e way  to attempt  an a p p e a l t o t h e he  f o r adopting the moral  that  the that  the  to  best  of s u p e r i o r i t y .  t h e argument  sorts of reasons.  Still  to  i t is  the s u p e r i o r i t y of moral  reasons  of d e l i b e r a t i o n i n the  attempt  to give  superior  the  sense  reasons  I f the reasons  n e i t h e r moral  of view  nor  what o t h e r  on,  up a  up  are there?"  He  But h i s  i s not  the moral one  point  a r e supposed  self-interest  f o r taking  moral  the i m p o s s i b i l i t y  for taking  reasons  s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d ones, reasons  and  of s e l f - i n t e r e s t .  i n which moral  t o , y e t somehow b a s e d  satisfactory.  "And  point  of t r y i n g to give  reasons of s e l f - i n t e r e s t  designed to override  Baier,  and  intends  self-interested point  of view  are  reasons  Baier  t o ground  that  r a t i o n a l a c t i o n and  Baier n o t e s t h e c i r c u l a r i t y  of g i v i n g ordinary  be  the idea  cogent  does. Indeed,  reasons  on  by h i s c r i t e r i o n  h i s t a l k of superior  paradoxical in  premised  argument  point  very of  wants t o a s k , answers:  The answer i s t h a t we a r e now looking a t the w o r l d from the p o i n t of view of anyone. We a r e n o t e x a m i n i n g p a r t i c u l a r courses o f a c t i o n b e f o r e t h i s o r t h a t p e r s o n ; we a r e e x a m i n i n g two a l t e r n a t i v e w o r l d s , one i n w h i c h m o r a l r e a s o n s a r e a l w a y s t r e a t e d by e v e r y o n e as s u p e r i o r t o r e a s o n s o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t and one i n w h i c h t h e r e v e r s e i s the p r a c t i c e . And we c a n s e e t h a t t h e f i r s t world i s the b e t t e r world, because we c a n see t h a t t h e s e c o n d w o r l d w o u l d be t h e s o r t w h i c h Hobbes d e s c r i b e s as t h e s t a t e o f n a t u r e (p. 3 1 0 ) .  to  view with  63  The  problem with t h i s  addressed to  the  to convince. moral point to  t a k e up  own  having  The  egoist,  i s that  the  i t i s i n e f f e c t i v e when  s o r t of person i t i s designed  of view of  "anyone" i s , e s s e n t i a l l y , t h e  o f v i e w and  i t d o e s no  good t o t r y t o c o n v i n c e  of view t h i s  o f v i e w by  p o i n t i n g out  that  that w i l l  a p p e a r t o be  the  or  sees t h i n g s  unless  that  appeal  point  egoist  - and  personal  the moral p o i n t  moral p o i n t personal  sort of  there  point  from a p a r t i c u l a r p o i n t  i s something  of view, B a i e r ' s  demonstrably  someone  from  the  case.  The  of view -  wrong w i t h  a p p r o a c h must a p p e a r  his  his  quite  irrelevant. David Gauthier  (1967),  Advantage," argues t h a t the  question  "Why  in his excellent a r t i c l e  there  should  i s an  I be  important d i s t i n c t i o n  m o r a l ? " and  The  by  the  considerations  If  i t were a c o m p l e t e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f m o r a l i t y  it  i s a system of  a d v a n c e d by  p r i n c i p l e s or  better  i s one  question  be m o r a l ? "  e x p e c t t o be  question  the  we  s o r t of  latter  off i f that  to argue t h a t  some s o r t o f  reason to ization  as  adopt m o r a l i t y .  i s not to  that  p r o b l e m r e m a i n s , as  not  the  involve  d e l i b e r a t e as  What i s n e e d e d  least in  and  I think  t h o u g h he  he  he  t h a n any  out,  argument t o  something non-morally amiss w i t h the  can  other  such a  normally  is right in this.  points  that  everyone i s or  suggests that  were c h o o s i n g  i t seems, i s an  to note  part.  i t is certainly plausible  a c o m p l e t e a c c o u n t o f what we  morality  addressed  d e l i b e r a t i v e community,  Gauthier  should  Baier,  system r a t h e r  u n i v e r s a l l y , then  "Why  be  at  and  between  which can  r u l e s such t h a t  s y s t e m were f o l l o w e d we,  "Morality  that  the  f o r such a show t h a t  egoist's  have character-  understand But  beyond  egoist  does  community. there  position.  is  The  argu-  64  ments i n t h e n e x t egoist since will  and  s e c t i o n c o u l d be  the s u b j e c t i v i s t  I t h i n k t h e y do  no  d e a l w i t h them a s  personal  egoist.  7  Gauthier  David It  i s important  directed  at both  egoist considered i n section  significant  damage t o e i t h e r  i f t h e y were d i r e c t e d  just  to note a t the o u t s e t t h a t  in  the a r t i c l e s  to  a c l a s s of agents which i s c o n s i d e r a b l y broader  I  considered i n this  have b e e n d e a l i n g w i t h .  section,  In p a r t i c u l a r  he  (1974) he and  says:  I n "The  "An  Impossibility  egoist  i n every r e s p e c t a c t s to b r i n g  what he v a l u e s " , (p. 4 4 2 ) . (1975) , he  outcome o f h i s a c t i o n that  of the expected  the s i t u a t i o n "  a f f o r d s him  G a u t h i e r c o n s i d e r s may welfare of o t h e r s . p e r s o n an e g o i s t ,  The  i s concerned "selfish"  at least  values or u t i l i t i e s  i s not  in  t h e more p a r t i c u l a r  to  show t h a t  case  ends I  of  Maximization" "the  expected  as g r e a t f o r him  of the  as  in  agent  such  the a  f o r the assessment  i s a special  of  c a s e o f h i s ego-  i n t h e more g e n e r a l c a s e  I have c o n c e n t r a t e d on.  the arguments f a i l  with  anything, including  important  egoist  I f h i s arguments succeed  one  Egoism,"  I think i t i s inappropriate to c a l l but t h a t  the  on e v e r y o c c a s i o n  action possible  concern v i r t u a l l y  G a u t h i e r ' s a r g u m e n t s s i n c e my ist.  than  a l w a y s a c t s so t h a t  outcome o f any  (p. 4 1 8 ) .  his attention  i n "Reason and  a utility  I  Gauthier,  a b o u t as much a s p o s s i b l e  Similarly,  c o n s i d e r s a p e r s o n who  but,  position,  David  of R a t i o n a l  i s a p e r s o n who  8,  a g a i n s t the  directs  p e r s o n s whose v a l u e s a r e n o t c o n f i n e d t o t h o s e allow the e g o i s t .  the p e r s o n a l  they  succeed  I propose  i n t h e g e n e r a l c a s e and  there i s  65  no  r e a s o n t o suppose s i m i l a r arguments would succeed a g a i n s t t h e  narrower v e r s i o n (i)  Rational  problem  above,  Incompleteness  First, of  o f egoism d e s c r i b e d  consider  Gauthier's  E g o i s m " t o show t h a t  i n the theory  o f egoism.  attempt there  i n "The I m p o s s i b i l i t y  i s a serious internal  Gauthier  between t h e p o l i c y o f t r y i n g t o do as w e l l understood and  policy  i n a way w h i c h w i l l  i s consistent,  and  keeping  the  promised a c t i o n i tarises.  looking  to u t i l i t i e s  utilities"  t o a c t on each  the question  and  I t i s , then, only on a l l o c c a s i o n s  a s t h e one w h i c h w i l l  every  The f o r m e r promises  o f whether o r n o t  i s t o h i s b e n e f i t when t h e o c c a s i o n  The argument g o e s as f o l l o w s .  f o r per-  t o t h e p o l i c y o f always that  Gauthier  addresses  him-  There are s i t u a t i o n s i n  identify  a single action or strat-  maximize t h e e g o i s t ' s  Therefore,  egoism i s not a complete p r a c t i c a l  "practical  rationality  maximization"  as p o s s i b l e  f o r example, w i t h a p e r s o n ' s m a k i n g  which egoism does n o t u n i q u e l y egy  f o r oneself  maximize one's u t i l i t i e s .  them w i t h o u t r a i s i n g  forming  self.  the d i f f e r e n c e  as an " o v e r - a l l c o n c e r n t o maximize one's  t h a t p o l i c y understood as the attempt  occasion  stresses  expected  theory.  utilities. Therefore,  c a n n o t be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h u n r e s t r i c t e d  (pp. 4 5 5 - 6 ) .  I am n o t a s i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e d e t a i l s o f t h e s i t u a t i o n Gauthier constructs underlying  idea  unacceptable. there it  that  t o show h i s i n c o m p l e t e n e s s r e s u l t a s i n t h e a practical  theory  which i s incomplete i s  P u t a n o t h e r way, my c o n c e r n  i s with the claim  must be a u n i q u e r a t i o n a l a c t i o n i n any s i t u a t i o n .  i s c l e a r enough t h a t G a u t h i e r  i s committed; to'. t h i s  that  I think  claim.  He  66  says: B e f o r e one c a n m e a s u r e e g o i s m a g a i n s t an e x t e r n a l s t a n d a r d , one must measure i t a g a i n s t an i n t e r n a l s t a n d a r d . One must d e c i d e what c o n d i t i o n s a p r i n c i p l e o f a c t i o n must meet, t o be a n e g o i s t i c p r i n c i p l e , and t h e n a s k w h e t h e r any p r i n c i p l e o f . a c t i o n can a c t u a l l y meet them. I f no p r i n c i p l e c a n meet these c o n d i t i o n s , then egoism l a c k s i n t e r n a l rationality.... I f egoism c o l l a p s e s i n t o i n t e r n a l incoherence, r a t i o n a l egoism i s impossible. I s h a l l d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t no c o m p l e t e p r i n c i p l e o f a c t i o n meets t h e c o n d i t i o n s of  egoism.  By  a complete  principle  of  a c t i o n I mean a f u n c t i o n whose d o m a i n i n cludes every p o s s i b l e s i t u a t i o n i n which a p e r s o n m i g h t f i n d h i m s e l f and whose v a l u e s i n c l u d e e v e r y p o s s i b l e a c t i o n he m i g h t p e r f o r m . A complete p r i n c i p l e o f a c t i o n determines an a c t i o n f o r e v e r y p o s s i b l e s i t u a t i o n . I s h a l l show t h e n t h a t t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f e g o i s m c a n n o t be s a t i s f i e d by any f u n c t i o n defined over a l l p o s s i b l e s i t u a t i o n s i n w h i c h one m i g h t a c t and s p e c i f y i n g an a c t i o n f o r e a c h o f t h o s e s i t u a t i o n s (pp. 4 4 0-1). If  I understand  t h i s c o r r e c t l y , i t means t h a t  a c t i o n which f a i l s ation "lacks  t o s p e c i f y an a c t i o n  i n w h i c h an a g e n t f i n d s h i m s e l f , internal rationality"  herence." provided  Further  i n h i s concluding  f o r every p o s s i b l e i s incomplete  and " c o l l a p s e s  evidence that  any p r i n c i p l e o f  and  into internal  situtherefore inco-  t h i s i s Gauthier's p o s i t i o n i s  s e c t i o n where he  says:  Furthermore, i f i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e always t o a c t egoistically, then p r a c t i c a l r a t i o n a l i t y c a n n o t be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h u n r e s t r i c t e d maximization. And one may s u p p o s e t h a t , i f e g o i s t i c behaviour i s ever r a t i o n a l , i t must be shown t o be r a t i o n a l by d e r i v a t i o n f r o m some more g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f p r a c t i c a l r a t i o n a l i t y , w h i c h c a n be a p p l i e d t o a l l s i t u a t i o n s (pp. 4 5 5 - 6 ) .  should  Now,  how p l a u s i b l e  i s t h i s completeness requirement?  like  t o argue t h a t  i t i s not r e a l l y  I  very p l a u s i b l e at a l l .  67  In the  first  situation for  place,  i t seems t h a t  i n w h i c h no  p r i n c i p l e of  or  all  them b e i n g  of  i n which there  principle  of  equally  himself  again  the  what t h e  failure  recommend any  of  In  i t should  some a c t i o n ' s rationally  one  of  being  of  be  virtually  r a t i o n a l i n a given  rational,  Interestingly,  no  will  reliable be.  be  a c t i o n s may Gauthier  be  any  Here  theory  to  of  theory  the  acceptable  prin-  i s a d i f f e r e n c e between s i t u a t i o n and  true  that  i t may  a c t i o n must be  p o s s i b l e may  a number o f  be  in  i n a t l e a s t some s i t u a t i o n s .  there  W h i l e i t may  a  s u p p o s e someone f i n d s  i t appears that  noted that  require  possible actions  seems more a s t r e n g t h  to remain s i l e n t  l e a s t one)  some c a s e s a n y t h i n g  Or  has  Consider,  alternatives -  To  otherwise p l a u s i b l e p r a c t i c a l  a c t i o n must be  (or e v e n a t  the  peculiar.  of  of consequence i s a t  e f f e c t s of h i s actions  short,  required.  l e a s t one  any  an  a c t i o n ought  Secondly,  or  out  particular action  than a weakness. ciple  of  a grip.  d e s i r a b l e or undesirable.  a c t i o n to pick  on  get  kinds  t o c h o o s e among t h e  i n a s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h he  information  a number o f  a c t i o n can  i s nothing  these circumstances i s very  one  are  example, a s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h n o t h i n g  stake,  at  there  i t s being  i n any  not  be  rationally  r a t i o n a l (not  situation  true  that  only  required.  irrational)  so.  says:  My argument i s t h e n p e r f e c t l y c o m p a t i b l e w i t h the view t h a t i t i s r a t i o n a l to a c t e g o i s t i c a l l y whenever i t i s p o s s i b l e t o a c t egoistically. T h e r e a r e no d i r e c t p r a c t i c a l c o n s e q u e n c e s t o be drawn f r o m t h e demons t r a t i o n t h a t i t i s not always p o s s i b l e to a c t e g o i s t i c a l l y (p. 4 5 5 ) . He  nonetheless thinks  o f much o f  i t s appeal.  that  the  incompleteness of egoism robs i t  I f e g o i s m needs t o be  modified,  i t loses  In  68  its of  simplicity  and  that simplicity,  egoism's a p p e a l .  that  his position  considering must be He  as  committed  t o a l l o w him  t o c a r r y out  hope f o r t h e b e s t .  argument t o e m b a r r a s s him, interest  The  source  can  situation  his egoistic and  when he  There i s nothing  although  there  admit  e g o i s t I have been  to the view t h a t every  p u r s u e s h i s i n t e r e s t s whenever he  must s i m p l y  i s one  suppose t h a t the e g o i s t would  n e e d s t o be m o d i f i e d ?  i s not  such  But' why  thinks Gauthier,  in  calculations.  cannot  he  Gauthier's  i s a good d e a l  to  him.  (ii)  Is egoism s e l f - d e f e a t i n g ?  Consider  a P r i s o n e r ' s Dilemma  situation  Person  does A-^  as f o l l o w s : Person  does  Person  P  2  does B  1  (4 , 4)  (8,  -8)  Person  P  2  does B  2  (-8,  (0,  0)  The  first  number i n t h e b r a c k e t s  outcome and outcome. being  the  acquainted  w h i c h l e a v e s him other. doing  2  and  if P  2  2  can  doing  reason B  2  2  did  the  reason  2  2  he  situation,  however, b o t h  this  2  is still is  does B^  result?  to P  The  0  of  of  manner  he  each,  that action the  i s best o f f  best o f f doing A .  That i s ,  2  A .  But  2  since  i s best o f f (0,0).  b e t t e r o f f i f P-^ d i d A^  utilities  (4, 4 ) .  answer i s t h a t  the  the  the a c t i o n of  have u t i l i t i e s  w o u l d be  t o P^  perform  •• b e s t o f f d o i n g  will  s i n c e t h a t outcome has  a c t i o n s are  will  t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t he  t h e outcome a c h i e v e d  egoists achieve  the u t i l i t y  in a purely egoistic  that i f P  d o e s P^  similarly  Clearly, P  with  does B  r e g a r d l e s s o f what P P  reasons  the u t i l i t y  a s w e l l o f f as p o s s i b l e , g i v e n  Thus P-^ w i l l A  represents  s e c o n d number r e p r e s e n t s  I f each preson  fully  8)  A2  But as  independent, n e i t h e r ' s choice of a c t i o n  how  l o n g as  and  could their  influencing  the to  other, be  and  an  they  cannot achieve  e g o i s t , each can  (0, 0)  4).  As  the o t h e r ' s  other  reasoning  consider agreeing  redescription  utility  (agreement making) w i l l  of a c t i o n  as  "I>2  on  to  achieve  keeping  there are u t i l i t i e s  make any  breaking  ,s  d i f f e r e n c e to the u t i l i t y  each o t h e r  to act together  his  a g r e e m e n t i s p o s s i b l e s i n c e e a c h knows t h a t  exchange  make no  anticipate  l o n g as n e i t h e r places any  a g r e e m e n t s , no verbal  I f e a c h knows t h e  i s t h e o n l y p o s s i b l e outcome.  Suppose t h e y (4,  i t .  matrix.  which are a v a i l a b l e  (again assuming  the  e g o i s t s p l a c e no  difference.  an a g r e e m e n t "  The  utility  The  will  conclusion i s that  to people  t o keep a g r e e m e n t s w h i c h a r e n o t  no  who  can  available on  trust  to e g o i s t s  the keeping  of  agreements). This that  r e s u l t might  there  trying  i s a sense i n which the  t o do  possibility as  interpreting  it  here  out how  the  clear  Gauthier's ruled  just  utility  First, on  of the  definition  we  P r i s o n e r ' s Dilemma  argument t o t h e of  o c c a s i o n as p o s s i b l e i s  this policy  But we  he  some c a r e  cuts o f f  situations  i s necessary  egoist.  of h i s agreements  should  be  ruled  out  (This p o s s i b i l i t y  o f e g o i s m and  in  hence I w i l l  not  and  on  can  be  consider  argument.)  have assumed t h a t e a c h o f t h e a g e n t s i n situation  the  have assumed t h a t t h e e g o i s t  the keeping  the  effect  always  advantages of agreements i n  i t might help or hinder  Secondly,  every  that this p o s s i b i l i t y  definition on my  adopting  considered.  result.  p l a c e any  i s not  By  of g a i n i n g the  t h e one  does not  one.  an  egoist's policy  as w e l l f o r h i m s e l f on  a self-defeating  such  seem t o p r o v i d e  knows t h e o t h e r  t o be  the  an e g o i s t .  70 Our c o n c l u s i o n was, r e c a l l ,  that  egoists,  known t o e a c h o t h e r a s  such, cannot r e a p t h e advantages o f agreements because can  take the other's  "agreement"  seriously.  t h a t we i m a g i n e t h e e g o i s t ' s p o l i c y situation;  namely,  Dilemma s i t u a t i o n In  fact,  Suppose,  operating  the  keep f a i t h .  egoist  Then,  t o be l i k e  into agreeing  The e g o i s t  knows t h e o t h e r w i l l  finally,  himself. that  ( s a y P^) w i l l  Now  utilities  Clearly  contradiction  (4, 4).  r e a s o n i n g as  2  The r e s u l t i n g  then under  t h e non-  p e r f o r m a c t i o n B-^ s i n c e he outcome h a s  some c o n d i t i o n s  t o keep  here with the e a r l i e r  w h i c h may be open  agreements! conclusion  there are  open d e p e n d s  T h e r e i s no that  there are  t o p e r s o n s who c a n be t r u s t e d t o  keep a g r e e m e n t s w h i c h a r e n o t open t o e g o i s t s . are  can t r i c k  a i m a t t h e outcome  (P->) w i l l  believes  w h i c h may be open t o t h e e g o i s t w h i c h a r e n o t open t o  p e r s o n s who c a n be t r u s t e d  utilities  t o an a g r e e m e n t  the e g o i s t  then perform a c t i o n A  e x p e c t s P-^ t o keep t h e a g r e e m e n t . (8, -8).  keep h i s a g r e e -  suppose t h e n o n - e g o i s t  each w i l l  before while the non-egoist  utilities  in a different  i s known t o t h e e g o i s t n o t t o be a n e g o i s t .  suppose t h e e g o i s t  egoist  then,  one i n w h i c h t h e o t h e r p e r s o n i n t h e P r i s o n e r ' s  ment a s l o n g a s he b e l i e v e s t h e o t h e r p a r t i e s will  neither  What  utilities  i n p a r t on t h e c h a r a c t e r s and b e l i e f s  other persons i n a  of the  situation.  Gauthier concludes,  correctly,  i n " M o r a l i t y and A d v a n t a g e " :  [N]o man c a n e v e r g a i n i f he i s m o r a l . N o t o n l y d o e s he n o t g a i n by b e i n g moral,i f o t h e r s a r e p r u d e n t [ e g o i s t i c ] , b u t he d o e s n o t g a i n by b e i n g m o r a l i f o t h e r s a r e moral. F o r a l t h o u g h he now r e c e i v e s t h e advantage o f o t h e r s ' adherence t o moral p r i n c i p l e s , he r e a p s t h e d i s a d v a n t a g e o f h i s own a d h e r e n c e . As l o n g as h i s own  71  a d h e r e n c e t o m o r a l i t y i s i n d e p e n d e n t o f what o t h e r s do ..., he must do b e t t e r t o be p r u d e n t (p. 4 6 9 ) . As  l o n g a s o t h e r s do  will  not  not r e a c t  t o the e g o i s t ' s egoism  i f , f o r example, he d e l i b e r a t e l y  t h e y s i m p l y assume he w i l l necessarily  a c t i n any  imize h i s expected  d e c e i v e s them o r i f  a c t m o r a l l y ) the e g o i s t  s e l f - d e f e a t i n g way  utilities  on  (as t h e y  by  does  not  attempting  t o max-  e a c h o c c a s i o n where t h i s i s  possible. Interestingly, this  Gauthier o f f e r s  conclusion in a later  There  he  article,  an argument d e s i g n e d t o "Reason and  upset  Maximization."  argues: The s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f r a t i o n a l i t y w i t h the aim o f i n d i v i d u a l u t i l i t y - m a x i m i z a t i o n [egoism], although not i n c o n s i s t e n t , i s n e v e r t h e l e s s inadequate, because i t d e n i e s the p o s s i b i l i t y of agreements w h i c h r e q u i r e one o r more o f t h e p a r t i e s to r e f r a i n from the m a x i m i z a t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l u t i l i t y , y e t secure to each of the p a r t i e s g r e a t e r u t i l i t y than i s p o s s i b l e w i t h o u t s u c h a g r e e m e n t (p. 4 2 7 ) .  Of c o u r s e egoist  someone who  identifies  r a t i o n a l i t y w i t h t h e aim  d o e s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y deny t h e p o s s i b i l i t y  ments b u t o n l y t h e r a t i o n a l i t y o f e n t e r i n g sheer p o s s i b i l i t y o f persons' not  show t h e r e i s an  does n o t is  that  s u g g e s t he someone who  (straightforward, d e f e a t i n g way  i n egoism  thinks otherwise.  egoistic)  and  allegedly  Thus  the  What he a t t e m p t s  t o show  r a t i o n a l i t y w i t h the aims o f  utility  s i n c e there i s another  The  agree-  G a u t h i e r ' s argument  maximization  acts i n a  conception of  which opens t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f g r e a t e r u t i l i t i e s employ i t .  them.  the  e n t e r i n g t h o s e agreements does  inadequacy  identifies  into  of such  of  self-  rationality  to those  who  superior conception of r a t i o n a l i t y  is  72 one of  according  t o which i t i s r a t i o n a l  t h e k i n d we f o u n d  Dilemma.  impossible  The c r u c i a l  claim  to enter  into  f o r two e g o i s t s  then  agreements  i n the Prisoner's  i s the following.  [ S ] i n c e the c o n s t r a i n e d maximizer [the adopter o f t h e s u p e r i o r c o n c e p t o f r a t i o n a l i t y ] has i n some c i r c u m s t a n c e s some p r o b a b i l i t y o f b e i n g a b l e t o e n t e r i n t o , and c a r r y o u t , an a g r e e m e n t , whereas the straightforward m a x i m i z e r h a s no s u c h p r o b a b i l i t y , t h e e x p e c t e d u t i l i t y o f the c o n s t r a i n e d maximizer i s greater. T h e r e f o r e s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d maximi z a t i o n [egoism] i s n o t s e l f - s u p p o r t i n g ; i t i s n o t r a t i o n a l f o r e c o n o m i c man t o c h o o s e t o be a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d m a x i m i z e r (p. 4 3 0 ) . I have n o t i n d i c a t e d e x a c t l y what i s i n v o l v e d conception  of r a t i o n a l i t y  which endorses c o n s t r a i n e d  bound) m a x i m i z a t i o n b e c a u s e -argument it  i s t h e same f a u l t  egoists' the  i s evident  I think  without going we n o t i c e d  "problem" i n . t h e  i n the superior  the f a u l t  in  i n t o the d e t a i l s  earlier  Prisoner's  (agreement-  Gauthier's of i t .  Indeed  i n the attempt t o use the  Dilemma.as an argument f o r  s e l f - d e f e a t i n g n a t u r e o f egoism. It  stood  i s true  that  i n some  s i t u a t i o n s the egoist  a s t h e p e r s o n who i d e n t i f i e s  straightforward of e n t e r i n g  utility  rationality  (now u n d e r -  w i t h t h e aim o f  maximization) cannot reap the b e n e f i t s  i n t o agreements.  But i t i s e q u a l l y  true  that i n  some s i t u a t i o n s t h e e g o i s t c a n r e a p t h e b e n e f i t s o f a p p e a r i n g t o enter  a g r e e m e n t s and d e f a u l t i n g , and t h o s e b e n e f i t s a r e n o t  open t o t h e p e r s o n who a d o p t s and a c t s rationality of and  these  which r e q u i r e s  highest  him t o keep t h o s e a g r e e m e n t s .  sorts of situations are l i k e l y  which conception utilities  on t h e c o n c e p t i o n  of r a t i o n a l i t y  i n the long  t o o c c u r more  i s more l i k e l y  run turns  of Which  frequently  to y i e l d the  o u t t h e be an e m p i r i c a l  73  matter.  It will  adopt, the o f the  depend on  devotion  the c o n c e p t i o n  to r a t i o n a l i t y  e g o i s t to deceive others,  o t h e r s d i s p l a y , the and  w o u l d have c o n s i d e r a b l y more a p p e a l adequacy of a c o n c e p t i o n think  i t d o e s , on  utilities  r a t h e r than  so on.  on  such  others  ability  Gauthier's  i f the q u e s t i o n of  of r a t i o n a l i t y  some n e c e s s a r y  of r a t i o n a l i t y  turned,  relationship  as he  among  c o n t i n g e n c i e s as  argument  the seems t o  expected  those  indicated  above. It  should  advocating  be  noted  or a d v e r t i s i n g h i s conception  r e q u i r e t h i s w o u l d be to break the course,  (either  like  a g r e e m e n t he  would t r i v i a l i z e  impossible My  t h a t the e g o i s t i s not  i n the  egoist:'s p o s i t i o n reason  in  t h e e g o i s t ' s s t r a t e g y as  8  Subjectivist  The that  to think there  and  intention  that, of  independent a c t i o n  i s nothing n e c e s s a r i l y  understands  i s anything  i t .  about  the  Consequently  there  necessarily self-defeating  I understand  egoism.  egoism  f a r I have c o n s i d e r e d o n l y o b j e c t i v i s t  ethical  e g o i s t and  forms o f  the p e r s o n a l e g o i s t both  there are o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d  actions,  announce h i s  or e m p i r i c a l l y ) s e l f - d e f e a t i n g  no  To  cases.  i s that there  is  So  t h a t he  t h e m a t t e r by m a k i n g  as G a u t h i e r  to  of r a t i o n a l i t y .  w i s h e s t o seem t o e n t e r  interesting  c o n c l u s i o n , then, logically  requiring  committed  t h a t some s o r t s o f  standards  things r e a l l y  reasons  f o r a c t i o n regardless of  their  so on.  T h e r e i s however, a k i n d o f p e r s o n  accept  egoism. the  idea  f o r the assessment p r o v i d e anyone  with  a c t u a l d e s i r e s , wants, we  can  call  of  the  and  sub-  74 jectivist  e g o i s t who  does n o t a d o p t t h i s  objectivist  posture.  V i s - a - v i s h i s s t a t u s a s an a m o r a l a g e n t he i s i n t h e company of other If  archetypical amoralists the s u b j e c t i v i s t  who  share h i s s u b j e c t i v i s m .  e g o i s t holds  his position  reflectively  he may be e x p e c t e d  t o have some t h e o r y  practical  I f he d o e s n o t he may be d e s c r i b e d  reason.  someone who  just  does c o n c e r n h i m s e l f  without recognizing  about the n a t u r e o f  with  simply  h i s own i n t e r e s t s  any need t o s u p p o s e t h a t e v e r y o n e e l s e d o e s ,  o r o u g h t t o , o r h a s good r e a s o n t o , c o n c e r n t h e m s e l v e s We may allow unlike who  s u p p o s e t h a t he c o n s i d e r s that other  himself  the o b j e c t i v i s t  b u t he may  as w e l l .  e g o i s t , he d o e s n o t t h i n k  likewise.  That i s ,  that  anyone  i s n o t an e g o i s t i s n e c e s s a r i l y m a k i n g any s o r t o f m i s t a k e .  egoist  egoist, the s u b j e c t i v i s t  i s open t o t h e s o r t o f mundane  Nielsen  are,  these considerations  serve  considerations  b u t b e c a u s e he i s n o t d i s p o s e d  p r o v e t h a t he i s a c t u a l l y mistaken  to e f f e c t  I n any c a s e  of others This  may have a g r e a t e r  i t remains d e b a t a b l e whether  i s a question  l e t me  just  to transform  I will  say t h a t  I think  really may  They may n o t . expanding the  i n t e r e s t i n the welfare  him i n t o a m o r a l chapter  agent. b u t f o r now  s o m e t h i n g more i s r e q u i r e d  and t h a t  a person's acceptance of these  c o n c e r n s a s i n some way r e q u i r e d ,  S i m p l y coming t o c a r e  someone  i m p a c t and t h e y  simply  t a k e up i n a l a t e r  s o m e t h i n g more h a s t o do w i t h  extra-regarding  t o demand t h a t  a broadening o f h i s i n t e r e s t s .  i s sufficient  advanced  a b o u t what h i s r e a s o n s  concerns of a person to include d i r e c t  the  rational  o r i e n t a t i o n s are r a t i o n a l  Like the o b j e c t i v e personal  by  as  about o t h e r s ,  i f this  valid,  i s felt  and so o n .  as a matter  75 of  personal  ivist  taste,  egoist  f o r example, d o e s n o t  i n t o a moral  In many ways t h e interesting  i n the  Unfortunately general  The  notion  c l e a r e r w i t h the c h a p t e r and  9  present  I have n o t  The  of  and  s a i d enough a b o u t  of  i n the  l e a s t to the  ality and  have s e e n , t h e  his keeping he  ways.  To  do  h i s egoism  needs to r e l y  on  T h i s means t h a t  publicly  defend  t h a t w o u l d be  involve  i n the  extent  become much the  light  next until  that  of  the  possible  then.  conand  they avoid  However, i t m i g h t be  but  concepts of  practical  argued  that  optimal  strategy  to a l a r g e  others  to  he  f o r the  extent,  the  revealing given  i n another  actions himself  least insofar in certain  against  f o r what he as  sense p e r s o n a l  i t i s not.  involves  himself,  which i t d i c t a t e s .  h i s c o n c e r n t o do  i n one  egoist  at  i n t e r a c t w i t h him  cannot, without a c t i n g  Thus,  defensibility  invoked.  secret  irrational  for himself.  indefensible  be  h i s p o l i c y or  so w o u l d  possible  in  completely  s e c t i o n of  l e a s t , seem t o be  In p a r t i c u l a r , the  reasonableness could we  subjectivism  r a t i o n a l i f a b r o a d e r v i e w i s t a k e n o f what r a t i o n -  involves.  As  as  far at  theoretical inconsistency. not  one.  egoism  rational  they are  objectivist  u s e f u l l y or  last  s u b j e c t i v i s t egoism,  at  subject-  i s more  to postpone f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n  so  and  egoism  s u b j e c t i v i s t egoism should  s i d e r a t i o n s advanced policies  of  than the  p o s i t i o n very  leave  rationality  Personal  context  discussion  I beg  the  agent.  subjectivist version  to develop t h i s  here.  transform  The  egoist  is  and  well egoism can  be  as is  76  defended a g a i n s t charges of s t r i c t i r r a t i o n a l i t y , but he cannot v e r y w e l l defend h i m s e l f . who  cannot admit h i s own  I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o argue w i t h someone p o s i t i o n t o be as i t i s because one cannot  f i n d out who he i s . The  self-confessed egoist i s already  doing  a l l t h a t can be done a g a i n s t h i s p o s i t i o n and the s e c r e t i v e e g o i s t may  not be v u l n e r a b l e on any grounds he w i l l  consider.  I f egoism i s i n d e f e n s i b l e i n a sense, i t i s a l s o u n r e a s o n a b l e in  a  sense,  i f t o be r e a s o n a b l e  i s t o be w i l l i n g t o e n t e r i n t o a  s i n c e r e debate on t h e p r o s and cons of one's p r o p o s e d a c t i o n s . T h i s i n v o l v e s a w i l l i n g n e s s t o a l l o w t h a t t h e r e are accepted  and a c c e p t a b l e  standards  publicly  f o r what c o n s t i t u t e s good  reasons.  The o n l y r e a s o n s t h e e g o i s t a c c e p t s a r e ones o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t whether o r not o t h e r s would a c c e p t those r e a s o n s from him  and  as  j u s t i f y i n g h i s a c t i o n s o r even as making them r a t i o n a l need be o f no i n t e r e s t t o him. i s reasonable. prepared  He a c t s f o r reasons and as l o n g as o t h e r s  are  t o g i v e t h e r i g h t s o r t o f a d v i c e he can respond w i t h  i n t e l l i g e n t debate. ableness  S t i l l , i n a n o t h e r sense the e g o i s t  U s u a l l y , however, when t h e charge of unreason-  i s made i t i s d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t someone who  i t is felt  does not t a k e s e r i o u s l y enough the e f f e c t s of h i s a c t i o n s on o t h e r s - the d e p a r t u r e standards  he  makes from the p u b l i c l y  accepted  f o r r e a s o n s i s i n h i s r e f u s a l t o t a k e the i n t e r e s t s  of o t h e r s s u f f i c i e n t l y i n t o account. Another s t r i k i n g p e c u l i a r i t y  of egoism under the  formulation  I have been u s i n g , a c c o r d i n g t o which the e g o i s t i s concerned o n l y w i t h t h i n g s l i k e h i s own i s the e x c l u s i o n of any  wealth, happiness,  security, etc.  i n t e r e s t s which do not bear e i t h e r  77  d i r e c t l y o r i n d i r e c t l y on what can be c a l l e d h i s w e l f a r e . no one has c o n c e r n s so n a r r o w l y c o n f i n e d .  Almost  As has been noted  o f t e n enough, i t i s s c a r c e l y p o s s i b l e t o f i n d a s i n g l e p e r s o n who t a k e s no d i r e c t i n t e r e s t i n t h e w e l f a r e o f a n o t h e r , who would make no s a c r i f i c e o f p e r s o n a l i s not the b e n e f i c i a r y .  good f o r some cause o f w h i c h he  I n g e n e r a l , t h e f a c t t h a t one f e e l s  s a t i s f a c t i o n i n p e r f o r m i n g a c t i o n s which b e n e f i t o t h e r s does n o t reduce such a c t i o n s t o p u r s u i t s o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t s i n c e i t i s the f a c t t h a t one a l r e a d y c a r e s about o t h e r s w h i c h must be a p p e a l e d to i n o r d e r  to explain the f e e l i n g of s a t i s f a c t i o n .  deny the p o s s i b i l i t y o f someone's b e i n g  I w i l l not  a true e g o i s t , but i t  seems a remote p o s s i b i l i t y and, one c o u l d r e a s o n a b l y p r e d i c t , an u n s t a b l e one.  78  III  THE  1  The  GROUNDS OF MORAL AGENCY  p o s s i b i l i t y of a m o r a l i t y - n o n - r a t i o n a l c a p a c i t i e s  In the l a s t c h a p t e r I examined egoism as one ism.  k i n d of a m o r a l -  I argued t h a t , w h i l e e t h i c a l egoism i s open t o  serious  a t t a c k , e s p e c i a l l y as r e g a r d s i t s p r a c t i c a l c o n s i s t e n c y , are two v e r s i o n s of egoism - ( o b j e c t i v i s t ) p e r s o n a l  there  egoism  and  s u b j e c t i v i s t egoism - which can s u r v i v e the arguments u s u a l l y directed against e g o i s t i c theories. arguments which p u r p o r t  There a r e , however, o t h e r  t o show t h a t m o r a l agency i s , i n some  sense, a r e q u i r e m e n t on a l l mature, r a t i o n a l , f u l l y human p e r s o n s . In t h i s c h a p t e r I w i l l be d e a l i n g w i t h a number o f t h e s e a r g u ments. and  Some o f them are d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t o b j e c t i v i s t  are d e s i g n e d t o show t h a t one  amoralists  i s bound (somehow) t o t a k e  account of the w e l f a r e of o t h e r persons i n one's d e l i b e r a t i o n s about a c t i o n .  Others are d i r e c t e d against s u b j e c t i v i s t a m o r a l i s t s  and t h e s e are c a l c u l a t e d t o demonstrate t h a t anyone who recognize  fails  to  o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d standards of a c t i o n or o b j e c t i v e l y  v a l u a b l e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s i s making some i m p o r t a n t s o r t of mistake. C o n s i d e r the q u e s t i o n ,  "Why  be m o r a l ? "  I n the  introduction  I suggested t h a t t h e r e a r e t h r e e senses of "moral" depending on  79 whether or  "moral"  "immoral."  given word  Now  to the  intelligently.  than  who  then,  they  or  already  the  so  his  social  iously,  he  and  all,  cannot  a real two  o f a m o r a l i t y can human  involves,  "Why  i t can  non-  (taking  the  question  the  thoroughly  o f whether  not  be  what a r e  what he  i n any  an  an  to  immoral  a r i s e o n l y f o r some-  t h a t there are the q u e s t i o n ,  taken,  requirements  t o do  t a k i n g up  There are  fully  the  unless, of course,  morality after  g r o u p , t o be  but  and  wants t o know what r e a s o n s  a c t i n g i n accordance with  morally,  t o be  m o r a l agent might ask  motivated  not  non-moral agent  face the q u e s t i o n  already recognizes  1  t o be  be  the  (not a m o r a l ) a g e n t - i . e . f o r someone  for  request  i s "Why  severely retarded,  I have a r g u e d ,  ' i m m o r a l ? ' where he 1  question  how  be  are.  i s a moral  The  depend on  capacity to consider  i s understood  a t some l e v e l ,  requirements. be  l a c k the  "amoral,"  of answers which might  sense because the  Animals,  the q u e s t i o n  person?"  who,  I f the  f o r example, c o u l d n o t  become o t h e r  one  will  sort  "non-moral,"  be m o r a l ? " w i l l  i s understood.  "agent" broadly)  If  "Why  i t makes l i t t l e  insane,  contrasted with  o b v i o u s l y the  question,  "moral"  moral?"  i s being  he  of m o r a l i t y .  raise  i s actually  "Why be  g e n e r a l l y or  already  o t h e r way  can  moral  given in he  can  a d m i t s t o be  required  the  ser-  question  considering  amoralist outlook.  And  not  But  abandoning  i s amorality,  possibility? main d i r e c t i o n s from which the be  argued.  (where I mean by  among o t h e r  impossibility  First,  i t m i g h t be  thought t h a t  "fully  human" j u s t  not  things, having  a certain  ical s e n s i t i v i t y which n e c e s s a r i l y manifests  non-moral)  sort of  itself  being  psycholog-  i n the  use  of  80  m o r a l l a n g u a g e and i n a p r e p a r e d n e s s the  m o r a l mode."  approach.  Moral  Secondly,  traditionally  nature.  f o r example,  i t has been argued  that being  characteristic  at least  suggest  insofar  the details  sensitivity  involves  a s he f o l l o w s h i s r a t i o n a l t o mind.  It is  t o d e a l w i t h t h e s e two l i n e s o f t h o u g h t w i t h o u t  sidering  this  rational,  o f human b e i n g s ,  The K a n t i a n a p p r o a c h comes r e a d i l y  difficult  a brief  sense t h e o r i e s ,  a defining  a person i n m o r a l i t y ,  t o t h i n k and speak " i n  of the particular  con-  conceptions o f moral  and o f r a t i o n a l i t y h e l d by a c t u a l  theorists;  however  l o o k a t some w e l l - k n o w n a t t e m p t s t o d e a l w i t h t h e q u e s t -  i o n may be o f some u s e . D a v i d Hume b e l i e v e d  that  the a b i l i t y  ness t o use, moral d i s t i n c t i o n s in  virtue  of their  natural  t o make, a n d t h e w i l l i n g -  i suniversal  among human b e i n g s  e m o t i o n a l make-up.  He s a y s :  I f a n y man f r o m a c o l d i n s e n s i b i l i t y , o r n a r r o w s e l f i s h n e s s o f temper, i s u n a f f e c t e d w i t h t h e images o f human u n h a p p i n e s s o r m i s e r y , he must be e q u a l l y i n d i f f e r e n t t o t h e images o f v i c e and v i r t u e : A s o n t h e o t h e r hand, i t i s a l w a y s f o u n d , t h a t a warm c o n c e r n f o r t h e i n t e r e s t s o f our species i s attended with a d e l i c a t e f e e l i n g o f a l l moral d i s t i n c t i o n s ; a s t r o n g r e s e n t m e n t o f i n j u r y done t o men; a l i v e l y approbation of their welfare. In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r , though g r e a t s u p e r i o r i t y i s o b s e r v a b l e o f one man a b o v e a n o t h e r ; y e t none are so e n t i r e l y i n d i f f e r e n t to the i n t e r e s t of t h e i r f e l low-creatures, as to perceive no d i s t i n c t i o n s of moral good and e v i l , i n conse-  quence o f t h e d i f f e r e n t and principles.  tendencies of actions  (Hume, 1966, Enquiry P r i n c i p l e s of Morals,  Concerning the p . 60; e m p h a s i s  mine). If  one i s p r e p a r e d  distinctions"  t o g r a n t Hume's c l a i m t h a t  i s a matter of p r e f e r r i n g  "perceiving  (feeling  moral  approbation of)  human h a p p i n e s s and p r o s p e r i t y o v e r u n h a p p i n e s s and s u f f e r i n g ,  81  then  the fact,  being  i f i t be s u c h ,  equal, p r e f e r happiness  selves or i n others, w i l l that  t h a t everyone does, o t h e r t o unhappiness,  w h e t h e r i n them-  i n d e e d make p r o b l e m a t i c  amorality i s a p o s s i b i l i t y  for fully  the claim  human p e r s o n s .  Hume's v i e w , t o be a m o r a l w o u l d be t o be c o m p l e t e l y to both  human h a p p i n e s s  t h e r e a r e few p e o p l e ,  a n d human s u f f e r i n g  i f any, i n t h i s  some who a r e a r g u a b l y d e f i c i e n t lined  earlier  the category But,  as being  as I t r i e d  morality for.  than  very special lines  will  IV).  category  (save  least,  Since  perhaps out-  f u l l y human),  must be s p a r s e l y p o p u l a t e d  indeed.  I , t h e r e i s much more t o  Hume a n d e m o t i v i s t s i n g e n e r a l c a n e a s i l y the "feeling  account  o f a p p r o b a t i o n " must be a  s o r t o f t h i n g a n d must be u n d e r s t o o d  o f Roger S c r u t o n ' s  Chapter  indifferent  i n some o f t h e c a p a c i t i e s  t o show i n C h a p t e r  At the very  On  i n general.  i n v o l v e d i n someone's b e i n g  "amoral agent"  things  along the  a n a l y s i s o f a moral a t t i t u d e (see  Thus i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e t o show t h a t t h e a m o r a l i s t  n e c e s s a r i l y b e u n c o n c e r n e d w i t h human w e l f a r e e i t h e r i n  general o r i n the case that t h e converse  of particular  i s true.  That  persons,  i s a m o r a l i f he i s n o t  non-moral.  Butler, being  i t may be  i s , i t may be t h a t anyone who i s  u n c o n c e r n e d w i t h anyone e l s e ' s w e l f a r e actually  although  like  Hume, t h o u g h t  of others i s v i r t u a l l y  constitutes  an e s s e n t i a l  t h a t some c o n c e r n  universal  f o r the well-  among human b e i n g s a n d  a s p e c t o f human n a t u r e .  Yet Butler  realized  t h a t s o m e t h i n g more i s r e q u i r e d t h a n  a feeling of  approval  i n order  a u t h o r i t y of moral  t o account  judgments, even i f t h o s e  f o r the peculiar  judgments a r e b a s e d  on r e a c t i o n s s h a r e d  82  by a l l human b e i n g s .  There i s :  ... a s u p e r i o r p r i n c i p l e o f r e f l e c t i o n o r c o n s c i e n c e i n e v e r y man, w h i c h d i s t i n g u i s h e s between t h e i n t e r n a l p r i n c i p l e s o f h i s h e a r t , as w e l l as h i s e x t e r n a l a c t i o n s : which passes judgment upon h i m s e l f and them; p r o n o u n c e s d e t e r m i n a t e l y some a c t i o n s t o be i n t h e m s e l v e s j u s t , r i g h t , good; o t h e r s t o be i n t h e m s e l v e s e v i l , wrong, u n j u s t .... ( B u t l e r , 1967, "Upon Human N a t u r e , " I I , Fifteen Sermons, p . 53) Conscience in  i s a faculty of fully  a n i m a l s and p e r h a p s  also  i m m a t u r i t y o r some d e f e c t  human p e r s o n s and i t i s a b s e n t  i n persons not f u l l y  i n their  human  through  nature.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , B u t l e r ' s view o f the nature o f c o n s c i e n c e i s less  clear  t h a n we m i g h t  to  issue moral  to  t h e promptings  wish.  judgment s ^ h i c h  element  stand i n a r e l a t i o n  of the p a r t i c u l a r  l o v e o f a n o t h e r , and e v e n self-love.  He c o n c e i v e s o f i t a s o p e r a t i n g  p a s s i o n s such as hunger,  fear,  t o t h e two p r i n c i p l e s o f b e n e v o l e n c e and  I n a way, c o n s c i e n c e i n t r o d u c e s a new  into  of superiority  the d e l i b e r a t i v e  normative  process, but since Butler  thinks  t h a t a l l p a s s i o n s p r o p e r l y u n d e r s t o o d p r o m o t e b o t h t h e good o f self  and o f o t h e r s , i t i s n o t o b v i o u s what t h e r o l e o f c o n s c i e n c e  amounts t o o t h e r t h a n t o p e r f o r m t h e a p p a r e n t l y f u n c t i o n o f i n d i c a t i n g wherein allegedly  coincident  ends.  lies  non-normative  t h e way t o a c h i e v e t h e s e  He s a y s a t one p o i n t :  The sum i s , men have v a r i o u s a p p e t i t e s , p a s s i o n s , and p a r t i c u l a r a f f e c t i o n s , q u i t e d i s t i n c t b o t h f r o m s e l f - l o v e and f r o m b e n e volence: a l l o f t h e s e have a t e n d e n c y t o p r o m o t e b o t h p u b l i c and p r i v a t e good, and may be c o n s i d e r e d a s r e s p e c t i n g o t h e r s and o u r s e l v e s e q u a l l y and i n common .... ( B u t l e r , 1967, "Upon Human N a t u r e , " I Fifteen Sermons, p . 38) If  we a r e s k e p t i c a l  about  Butler's  claim  that  a l l our i n c l i n a t i o n s  83  do  t e n d t o promote b o t h p u b l i c " a n d  are  certainly entitled  p r i v a t e good  to maintain  (and we  some r e s e r v a t i o n s  on t h i s  t h e n t h e p e c u l i a r a u t h o r i t y o f c o n s c i e n c e must d e r i v e thing other t h i s dual  f r o m some-  than i t s f u n c t i o n of i n d i c a t i n g which a c t i o n s  purpose.  In any c a s e , B u t l e r  point),  serve  h a s n o t shown t h a t h i s  m o d e l o f t h e d e l i b e r a t i v e p r o c e s s i s even a c c e p t a b l e , l e t alone the only will the  one p o s s i b l e  possibility  being  of avoiding  supposedly  There are, fully  issues  the moral categories  human i n v o l v e s  e s s e n t i a l l y moral to solve  having  required  import.  Concepts l i k e  and  "ought" a r e n o t e a s i l y  and  the l i k e .  teased  Intuitionist  (1912) a n d G.E. Moore  insight  sensit-  I think,  t h e " f a c t s " which loaded  these  morally i n  " o b l i g a t i o n , " "duty," " r i g h t , " out o f emotions, like  sentiments,  t h o s e o f H.A.  stem f r o m t h e f a c t  so many a p p a r e n t l y i n their  i n t o moral  t o which  sense t h e o r i e s , a r e l i t t l e  t o make s u c h d i r e c t a p p e a l s v e r y  unable to locate  con-  Prichard  (1903), w h i c h t a k e a more d i r e c t r o u t e t o  difficulties  that  A l l such t h e o r i e s ,  theories  moral d i s t i n c t i o n s than moral  fact  according  certain psychological  r e g i s t e r are necessarily  the  Their  theories  t h e p r o b l e m o f showing t h a t  way.  i n which  i t i s t o r e g i s t e r d i s t i n c t i o n s which a r e  i n their  senses o r f a c u l t i e s  the  IV, I  i t s decisions.  o f c o u r s e , many o t h e r  i v i t i e s whose f u n c t i o n  off.  In Chapter  have more t o s a y a b o u t d e l i b e r a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y a s c o n c e r n s  science  fail  f o r human b e i n g s .  truth.  satisfying  that  better  i ti s difficult  i n t e l l e c t u a l l y and  otherwise capable people are  experiences anything  like  intuitive  84 2  The p o s s i b i l i t y of a m o r a l i t y - conceptual s t r u c t u r e s . and r a t i o n a l i t y I f i t i s not i n v i r t u e of some i n e v i t a b l e m o r a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t  p s y c h o l o g i c a l s e n s i t i v i t y t h a t i t can be shown t h a t a m o r a l i t y i s i n some sense i m p o s s i b l e , perhaps  the t h e s i s can be argued  from  an a n a l y s i s of the nature o f r a t i o n a l i t y , or some c o n c e p t u a l consequence of someone's having the c a p a c i t i e s which p l a c e him i n the realm of the f u l l y human. i n an extended  Using the term  "rational"  sense to cover both these areas, we can ask i f  every r a t i o n a l agent i s n e c e s s a r i l y a moral agent. something  c o n c e p t u a l l y amiss w i t h someone who,  Is t h e r e  while p e r f e c t l y  capable of moral t h i n k i n g , nonetheless does not apply moral concepts? I suggested e a r l i e r t h a t the o b j e c t i v i s t a m o r a l i s t (the Nazi f a n a t i c , the r e l i g i o u s z e a l o t , et a l . )  c o u l d speak more or  l e s s c o m f o r t a b l y about what people ought to do, about  their  o b l i g a t i o n s and d u t i e s and about what s o r t s of a c t i o n s are r i g h t and wrong.  (The e g o i s t has problems here because  f r e e l y promulgate  he  cannot  h i s views u n l e s s he holds the mistaken  t h a t he w i l l a t t a i n h i s own  belief  ends b e t t e r i n a world of e g o i s t s . )  These concepts bespeak an acceptance of an o b j e c t i v i s t p o s t u r e , and, w h i l e they are not p r o p e r l y moral concepts i n the mouth of an a m o r a l i s t , he  (and we)  can understand them w e l l enough.  I hope w i l l become c l e a r e r as I proceed, the  As  subjectivist  a m o r a l i s t cannot use such moral or quasi-moral concepts very e a s i l y or s i n c e r e l y .  He may  have  those concepts i n the  sense  of being a b l e to understand, i n -large measure, what o t h e r s i n t e n d  85  to  convey  w i t h them, b u t he h a s no s i n c e r e u s e f o r them t o e x p r e s s  a n y t h i n g he w a n t s o r n e e d s t o s a y . In set  general, i t i s possible  of concepts,  concepts without  i n t h e sense  his actually  using  the concepts.  religious  concepts  a concept like  i n t h e sense  persons  i n t h i s way  not using concepts  i s different  the  the d i f f e r e n c e  an a m o r a l  so c o n s i s t s  way o f t h i n k i n g  of  sinned  thinking  atheist  to  them t o u n d e r To f a i l  t o use  Rather,  i t i s more  t o say t h a t  agent  largely  o r anyone  else  as  concept of  the world  i s not, I take  being  does n o t use moral  under  concepts,  notions.  a moral  for this  i t , simply a matter  cannot  obligation,  for  s e e someone a s to f i t into  h i s way  B e i n g an  entity  conversion than  A religious  He  of d i s b e l i e v i n g  the existence of a c e r t a i n  believe a proposition.  i n t h e sense i n  and h i s p l a c e i n i t .  t h e r e i s more t o a r e l i g i o u s  I  i n t h e r e b e i n g no room i n h i s  s i n c e t h e r e i s no way about  to  I seem t o d e t e c t among  f o r him t o o p e r a t e w i t h m o r a l  p r o p o s i t i o n about why  concepts  failing  e x a m p l e , r o u g h l y i n t h e way a n a t h e i s t c a n n o t having  "sin,"  o r the concept o f "existence o u t s i d e time."  w h i c h I am c l a i m i n g  himself  from  existentialist  ways o f n o t u s i n g c o n c e p t s , e x c e p t  not doing  t h a t he u s e s  s a y when t h e y u s e t h e m ) .  like  am n o t s u r e I c a n c l a r i f y  see  such as "grace,"  " u n i c o r n " and " t o o t h f a i r y . "  "authenticity"  his  An a t h e i s t may, f o r  "God," and so o n , and y e t n o t u s e t h o s e  s t a n d what r e l i g i o u s  like  those  h i s experiences, actions, e t c . ,  (except perhaps  concepts  of using  about  "redemption,"  use  o f b e i n g capable  a concept or  i n thinking  example, u n d e r s t a n d  himself  f o r someone t o have  a  and t h a t i s  s i m p l y coming  c o n v e r t comes ..to t h i n k i n  86 a d i f f e r e n t way; Different  he  does not  cultures,  just  think different  different  s u b - c u l t u r e s and  i n d i v i d u a l s h a v e , t o some e x t e n t , d i f f e r e n t It  i s not a simple matter  differences consists  in l i t t l e  while another there and  t o say,  i n conceptual  lacks,  one  a concept  i s much more i n v o l v e d .  exhibit  altered  and  s a y much more i s v e r y d i f f i c u l t .  t h a t much i s n o t v e r y h e l p f u l  h i s conceptual anything  conceptual for  one  do,  The  and  structure.  do  or  interrelationships. illuminating  p o i n t at which  That  i s not  to say  may  n o t e v e n be  of themselves  r a t h e r as e s s e n t i a l l y  individuals.  for  as  as  individuals  a part of a s o c i a l  unique,  Such p e r s o n s  may  of a m o r a l i t y , of  we  not  might c a l l  i t were, no way  independently  have no way  self-interest  their  "moral,"  for  among v a r i o u s  • is a rational  a possibility  as d i s t i n c t ,  They w o u l d be bound by a way  this  procedure  another. i n which  i n t h e way "we,"  even  t h a t t h e y were i n c a p a b l e o f f o r m u l a t i n g a c l e a r  themselves  notion  and  that there i s  t o c h o o s e , on g r o u n d s o f r a t i o n a l i t y ,  conceived  the extent of  sometimes  i s i n some measure d e p e n d e n t  schemes, b u t o n l y t h a t what  person  but  having,  but  Suppose, f o r example, t h a t t h e r e were a s o c i e t y people  the v a r i a n c e  t h e p r e s e n t d i s c u s s i o n i s t h a t what i t i s r a t i o n a l  someone t o t h i n k , b e l i e v e ,  never  or group's  quasi-logical  to  on  structures.  C o n c e p t s c h a n g e , become more complex,  say  on  different  constitutes  set of concepts,  To  bears  just  logical  what  I n some c a s e s ,  person's  or  even  conceptual  i h general,  structures.  more t h a n  things are true.  conceptual without  we to  idea  existing  of formulating  the  or even o f m o r a l i t y . apparatus  their  to t h i n k i n g i n  realizing  i t , having,  o f c o n t r a s t i n g t h e i r mode o f t h o u g h t  with  87  an a p p r o p r i a t e a l t e r n a t i v e . I d o ? " may or  be  something  t o ask like  F o r such p e r s o n s , t o ask  "What i s r e q u i r e d o f t h i s  that.  Having  no way  individual  v a l u e s , any  i d e a o f an a l t e r n a t i v e apparent Now  of considering  by  the k i n d of c o n c e p t u a l i s o l a t i o n He  does understand moral them.  as  "obligation,"  " m o r a l l y ought,"  I f i t i s t o be  irrational  In of  we  evaluating  we  r e a s o n s and we former  a person's  that not  into  a r e two  just  reasons  e t c . which  the s u b j e c t i v i s t  i s primarily  are  differs  facts,  is irrational  because  someone who  such  relevant  amoralist i s  rationality  a t t e n d t o h i s use aspects of  a matter  and  themselves.  o f c o n s i s t e n c y among  the l a t t e r  of  from A o n l y t r i v i a l l y relevant  the-intelliWe  may  treats  and  On  does  the  t h e o t h e r hand,  f a c t s o f an u t t e r l y  as a r e a s o n f o r a c t i n g  say  who  d i f f e r e n c e s between  inconsistent.  our  c o n s i s t e n c y of h i s  of h i s reasons themselves.  show t h a t t h e r e i s any  sort  concepts  t a k e s f a c t A t o be a r e a s o n f o r 0 - i n g b u t  B which  say t h a t  in  well.  more o r l e s s d i s t i n c t  (and b e l i e f s . )  i s not  concepts  can a s s e s s the c o n t e n t s o f h i s reasons  or a c c e p t a b i l i t y  irrelevant  quasi-moral  c a n a s s e s s t h e c o n s t a n c y and  someone who  also  fall  a t t e n d to the concept of  cannot  we  "right,"  that  t o o t h e r s as  assessment  take f a c t  and  a p e r s o n ' s r a t i o n a l i t y we  There  evaluations;  gibility  with  formulate the  illustrated  However, i t i s n o t  argued  must a l s o  and p e r h a p s  reasons.  The  t o even  a m o r a l i s t as I c o n c e i v e o f him  b u t he d o e s n o t use  itself  idea  not c o i n c i d e  t o m o r a l i t y would l i k e l y  the s u b j e c t i v i s t  example.  here.  the  absurdity.  afflicted this  attempt  shall  p a r t of us?"  t h a t what i s s o c i a l l y v a l u e d o r v a l u a b l e need what an  "What  (or b e l i e v i n g )  (apparently)  is irrational.  88  In  b o t h c a s e s we  beliefs  failure  case  t o an  a subjectivist  first  issue  view  of reasons  further  section  the  sometimes, t o  I will  be  i n Chapter  be  attribute  and  the  discussing  V and  looking  i s not a moral  the then.  at various  agent  is irrational,  I want t o c o n s i d e r a r e c e n t c o n t r o v e r s y i n w h i c h  i s w h e t h e r o r n o t i t e v e n makes s e n s e (as o p p o s e d t o b e i n g  Does "Why  be m o r a l ? "  not very c a r e f u l l y  S t e p h e n Toulmin i t i s understood  some p a r t i c u l a r  make  has  f o r reasons f o r  amoral).  I have t r i e d  distinguished  argued  t o ask  and  that  t o keep  sufficient  or  i f i t i s understood  of  t h e q u e s t i o n "Why  (and on T o u l m i n ' s  f o r an a c t i o n ' s b e i n g m o r a l l y r i g h t  or  be  has  no  literal  moral?",  f o r doing i n accordview  that  required),  as a g e n e r a l r e q u e s t f o r a r e a s o n  s e e s t o be m o r a l l y r i g h t ,  the  purposes.  a c t i o n w h i c h i s a l r e a d y a l l o w e d t o be practice  separate  so t r e a t m e n t s  as a r e q u e s t f o r a j u s t i f i c a t i o n  is  the  sense?  "moral"  ance w i t h a c u r r e n t s o c i a l  what one  to  to understand  I will  above q u e s t i o n sometimes r u n a t c r o s s  if  logical  comments s h o u l d become c l e a r e r  i n the next  Often the senses of are  at least  seems i r r a t i o n a l .  t o show t h a t anyone who  being moral  3  or  i n c o n g r u i t y between t h e c o n c e p t u a l o u t l o o k  relevance of these b r i e f  attempts  (involving  i s attributable  value s t r u c t u r e of the person t r y i n g  Beginning  actions  o f t h e phenomena, w h e r e a s i n t h e  i t i s more p l a u s i b l e ,  p e r s o n whose b e h a v i o u r  but  case  to understand  incomprehensibility  the problem or  a person's  or i n c o n s i s t e n c y ) t h e r e are s t r o n g grounds f o r  t h a t our  inherent latter  to understand  adequately but i n the former  contradiction saying  fail  f o r doing  meaning.  89  The  question,  one  w h i c h seems t o r e q u i r e an answer o f a k i n d w h i c h c a n n o t be  given.  i f not absurd,  i s a "limiting  question/' that i s ,  He w r i t e s : When i t h a s been p o i n t e d o u t t h a t an a c t i o n conforms unambiguously t o a r e c o g n i z e d s o c i a l p r a c t i c e , t h e r e i s no more room f o r t h e j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the a c t i o n through e t h i c a l r e a s o n i n g ... (p, 2 1 7 ) . When someone a s k s , p e r f e c t l y g e n e r a l l y , 'Why o u g h t one do what i s r i g h t ? ' , a n d i s n o t s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e answer t h a t t h e s e n t e n c e , 'You o u g h t t o do what i s r i g h t ' , e x p r e s s e s a truism, h i squestion i s also a 'limiting' one. (Toulmin,  Limiting stood,  questions  not l i t e r a l l y ,  motivation Of  of this  f o r doing  course,  perform  through sheer  the a c t o r type  laziness.  very  218)  t o be g i v e n  to f e e l motivated  as m o r a l l y  required,  f o r doing  to request  seriously  motivation,  the p o s s i b i l i t y  to  either  otherwise or  Someone c o u l d u s e t h e q u e s t i o n ,  case)?"  some  of a c t i n question.  do sometimes f a i l accept  p.  c l a i m s T o u l m i n , must be u n d e r -  a l s o have n o n - m o r a l r e a s o n s  (in this  does n o t t a k e  type,  in-Ethics,  but r a t h e r as a request  a c t i o n s which they  because they  be m o r a l  people  1968, Reason  "Why  but Toulmin  t h a t someone m i g h t  question  t h e whole e n t e r p r i s e o f t h i n k i n g m o r a l l y .  icularly  o d d i n v i e w o f T o u l m i n ' s a c c o u n t o f what's i n v o l v e d i n  moral j u s t i f i c a t i o n .  I f t o say t h a t something  or  i s essentially  justified  with  or right  some s o c i a l . p r a c t i c e ,  i s morally  to claim just  i s part-  required  that i t accords  i t seems q u i t e p o s s i b l e f o r someone  t o q u e s t i o n m o r a l i t y o n some g e n e r a l "Why be m o r a l ? " w i l l  This  seem l i k e  o f a m o r a l a g e n t who i s u s i n g  a very "moral"  grounds strange  (eg,  of r a t i o n a l i t y ) .  question  sincerely  i n t h e mouth  i n i t s "not  90 immoral" sense, because i n g r a n t i n g t h a t some a c t i o n i s m o r a l l y r e q u i r e d he has a l r e a d y accepted a l l o f the j u s t i f i c a t i o n nece s s a r y f o r doing i t . Kai of  Nielsen  (1968),  on the other hand, takes the p o s s i b i l i t y  an amoral p e r s p e c t i v e s e r i o u s l y and argues a g a i n s t Toulmin  on the grounds t h a t t h e r e a r e many k i n d s o f p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n i n g b e s i d e s moral t h i n k i n g . out,  I t i s not s e l f - e v i d e n t , N i e l s e n p o i n t s  t h a t anyone must g i v e moral reasons p r i o r i t y o r supremacy  over o t h e r s o r t s o f reasons.  He c o n s t r u e s the q u e s t i o n  "Why  be moral?" as the moral s k e p t i c ' s q u e s t i o n "Why not be amoral?" T h i s q u e s t i o n i s o b v i o u s l y not a moral one. In  a r e p l y t o N i e l s e n ' s a r t i c l e , R. Beehler s e t s out a second  s o r t o f reason f o r r e j e c t i n g the q u e s t i o n as being a mistaken one. or  He argues t h a t one cannot decide  whether  or not t o become  remain a moral agent. How i s man t o adopt the 'moral p o i n t o f view'? How i s he t o decide t o be k i n d , u n s e l f i s h , courageous, honest, l o y a l , j u s t , and so on? For t h a t i s what 'having the moral p o i n t o f view' i s . The moral p o i n t o f view i s n o t some p o i n t above honesty, s e l f l e s s n e s s , mercy, i n t e g r i t y , j u s t i c e , i n terms o f which those are seen t o be worthwhile. Having the moral p o i n t o f view i s j u s t approaching l i f e and persons h o n e s t l y , j u s t l y , f o r g i v i n g l y , and so on, where these t h i n g s matter t o you, where, i n a sense, these t h i n g s are what you are. But i f you don't have a regard f o r , say, honesty now, how are you to d e c i d e to have one? (Beehler, 1972-3, "Reasons For Being Moral," p. 16)  There i s a v e r y important p o i n t here which'never^comes i n t o the debate between N i e l s e n and B e e h l e r .  explicitly  I t i s Beehler's  assumption t h a t b e i n g a moral agent i s e n t i r e l y a matter o f  91  having  certain virtues,  character  v a l u e s , e t c . and t h a t t h i s of view.  This  i s the s o r t of c l a i m  t o a p e r s o n who seriously  I objected  I think  that  to e a r l i e r  the r e s u l t s  Of c o u r s e , c e r t a i n  of h i s moral  at least  m a t t e r t o someone who  in  thinking,  certain  things w i l l  matter  takes  but there  i s no  some o f t h o s e t h i n g s c o u l d  not  d i d not a p p r e c i a t e things m o r a l l y .  some v i r t u e s w h i c h  are s p e c i f i c a l l y moral  i n the  also There  sense  that  t h e y i n v o l v e v a l u e s w h i c h o n l y m o r a l a g e n t s c o u l d have  they  involve  under  the use o f s p e c i f i c a l l y moral c o n c e p t s .  some a n a l y s e s , may  e a s y t o see how adequately analysis concerns.  such.  Furthermore,  "having the moral p o i n t  i n terms  of view"  o f what m a t t e r s t o one  i s available But  be one  o f why  suppose  that  just there  these moral concerns - perhaps  cannot decide,  unless  since  Justice, i t i s not  c a n be a n a l y z e d some d e e p e r  t h e s e t h i n g s c o u n t as m o r a l i s something which  underlies  some c o n c e r n s u c h as f o r t h e  harmony and w e l f a r e o f m a n k i n d - i t s t i l l one  point  B e e h l e r i s wrong i n  i s a m o r a l a g e n t t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t he  o b v i o u s r e a s o n why  be  inclinations,  t h a t b e i n g a moral agent i s simply a matter of  t h i n g s m a t t e r i n g t o one.  may  or  exhausts the notion of the moral  Hume's a n a l y s i s o f m o r a l i t y . supposing  traits,  i n an a p p r o p r i a t e  remains  t o show t h a t  sense, to c a r e about  such  things. P r o b a b l y no one w i l l about but  things,  s u g g e s t t h a t we  i n t h e same way  surely nothing that  strong  we  c a n d e c i d e t o go t o a m o v i e ,  i s required  q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r o r n o t t o become or not t o remain)  can d e c i d e t o c a r e  i n order that  the  ( o r , f o r most p e o p l e , w h e t h e r  a m o r a l a g e n t , make s e n s e .  A l l that  i s necessary  92  is the  that there other  and  be  the  possibility  of  those  of having  reasons being  perhaps over time, the  existence  in  t o be m o r a l  question.  scientific  Deciding  than l i k e  propositions. for  One  deciding  can  give  r e a s o n s i n much t h e favour  of  to  speak o f d e c i d i n g t o do  make s e n s e t o r a i s e for  to e f f e c t i n g and  beliefs.  producing/  deciding to  t h a t one  i n favour can  this  give  of  science  up  morality  or t h a t ,  i t may  nonetheless  o f whether t h e r e  are  the matter, perhaps w i t h  change i n one's p e r c e p t i o n s ,  Indeed, Beehler  I think, ceasing  or r a t h e r things. ceasing  It involves ceasing  finally  came t o  reasons a  consequence of  any  than,  ceasing  to care  emotions,  F u r t h e r m o r e , an  amoral outlook  a l t e r n a t i v e t o m o r a l a g e n c y and  special  that  t h u s may  than,  about c e r t a i n  morally,  may  typically be  a  i t is a not  require  effort.  Because m o r a l judgments l o o k easy to f a l l  to care  t o engage i n  someone's b e c o m i n g c o n v i n c e d  20)  i n v o l v e more  about t h i n g s  ceasing  view  admit:  a m o r a l a g e n t may  m o r a l l a n g u a g e and  moral a c t i v i t i e s .  rational  t o be  something d i f f e r e n t  t o use  be  scientific  I f d e c i d i n g n o t t o be m o r a l i s r e s o l v i n g to t r y n o t t o be m o r a l , t h e n a man could, I s u p p o s e , do t h i s . He c o u l d d e c i d e t o t r y not to a p p r e c i a t e t h i n g s m o r a l l y . ( B e e h l e r , 1972-73, " M o r a l s and R e a s o n s , " p. Still,  or  T h u s , e v e n where i t i s s t r a i n e d  view of  a gradual  i s more l i k e  mysticism  the q u e s t i o n  taking a modified  in  to b e l i e v e s p e c i f i c  up  self-interest.  instrumental  way  or e x t i n c t i o n of the a t t i t u d e  same way  in  r e a s o n s one  like  i n t o t h i n k i n g t h a t one  ordinary  statements i t i s  must e i t h e r b e l i e v e them  93  t r u e o r b e l i e v e them f a l s e  or  while  allowing  ever,  another p o s s i b l e a t t i t u d e .  to  say  w h i c h n e e d s t o be  sense,  this  gations too no  is like  but  to put  one  has  or the  Finally,  i n moral  t h a t no  one  i s apt  someone who  and  T h e r e i s , hownot  have  against  the  intelligibility  been argued  questions  are  that  has  any  that  or c o n s i d e r a t i o n s  reasons of  first  the  attempt being  sort  i s to attempt  d'etre  of m o r a l i t y  circular, the  and  i s that  only  p o s i t i o n seem  i s when m o r a l i t y  ultimate  an  and  reasons of  t o be  is in conflict  the  that  vs.immoral.  a r i s e f o r a moral agent except possibility  i t i s part of  the  of  amorality,  raison  d'etre  but  only  moral w i l l  s o r t of  i f i t i s assumed t h a t t h e  a l t e r n a t i v e s moral  raison  The  and  i . e . only  second  arise,  with p r e c i s e l y  This  question  offer  considerations  self-interest.  i t i s supposed t o o v e r r i d e .  immoral?"  to  answer a t a l l ,  practical  of whether or not  "Why  from e i t h e r moral  i f the  the  draft,  answers  however, i s a p p l i c a b l e o n l y  ering  that)  question  s i n c e a p a r t of the  those of  on  concerns the  a  obli-  (believes  the  to give  i t provides  question  sensibly  In  moral  self-interest,  to o f f e r  impossible  time t h a t the  those t h i n g s  of  s o r t i s to f a i l  which take precedence over  t h i s view,  the  of  ones which d e r i v e  considerations  not  anything  judgments.  t o make t h e  decides  disbelief  i s a moral p o s i t i o n .  i t has  to p r a c t i c a l  the  other.  Someone may  expressed  i t t h a t way  belief  a moral o b l i g a t i o n to submit to the m i l i t a r y latter  moral?"  one  deciding  c l o s e to that of  where t h e  be  t h e y must be  else withhold  i s "Why  be  argument, moral question  This question i n s o f a r as he  is  i n t h a t case the  of m o r a l i t y  that  i t  cannot  considfact provides  overriding The  reasons  f o r actions w i l l  be q u i t e b e s i d e t h e p o i n t .  a b s u r d q u e s t i o n t h e n , i s n o t "Why  rather  t h e q u e s t i o n , "Why  should I perform t h i s  see t o be m o r a l l y r e q u i r e d ? " a s a s k e d dedicated which  moral  that  understood has Of  agent.  be a m o r a l  As T o u l m i n  q u e s t i o n , asked  a c t i o n which  by someone who  argues,  I  is a  t h e o n l y sense i n  by a d e d i c a t e d m o r a l  agent,  c a n be  i s a s a r e q u e s t t o be m o t i v a t e d t o do t h a t w h i c h i t  already been a l l o w e d i s t h e o n l y j u s t i f i a b l e course, the l a t t e r  since  agent?" but  i t s statement  he d o e s n o t u s e .  q u e s t i o n cannot  requires  t o do.  f o r the amoral  t h e s i n c e r e use o f concepts  To j u d g e an a c t i o n  among o t h e r t h i n g s ,  arise  thing  agent  which  t o be m o r a l l y r i g h t i s ,  to accept a j u s t i f i c a t i o n  f o r d o i n g i t and  t o be m o t i v a t e d , o t h e r t h i n g s e q u a l , t o do i t . Hopefully chapter  i s concerned  not c l a i m ,  show t h a t  4  of  idea  the Golden  i s also  I do  t o show t h a t i t  o r c o m p e l l i n g answer one way  t o an e x a m i n a t i o n o f some  there a r e reasons f o r being a moral or other deep-seated  attempts  agent  which  f e a t u r e s o f our  Rule that  any r a t i o n a l  Rule  sort  expresses a c e n t r a l it  i s sufficient  this  apparatus.  The G o l d e n The  I now t u r n  from r a t i o n a l i t y  conceptual  this  has a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d  or the other.  derive  the q u e s t i o n w i t h which  w i t h from t h e charge o f a b s u r d i t y .  however, t h a t  necessarily  to  I have v i n d i c a t e d  linked  a g e n t must be open t o a r g u m e n t s  i s a p o w e r f u l one.  aspect of moral  thinking  The G o l d e n  Rule  and t h e c l a i m  c l o s e l y with the concept of p r a c t i c a l  that  ration-  95  ality ical  i s the  basic  Imperative  contention  (1964).  Kant's C a t e g o r i c a l of  the  serious  of  the  something t o the deliberately and  that  i t w o u l d be  on.  must be  be  say  agreed t h a t  there  that  them.  i n s o f a r as  that  are  e x a c t l y which v e r s i o n  by  very or  to  and  C e r t a i n l y there  an  is  a c t i o n i s performed  s a i d t o embody some maxim o r p r i n c i p l e  irrational  impossible  f o r someone t o a c t on  f o r any  r a t i o n a l f o r a l l and - at  to  Categor-  a minimal i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  number o f  A maxim w h i c h i s r a t i o n a l (not  to act r a t i o n a l l y  better  the  Imperative Kant i s e n t i t l e d  i s captured  notion  i t can  w h i c h i t w o u l d be to act  i n saying  Categorical  much o f m o r a l i t y  represents  It i s generally  problems i n v o l v e d  versions how  P e r h a p s i t w o u l d be  Imperative  Golden Rule.  i n Kant's treatment of  i t must be  l e a s t I am  not  other  a maxim persons  irrational)  possible  prepared  for  for  one  everyone  to argue  other-  wise. Kant's f o r m u l a t i o n is  stronger  according that  one  a c t on.  act only This  and  It requires  rule  one  (the  Silver  t h e y do  to consider  then to a c t o n e s e l f t h a t we  have o t h e r s  be  not  one  might The  what maxims one  on  act only  will  that  Golden Rule s i n c e  u n t o you."  doing  so  of  course, act  upon u n i v e r s a l l y ,  could  R u l e we  their  Imperative,  m e r e l y t h a t one  acted  c l o s e r to the  ( a t l e a s t i n s o f a r as  requires  Categorical  on maxims t h a t  t a k e s us  would w i l l  requires upon  than t h i s .  the  t o maxims w h i c h c o u l d  ponds t o t h e a s you  of  say):  "Do  Golden Rule,  a l l should i t corresunto  an  e f f e c t on  t h o s e maxims where t h e y a p p l y . according  a c t upon as w e l l .  t o maxims w h i c h we  It is clearly  others  however,  w o u l d have o t h e r s has  but  act one) It  would  a moral r u l e  in  96  that  i toperates to direct  actions  on o t h e r s and b i d s  we w o u l d  react  us choose  maxims on t h e b a s i s  others but also they  i s . a p p a r e n t , i f my a t t e m p t  features Golden  of morality  was  even  as being  how  n o t only-  sanction. t o s k e t c h some o f t h e m a i n  Rule, can p l a u s i b l y  of moral  of  affected  reasonably successful,  Rule, but not the Silver  express the essence  o f one's  w e r e r e v e r s e d , s o t h a t we  o u r maxims and t h e a c t i o n s It  to  to the effects  i f the roles  see o u r s e l v e s as a f f e c t i n g by  attention  thinking.  that the be c o n s i d e r e d  F o r example,  the  r e q u i r e m e n t t h a t one be p r e p a r e d t o d e f e n d  and promulagte  one's  moral  beliefs  according to a  rule  which  requires  makes that  maxims one uses whether  and by  that  everyone  question entirely  However, i t w i l l  a t the very least,  In the practical  perform actions ends f o r which actions  which  example,  clusive)  which  t o choose  avoiding  rational of  inconsis-  does n o t knowingly  (inconsistent with the  them) a n d he d o e s n o t p e r f o r m  are inconsistent with h e d o e s n o t do A when A.  rationality  sorts  agent  I  rationality,  that being  realm, a rational  he u n d e r t o o k  r e a s o n n o t t o do  theory of  certain  are self-defeating  In order to  I suppose  a conception of  be agreed  his practical  Rule.  satisfactorily,  I do n o t p r e t e n d t o h a v e a c o m p l e t e a n y means.  o r otherwise con-  suggested by t h e Golden  have t o p r e s e n t and defend  tency.  a c t o n t h e same  The q u e s t i o n t o be a d d r e s s e d h e r e i s  i n someone's f a i l i n g  i n t h e way  this  involves,  For  one w i l l  oneself.  untoward  principles  would  i f one i s a c t i n g  or not there i s anything irrational  ceptually  discuss  sense  his practical he j u d g e s  that  judgments. he h a s  (con-  97  One  fairly  straightforward  argument f o r the r a t i o n a l r e q u i r e d -  ness o f f o l l o w i n g the Golden Rule can be disposed  o f r i g h t away.  I t might be argued t h a t , i n s i t u a t i o n s " c a l l i n g f o r a moral r e s o l u t i o n , " to do something d e l i b e r a t e l y i n i t s e l f one t o t h i n k i n g t h a t one i s m o r a l l y  commits  j u s t i f i e d i n doing i t .  But, the argument goes, t h a t commits one to the view t h a t one e l s e would a l s o be a c t i n g i n a m o r a l l y in acting similarly Since  p e r m i s s i b l e manner  ( i n adopting the same p r a c t i c a l maxim).  i t i s i n the nature of a judgment  t h a t one must w i l l t h a t o t h e r s , morally  any-  of moral p e r m i s s i b i l i t y  as w e l l as o n e s e l f , a c t i n a  p e r m i s s i b l e manner, one must w i l l t h a t the maxim o f  one's a c t i o n be u n i v e r s a l l y adopted. argument, even i f we  ignore  The problem w i t h t h a t  the i m p l i c i t c l a i m t h a t  permissible  a c t i o n i n any s i t u a t i o n can r e s u l t o n l y from u s i n g a unique maxim, i s t h a t i t assumes t h a t one must a l r e a d y be to e v a l u a t i n g one's own  committed  and everyone e l s e ' s a c t i o n s m o r a l l y  and  t h a t i s j u s t the p o i n t i n d i s p u t e . Perhaps a s i m i l a r argument c o u l d be c o n s t r u c t e d n e u t r a l terms, however. just this.  First,  i n morally  Indeed, I t h i n k C.I. Lewis has attempted  i t should  be noted t h a t Lewis does not see  the d i f f e r e n c e between the Golden Rule and Kant's C a t e g o r i c a l Imperative which I suggested above and which emerges from a concentration  on the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t someone may  be a b l e  w i l l what he does not i n f a c t and never would w i l l .  to  That i s , I  take Kant to have argued f o r , and only to have been e n t i t l e d t o , the c l a i m t h a t p u r e l y i n v i r t u e o f being  r a t i o n a l one i s con-  s t r a i n e d not t o a c t on maxims one cannot  as a r a t i o n a l agent w i l l  98  t o become e v e r y o n e ' s maxim. of  u n d e r s t a n d i n g K a n t on  if  one  can  will  mind where one it.  something would w i l l  there  one;  i s a great  between what one  i n the  may  h a v e no Lewis  i n t o the  i t ) t h e n i n some s e n s e , one  latter  "can" case  is a logical  i t i s not  see  and  what one  t h a t one  i s necessary that  the  can  will  or  logical  "can"  p s y c h o l o g y as we  (1969, p.  75)  and  ad  absurdum  of  the  in  repudiating  it?  as have  i t .  i s a l l Kant i s  In  entitled which  Golden Rule thus:  r u l e w h i c h you  conform t o . "  to accept t h i s  that  understand i t .  f o r m u l a t e s the  requirement  will  one,  i s to  some o f  that  a  clear  t o have come t o w i l l  way  of  does  It is  something  i s concerned with r a t i o n a l beings,  to respect  so  idea  frame  does w i l l .  will  a c t w h i c h c o n t r a v e n e s any men  (can work o n e s e l f  the  can  I think  s i n c e he  i s another  rate a relevant  undergone a l l t h a t  to  there  d i f f e r e n c e , o r a t any  t h o u g h t o come t o  case,  that  t h i s p o i n t w h i c h r e s t s on  I t makes a d i f f e r e n c e i f t h e  psychological  any  I realize  His  would c a l l  of  no  other  argument f o r t h e r a t i o n a l  rule i s advertised  repudiation  upon  Do  i t .  as  a  reductio  What, t h e n , i s  What t h e C a t e g o r i c a l I m p e r a t i v e s a y s i s no more t h a n t h a t t h e r e i s a n o n - r e p u d i a b l e d i s t i n c t i o n between t h e r i g h t and wrong, w h i c h a f f e c t s w h a t e v e r we must d e c i d e by deliberation. And t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s nonr e p u d i a b l e f o r any c r e a t u r e who t h i n k s , and t h i n k s to a p u r p o s e , and i s c a l l e d upon t o d e c i d e by t h i n k i n g . There i s the moral i m p e r a t i v e b e c a u s e , i m p o r t a n t amongst t h i n g s t h e r a t i o n a l a n i m a l must d e c i d e , t h e r e i s t h e q u e s t i o n o f how he s h a l l b e h a v e t o w a r d h i s fellows. And any c r e a t u r e who t a l k s t o hims e l f about t h a t w i l l f i n d h i m s e l f i n the predicament of pragmatic c o n t r a d i c t i o n i f he s a y s t o h i m s e l f t h a t t h e r e i s a way of a c t i n g w h i c h i s r i g h t f o r him b u t wrong, i n  involved  99  t h e same p r e m i s e s o f a c t i o n , f o r a n o t h e r c r e a t u r e who l i k e w i s e d e c i d e s b y t a l k i n g t o himself. ( L e w i s , 1969, Values and Imperatives, p. 200) Lewis' b a s i c  idea  i s that  there  that  i n d e l i b e r a t i o n there  that  some a c t i o n s  i s a point  to deliberation;  i s a r i g h t answer and a wrong  are j u s t i f i e d  and o t h e r s  are not, that  answer, there i s  s o m e t h i n g one o u g h t t o do a n d s o m e t h i n g one o u g h t n o t t o do. Furthermore, being  since the c r i t e r i a  f o r e v e r y o n e a r e t h e same, i t  a b s u r d t o s u p p o s e t h a t two p e r s o n s  of a c t i o n " might e q u a l l y  rationally  r e a s o n s t o two d i f f e r e n t j u s t i f i e d  apply  d i f f e r e n t maxims o r  r e s u l t s , a r a t i o n a l agent  is  bound t o a l l o w  to  see everyone a c t .  To r e p u d i a t e  to  suppose t h a t  a r e no c r i t e r i a  actions  " i n t h e same p r e m i s e s  t h a t he o u g h t t o a c t o n l y  there  i n deliberation;  a s he i s p r e p a r e d  the Golden Rule,  then, i s  f o r c h o o s i n g among  i t i s t o suppose t h a t  possible  deliberation i s  pointless. Let  us g r a n t  sense t h a t  that  there  some p o s s i b l e  i s a point  actions  to d e l i b e r a t i o n i nthe  f o r a given  p e r s o n c a n be s a i d  t o be o n e s w h i c h he h a s r e a s o n s t o p e r f o r m and o t h e r s w h i c h he h a s r e a s o n s n o t t o p e r f o r m . similar  to this  person w i l l ,  C l e a r l y anyone who i s  i n s i m i l a r circumstances,  reasons.  In t h i s  the  and i t w o u l d be i r r a t i o n a l  other  situated, one  t o suppose t h a t  p r o b l e m and t h a t a n o t h e r  h a s r e a s o n s w h i c h make  which s o l v e s  have s i m i l a r  s e n s e , what i s r i g h t f o r one i s r i g h t f o r  P h a s r e a s o n s w h i c h make some a c t i o n A t h e o n e w h i c h his practical  t o be o n e s  his practical  some p e r s o n solves  s i m i l a r p e r s o n Q,  similarly  some d i f f e r e n t a c t i o n B t h e  problem.  B u t L e w i s must show more  100  than in  this.  He  others  reasons, not  by  show t h a t t h e r e  someone's a c t i n g on  t o a c t on. on  must  Certainly  but  one  i t w o u l d be  c o u l d remain  call  dishonest  silent,  upon  reason  now.  There  to a c t u a l l y  Lewis' i s an  argument f a i l s important  i s , no  doubt,  d i f f e r e n c e between  of r a t i o n a l i t y  as  whether or not  others deliberate according  o n e ' s own,  d i f f e r e n c e corresponds Golden Rule.  the Golden Rule I do  not  call  their  anyway d i s h o n e s t y  t h e d e l i b e r a t i o n s o f o t h e r s a r e g o v e r n e d by  the  others  to act against and  involved  is  irrational.  The  and  irrationality  he w o u l d n o t  ( i n t h e name o f r a t i o n a l i t y )  obviously  that  reasons  i s an  or t h e o r e t i c a l  any  (a) g r a n t i n g the  same  rules  (b) t a k i n g some i n t e r e s t to those  in  rules.  t o t h e d i f f e r e n c e between the S i l v e r I t turns out  does not  see  and  apparent  way  support of  t h a t Lewis'  i t i n the  This Rule  argument f o r  f o r m he g i v e s i t a b o v e .  showing t h a t t h e r e  i s any  practical  i n c o n s i s t e n c y i n someone's a l l o w i n g t h a t  there  are g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s which d e s c r i b e the p o i n t of  deliberation  and  same  which apply  remaining  i n any  find  way  There does not  "calling  seem t o be  a c t i o n s w h i c h embody maxims one  to the v a l u e different  and  any  on  others"  way  of  s t r u c t u r e of  o f r a t i o n a l i t y may  the agent, t h e i r  i s , j u s t what i t i s r a t i o n a l of person  he  time  t o use  those  showing t h a t i t to attempt  hopes o t h e r s w i l l  agents i n s i m i l a r circumstances  on what s o r t  a t the  a p a r t of the p o i n t of d e l i b e r a t i n g  Since the g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s  That  agents,  o u t s i d e the p r o j e c t of  principles. is  to a l l r a t i o n a l  to  use.  make r e f e r e n c e  implications for may  f o r a person  i s , b u t more o f t h i s  be  very  different.  t o do may later.  depend  101  There  i s another  Golden Rule  s t r a n d i n Lewis'  attempt  w h i c h s h o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d .  He  to establish the  says:  The b a s i c i m p e r a t i v e i s ... s i m p l y t h a t o f g o v e r n i n g o n e s e l f by t h e a d v i c e o f c o g n i t i o n , i n c o n t r a v e n t i o n , i f need b e , t o i m p u l s i o n s and t h e i n c l i n a t i o n s o f f e e l i n g . And t h i s i m p e r a t i v e c a n be a v o i d e d o n l y by t h e i n c a p a c i t y t o d e l i b e r a t e and make d e c isions. T h i s most c o m p r e h e n s i v e i m p e r a t i v e o f r a t i o n a l i t y may be c a l l e d t h e Law o f O b j e c t i v i t y .... ( L e w i s , 1969, p . 167) The  Law o f O b j e c t i v i t y  requiring  t h a t one t a k e  i s r e l e v a n t t o moral d e l i b e r a t i o n i n full  cognizance  of the r e a l i t y  of other  persons. Granted t h i s law o f r e s p e c t f o r o b j e c t i v e f a c t as such, t h e ground o f o u r o b l i g a t i o n t o a n o t h e r p e r s o n becomes o b v i o u s , d o e s i t not? The r e a s o n f o r i t i s t h a t we know h i m t o be a s r e a l a s we a r e , and h i s j o y s and s o r r o w s t o have t h e same q u a l i t y a s o u r own.... The p r i n c i p l e o f o b j e c t i v i t y d i c t a t e s compassionate regard f o r others j u s t a s , so t o s a y , p r u d e n c e d i c t a t e s c o m p a s s i o n a t e r e g a r d f o r my s e l f o f tomorrow. ( L e w i s , 1969, p . 141) If  we r e c o g n i z e , a s L e w i s d o e s , t h a t t h e n o t i o n o f " c o m p a s s i o n a t e  r e g a r d " here passion,  d o e s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e one i n f e e l i n g  as t h a t i s n o r m a l l y  recognition of the effects apparent  understood,  conception  i s n o t as f i r m  provided  thus  of moral o b l i g a t i o n  our being motivated  contingent).  i t is  by t h e Law o f  a s i s r e q u i r e d by o u r o r d i n a r y (which  does n o t a l l o w ,  t h a t o u r o b l i g a t i o n s depend on o u r f e e l i n g although  the f u l l  o f o n e ' s a c t i o n s on o t h e r s ,  t h a t t h e ground o f o b l i g a t i o n  Objectivity  but just  com-  t o perform  compassion  I think, f o r others -  o u r o b l i g a t i o n s may be  102 Thus a n o t h e r d e f e n s e o f t h e G o l d e n R u l e may be as  follows.  Rationality requires  have a p o i n t  at a l l ,  f o r others  come t o f e e l  reality  operates  we f e e l  be  l e d to act only  be  w i l l e d t o be, a c t e d  being  ourselves  subject  rationally  i n asking If this  i n a c e r t a i n way  ourselves  compassionate  (roughly  on o t h e r s  on maxims w h i c h n o t o n l y  could  i n their  we  poignantly i n fact,  b e , and c o u l d  on u n i v e r s a l l y , b u t w h i c h we (through t h e i m a g i n a t i v e  so t h a t  as  t h e i r e f f e c t s on o u r s e l v e s ) , then we w i l l ,  a c t u a l l y a c t i n g on  placing  of others.  the e f f e c t s o f our a c t i o n s  as  others  i fdeliberation i s to  we t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t  what t o do, t h e f u l l regard  that,  reconstructed  imagine exercise of  s h o e s and f e e l i n g t h e e f f e c t s o f  t o t h o s e maxims).  T h u s , t o a c t on a maxim  i s , f o r someone who i s s u f f i c i e n t l y moved i n a c e r t a i n  way by i m a g i n i n g  the e f f e c t s of h i s actions  on o t h e r s ,  to acti n  a way he w i l l s  t o be a u n i v e r s a l l y a c c e p t e d way o f a c t i n g .  Clearly,  i t i s a m a t t e r o f p s y c h o l o g y and n o t r a t i o n a l i t y  then,  whether the Golden Rule w i l l of  g e t a g r i p on t h e d e l i b e r a t i o n s  any p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l .  necessarily  just a peripheral  That fact  i s not t o say that  a b o u t human b e i n g s t h a t t h e  Golden Rule i s capable o f i n f l u e n c i n g a c t i o n ; I t would r e q u i r e not  a truly At  human  on  the j u r i s d i c t i o n  someone c a n -  o f t h e G o l d e n R u l e and be  being.  the beginning of t h i s  rational  i t may n o t b e .  a s e p a r a t e argument t o show t h a t  remain outside  i t is  chapter  I s a i d t h a t what i t i s  f o r a p e r s o n t o do may depend on h i s c o n c e p t u a l  what c o n c e p t s he h a s - and a c c o r d i n g  structure -  t o my r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f  L e w i s i t a l s o d e p e n d s on h i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l  sensitivities.  If  103  it  c o u l d be  the on  effects  n o t have  this  would  cognitively  think  this  order  t o be  reality  that  shown  said  t o have  could  shown,  distinctively grounded  5  Thomas It  moral  i n this  than  an adequate must  account  they  that  effects  of other the amoralist  irrational.  i t c a n be  of  were  reality  to the claim  I do n o t  shown  that  in  conception of the equal  take  their  experiences  w e r e h i s own. the problem  But even  o f showing  notion of obligation,  duty,  into i f  how  i t  the  and so on c a n  requirement.  that  one must  At least  there  in  a typically  moral  suggests  concern  itself.  recognizing that  a t the consequences  just  one p e r s o n  more  than  i s more  like  among  looking  persons  from  the  to the  con-  interests  into  account  when  o f showing  that  a vivid  perception  on o t h e r s w i l l  for others. we  necessarily  At this  look  are real  of having  i n t h e same a concept  equally  a t t h e same  real.  thing  point  at things a  o f c o n c e n t r a t i n g on t h e  others  looking  t o proceed  of other  Suppose  others  look  just  their  actions  and, i n s t e a d  i s n o way  reality  i s n o way  o f one's  differently  there  take  the e f f e c t s  it  as though  i f not actually  remains  of  of  sense  any more  o f the equal  that  approach  not take  Nagel  recognition  acts.  some  as i f they  there  seems, t h e n ,  clusion  on o t h e r s  a person  i n acting,  be  give  c a n be  account,  does  a conception of the equal  deficient,  of animals  be  s o m e o n e who  of h i s actions  him does  persons, is  shown  One  result  another little  consequences  way  we  a r e , we  of ourselves as Actually  from  this  a different  at oneself i n a particular  way  i n  involves angle; light  104  of  a r e c o g n i t i o n of the equal  Nagel  (1970) h a s a t t e m p t e d  book The P o s s i b i l i t y  of  N a g e l s argument here  particular  I shall  to exploit  of a l l persons.  Thomas  this  in his  possibility  Altruism.  i s complex a n d i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e t o d e a l  1  adequately  reality  with  everything i n this  ignore h i s e f f o r t  between m o r a l r e a s o n i n g  fascinating  t o develop  an  and p r u d e n t i a l r e a s o n i n g  book. analogy  according to  which the former r e q u i r e s a c o n c e p t i o n  o f o n e s e l f a s one  among o t h e r p e r s o n s  the l a t t e r  conception times the  of the present  (especially  analogy  equally r e a l while a s one t i m e  the f u t u r e ) .  In  person  requires a  equally r e a l with  other  T h e r e a r e enough p r o b l e m s i n  t o make i t s u s e f u l n e s s d o u b t f u l , i n any c a s e .  N a g e l r a n g e s h i s a r g u m e n t s p r i m a r i l y a g a i n s t what he c a l l s subjective  egoism, a view which i s e n t a i l e d  am c a l l i n g  amoralism.  He  by t h e p o s i t i o n  I  says:  The most p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y a t t r a c t i v e hence t h e one most w o r t h r e j e c t i n g ) w h i c h d e n i e s t h a t r e a s o n s depend on ment o f o b j e c t i v e v a l u e t o a n y t h i n g  v i e w (and i s one the assign... (p. 9 6 ) .  J u s t what i s i n v o l v e d i n " t h e a s s i g n m e n t o f o b j e c t i v e v a l u e " t o something i s n o t e n t i r e l y to  clear.  t h e Moorean v i e w t h a t t h e r e  goodness such  that just  those  have o b j e c t i v e v a l u e , a l t h o u g h much o f what he s a y s . value that of  Nagel c e r t a i n l y  i s a non-natural  such  least,  to assign objective i s t o suppose  t o b r i n g about o r m a i n t a i n  The s u b j e c t i v e e g o i s t  t h e r e may b e , a s a c o n t i n g e n t  fact,  property  a view i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h  t o s o m e t h i n g , s a y some s t a t e o f a f f a i r s ,  affairs.  property of  t h i n g s w h i c h have t h a t  At the very  anyone h a s a r e a s o n  i s n o t committed  (the amoralist)  that state can allow  some u n i v e r s a l l y v a l u e d  that state  105  of a f f a i r s , individual  but i f there  state of a f f a i r s  valued  by someone w i l l  where s o m e t h i n g just  this  amoralist to  anything  looking  notion  C e r t a i n l y not a l l u n i v e r s a l l y and e v e n  more t h a n v a l u i n g  i t himself  i s involved,  and/or b e l i e v i n g  i t , and i t i s c l e a r as we  s h a l l see.  c a n be c l a r i f i e d  somewhat by  a t Nagel's treatment of reasons f o r a c t i o n .  predicates  with a predicate  they apply.  that  Thus,  " i s an a c t o f identify  reasons f o r performing the actions  Nagel places  which r e q u i r e s  A reason  to actions.  and " c o n d u c e s t o someone's w e l f a r e "  reasons or p u t a t i v e  everyone.  which a p p l i e s  s u c h as " p r o m o t e s t h e a g e n t ' s w e l f a r e , "  benevolence,"  f o r an  t o something i f t h i s i s  also value  of o b j e c t i v e value  consists i n  i t i s never p o s s i b l e  objective value  as a m a t t e r o f f a c t  identified  applies  be v a l u e d  so t h a t  f o r N a g e l more t h a n t h i s The  in itself.  by e v e r y o n e i t s v a l u e  fact,  to "assign"  that others  is  i s valued  contingent  involve  that  be i n v i r t u e o f f a c t s a b o u t  p e r s o n s p r i m a r i l y , and n o t j u s t b e c a u s e o f some f e a t -  ures of that things  i s i twill  t o which  a u n i v e r s a l i t y c o n d i t i o n on r e a s o n s  r e a s o n s be t h e same, i n some s e n s e , f o r  I f one t h i n k s  that  t o some a c t i o n A g i v e s  t h e n one must a l s o a l l o w  that  the fact  that  some p r e d i c a t e  R  some p e r s o n p a r e a s o n t o do A, any o t h e r  p e r s o n t o whose  possible  a c t i o n B, R a p p l i e s , a l s o h a s a r e a s o n t o do B.  A n o t h e r way o f  putting  R's  ity  this  point  to A gives  i s t o say t h a t  supposing  that  applicabil-  p a r e a s o n t o do A commits one t o t h e p r a t i c a l  principle: (p,A) i.e.  ( I f R h o l d s o f A, t h e n p h a s a r e a s o n t o do A)  " F o r a l l p e r s o n s p and a l l a c t i o n s A open t o p, i f t h e  106  p r e d i c a t e R i s t r u e o f A, t h e n p has a r e a s o n t o do A." the p h r a s e  "prima  facie"  Using  t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e r e a s o n need n o t  be a c o n c l u s i v e one, and a l l o w i n g A t o range over s t a t e s o f a f f a i r s , e v e n t s , e t c . , as w e l l as a c t i o n s , we g e t : (p,A) ( I f R h o l d s A, then p has promote A ) . Now, a c c o r d i n g  prima  facie,  t o N a g e l , r e a s o n s and p r a c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s  can be e i t h e r o b j e c t i v e o r s u b j e c t i v e a c c o r d i n g not a r e f e r e n c e  t o whether o r  t o p, t h e agent, o c c u r s i n t h e f o r m a l  of the reason p r e d i c a t e o r p r a c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e . a reference  reason t o  statement  I f there i s  t o t h e agent, t h e r e a s o n o r p r i n c i p l e ' i s s u b j e c t i v e ;  otherwise i t i s o b j e c t i v e .  The l e f t hand column below  contains  examples o f o b j e c t i v e r e a s o n s and p r i n c i p l e s and t h e r i g h t hand column examples o f s u b j e c t i v e ones. 1.  t h a t A w i l l make Canada g r e a t  1'. t h a t A w i l l make p's country great  2.  t h a t A s e r v e s G.D.'s i n t e r e s t s  2'.  t h a t A s e r v e s p's interests  3.  t h a t A makes someone happy  3'.  t h a t A makes p happy  4.  Everyone has a r e a s o n t o promote 4 ' . Canada's g r e a t n e s s .  5.  Everyone has a r e a s o n t o promote G.D.'s i n t e r e s t s .  6.  Everyone has a r e a s o n t o make 6'. Everyone has a r e a s o n p e o p l e ( h i m s e l f i n c l u d e d ) happy. t o make, h i m s e l f happy.  5'.  Everyone has a r e a s o n t o promote h i s c o u n t r y ' greatness. Everyone has a r e a s o n t o promote h i s own interests.  S i n c e o b j e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e s may e n t a i l s u b j e c t i v e ones (eg. 6 — * - 6 ' ) , i t w i l l be u s e f u l t o s t i p u l a t e t h a t when I r e f e r , f o r example, t o p e r s o n s who a c c e p t s u b j e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e s , I w i l l mean t h a t t h e y accept  only  subjective p r i n c i p l e s .  Indeed, l e t me s p e c i f y t h a t  107  any  reference  to a subjective  stood to concern an o b j e c t i v e will  one;  Nagel  includes  prefer  on  i t s form,  b u t a l s o on  supposed  or  "p has  sufficient  the  sort since  to the f a c t  I think  that  respects.  A very important  is  by  concept  itself  sufficient  to e x p l a i n  with i t , although i t i s also of  such a c t i o n  judgments,  or d e s i r e "  such as  motivational  sequences"  (p. 1 0 9 ) .  a reason to stay p e r s o n who  i s that  of h i s acting  only  his desire  person  states  his project  do  not of  says  that content]  accordance  practical  the s t o r e , "  "not merely  have  classificatory:  t h e y have p r a c t i c a l judgment  I  non-occurrence  s u c h as  con-  "John  has  c o n t e n t i f the  t o promote J o h n ' s s t a y i n g John  but  of a  in  First-person  t h e n , has m o t i v a t i o n a l  that  on.  does  He  compatible with the  they are  has  significant  makes i t ( a c c e p t s i t ) t h e r e b y o p e n s t h e way  explanation  Nagel  i n bed,"  so  sorts  a c t i o n or d e s i r e  what t o do;  A third  "p  [one w i t h m o t i v a t i o n a l  (p. 1 0 9 ) .  c o n t e n t because  Nagel  content.  " I have a r e a s o n t o g o ; t o  t h e y a r e judgments about  perhaps  f o r Nagel  judgment's h a v i n g m o t i v a t i o n a l o f s u c h a judgment  and  t h e s e two  sometimes have d i f f e r e n t m e a n i n g s i n  "the acceptance  practical  "p o u g h t .to do A,"  judgments  practical  on  subjective  a r e a s o n t o promote A,"  i n the former attention  or  i s a judgment l i k e  judgments o f t h e form  to deal  under-  to accepted i t .  judgment, f o r N a g e l ,  to 0 , "  a reason  pay  t h u s , whether i t i s o b j e c t i v e  of the person(s)  A practical  i s t o be  a r e a s o n or p r i n c i p l e which does not r e s t  depend n o t o n l y  thinking  p r i n c i p l e or reason  so.  thus:  The t h e s i s w h i c h I p r o p o s e t o d e f e n d i s simply that the only a c c e p t a b l e reasons are  f o r an  i n bed  or  108  o b j e c t i v e o n e s ; e v e n i f one o p e r a t e s s u c c e s s f u l l y w i t h a s u b j e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e , one must be a b l e t o b a c k i t up w i t h an o b j e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e y i e l d i n g t h o s e same r e a s o n s as w e l l as (presumably) o t h e r s . Whenever one a c t s f o r a r e a s o n , I m a i n t a i n , i t must be p o s s i b l e t o r e g a r d o n e s e l f as a c t i n g f o r an o b j e c t i v e r e a s o n , and p r o m o t i n g an o b j e c t i v e l y v a l u a b l e end (pp. 9 6 - 7 ) . I will and  turn shortly  to Nagel's  attempt  t o t h e c o n n e c t i o n between i t and  content but the  thesis  first  I should l i k e  itself.  The  first  to e s t a b l i s h  this  the n o t i o n of m o t i v a t i o n a l  to o f f e r  some b r i e f  remarks  t h i n g w h i c h s t r i k e s one  that to  any  I t seems q u i t e i n c r e d i b l e time  does s o m e t h i n g  r e g a r d o n e s e l f as promoting  w h i c h anyone required each to  one  has  i s not  person  a reason  a reason  t o promote  do w i t h t h e u n i v e r s a l i t y  objectivity). example,  That  an o b j e c t i v e l y  t h e r e be  corresponds  w a s h i n g b e h i n d my  so  t o my  i s derivative  reason. that  The  i n the sense  objectivity  I have a r e a s o n  reason  have a r e a s o n  depending  on  Surely,  the one  form  and  not with  thesis  -  one  which  of f a l l i n g  that,  of the o b j e c t i v e  for  e a r s , t h e n you  reason  u n d e r a more  t o see  case  fundamental allows  everyone that  do  f o r doing  i f anyone  ears then  e a r s , or perhaps  i t has  their  i s not  e a r s , i f my  thesis requires that  wants t o s a y ,  end  t o do w h a t e v e r i n you  t o wash b e h i n d my  t o wash, b e h i n d my  able  (that i s r e q u i r e d , but  t o wash b e h i n d my  you  must be  v a l u a b l e end  some s i m i l a r  of reasons  too - or at l e a s t  suggest  N o t e t h a t what i s  i s , the o b j e c t i v i t y  i f I have a r e a s o n  on a l l  anyone s h o u l d  f o r a r e a s o n one  t o promote.  simply that  has  that  on  i s the  o d d i t y o f the c l a i m c o n s i d e r e d as a g e n e r a l c o n s t r a i n t reasons.  thesis  has  I do  a  so,  principle.  there are cases  i n which  subjective  109  r e a s o n s have  a place.  I like  friend,  Fred.  grocery  s t o r e a t t h e t i m e we a r r i v e .  and  Suppose  so d o e s F r e d  there  vanilla  i s o n l y one b r i c k  difficult here which  i c e cream  which  and so d o e s left  and F r e d  i s to grant  Nagel's  a reason because  I end up b u y i n g t h e i c e cream  I ti s  l o o k f o r any s t a t e o f a f f a i r s and w h i c h b o t h o f u s , as w e l l  has r e a s o n t o promote.  a c a n d i d a t e f o r t h e one w h i c h  i n the l o c a l  i s i n t h e same b o a t .  i s objectively valuable  my  a r e a s o n t o buy i t  o f r e a s o n s - I have  t o s e e why we s h o u l d e v e n  as anyone e l s e ,  I have  and t o r e c o g n i z e t h i s  p o i n t about the u n i v e r s a l i t y I like vanilla  i c e cream  The s t a t e o f a f f a i r s i n  seems no b e t t e r o r w o r s e  i s objectively  better,  so i f t h e r e  is  s o m e t h i n g t o c h o o s e between them on s u c h i m p e r s o n a l g r o u n d s ,  it  must be b e c a u s e  tingently,  under  one o r t h e o t h e r  some o t h e r d e s c r i p t i o n .  o p t f o r some o b j e c t i v e gone w i t h o u t v a n i l l a  principle  i c e cream  one whose h e a l t h w o u l d  an extreme  perhaps q u i t e One c o u l d ,  such as t h a t  as I w i l l  What i s i t t h a t principles  I suppose,  f o r the longest time o r the i t i s t h e one  i s objectively valuable, but this  solution...,, I n d e e d  i t l o o k s v e r y much  an a t t e m p t t o t u r n t h e p r o b l e m i n t o a m o r a l o n e . accident,  con-  t h e p e r s o n who h a s  b e n e f i t most f r o m e a t i n g  whose b u y i n g t h e i c e c r e a m seems l i k e  falls,  a r g u e a t t h e end o f t h i s  This  i s no  section.  i n N a g e l ' s v i e w makes t h e u s e o f s u b j e c t i v e  "unacceptable?"  I t i s that:  ... a s u b j e c t i v e p r a c t i c a l p r i n c i p l e does n o t p e r m i t o n e t o make t h e same judgments a b o u t o t h e r s t h a t one makes a b o u t o n e s e l f , o r t h e same judgments a b o u t o n e s e l f v i e w e d i m p e r s o n a l l y t h a t one makes a b o u t o n e s e l f v i e w e d personally. The a p p l i c a t i o n o f s u b j e c t i v e r e a s o n s i n v o l v e s a d i s s o c i a t i o n o f t h e two s t a n d p o i n t s , and a b r e a c h i n t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f o n e s e l f a s j u s t a p e r s o n among o t h e r s (p. 1 1 6 ) . i•  like  110  The  problem, i n a n u t s h e l l ,  ive  principles  motivational  leads  content  to practical  person since  o r a s a "me"  judgment t o t h e e f f e c t  impersonally  as j u s t  like  Yet,  a s we have s e e n ,  anyone e l s e and h a s r e a s o n s  motivational content. thing  i s to accept  first  personal  a reason  t o do i t w h i l e impersonally)  something i s , f o r the s u b j e c t i v i s t ,  will and  will  he i s  t h e way t h e y do. judgments do have t o do some-  t o j u d g e t h a t someone  has a reason  t o do  merely t o note a f a c t .  j u d g m e n t s a s u b j e c t i v i s t makes a b o u t h i s own  have m o t i v a t i o n a l c o n t e n t they  practical  content  (who he happens  impersonally,  i n just  i f he v i e w s h i m s e l f  lack motivational content  some  judgments  To j u d g e t h a t one h a s a r e a s o n  (or o n e s e l f c o n c e i v e d  practical  that  actions or  a person  be) s i n c e , i n s o f a r a s he v i e w s h i m s e l f  just  full  t o do s o m e t h i n g h a s ho m o t i v a t i o n a l  B u t t h e same i s t r u e o f t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t ' s  about h i m s e l f viewed  else  i n one's  i t c a n n o t e x p l a i n any o f t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t ' s  desires.  to  judgments w h i c h have o r l a c k  conceived,  A subjectivist's  p has a reason  subject-  d e p e n d i n g on w h e t h e r one v i e w s o n e s e l f a s a  "someone," i m p e r s o n a l l y concreteness.  i s s u p p o s e d t o be t h a t u s i n g  i f he v i e w s  The  reasons  personally himself  impersonally. Nagel's c o n c l u s i o n from t h i s either as  i s that the s u b j e c t i v i s t  d e l i b e r a t e i n t h e p e r s o n a l mode f a i l i n g  j u s t one p e r s o n  detached  must  t o see h i m s e l f  among many, o r e l s e he must r e m a i n p e r v e r s e l y  from h i s a c t i v e  nature:  [ I ] t i s p o s s i b l e t o i m a g i n e an i n d i v i d u a l f u l l y capable o f occupying the impersonal s t a n d p o i n t and p o s s e s s i n g a c o n c e p t i o n o f h i m s e l f as j u s t another o f t h e world's i n h a b i t a n t s , who n e v e r t h e l e s s r e m a i n e d f r o m t h i s s t a n d p o i n t s p l i t o f f , detached from  Ill h i s p r a c t i c a l c o n c e r n s and h i s r a t i o n a l l y m o t i v a t e d a c t i o n s (p. 1 2 3 ) . T h i s dilemma practical to  i s p r e d i c a t e d on a p a r t i c u l a r  principles  i n deliberation  of the r o l e of  and i t i s h e r e  that  I wish  enter a caveat. For  Nagel,  practical  practical deliberation  judgments from  motivational  o f deducing  The o b j e c t i v i s t  o f a c c o u n t i n g f o r t h e appearance  content i n h i s f i r s t  since the p r i n c i p l e s  i s a matter  practical principles.  d o e s n o t have t h e p r o b l e m  of  view  person p r a c t i c a l  of  judgments  he b e g i n s w i t h c o r r e s p o n d t o t h e a s s i g n m e n t  o b j e c t i v e v a l u e t o s t a t e s o f a f f a i r s and a l l o f h i s p r a c t i c a l  judgments a r e e s s e n t i a l l y promote t h o s e speak,  from  judgments about  states of a f f a i r s .  the beginning.  who c a n do what t o  His w i l l  i s engaged,  This points out a c e r t a i n  so t o peculiarity  in  t h e n o t i o n o f m o t i v a t i o n a l c o n t e n t when i t i s a p p l i e d n o t  to  first-person  b u t t o i m p e r s o n a l o r t h i r d - p e r s o n judgments.  T h e s e l a t t e r j u d g m e n t s have m o t i v a t i o n a l c o n t e n t on account  even though  they cannot  actually  m o t i v a t e anyone t o do  anything u n t i l  further  The  judgment h a s m o t i v a t i o n a l c o n t e n t i n t h a t i t  impersonal  embodies t h e a c c e p t a n c e  judgments about  Nagel's  one's s i t u a t i o n  o f some a t t r i b u t i o n  to  something.  T h i s acceptance  as  i t were b u t t h e c l u t c h  starts  of objective  t h e a g e n t ' s motor  i s n o t engaged u n t i l  position of  on t h e o t h e r hand, n e e d s t o t a k e a c c o u n t  i n any s i t u a t i o n  value running  he s e e s what he  c a n do t o p r o m o t e t h a t w h i c h h a s t h e o b j e c t i v e v a l u e . jectivist,  a r e added.  The  sub-  ofh i s  i n o r d e r t o be a b l e t o s a y what  state  a f f a i r s he h a s r e a s o n t o p r o m o t e , and i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o  112  see how t h e b a r e s h i f t There  i s an i m p o r t a n t t r u t h  jectivist  1  s "inability  s i o n s about perhaps ivist not  o f viewpoint can introduce i n what N a g e l  says about t h e sub-  t o draw f u l l y - f l e d g e d  i m p e r s o n a l l y viewed  practical  situations."  solipsism"  among o t h e r s e q u a l l y According principles therefore  as Nagel c l a i m s  (an i n a b i l i t y real)  judgments  long as they a r e i m p e r s o n a l l y  reasoning  problem Nagel  a s one p e r s o n  begins with  a b o u t who h a s what r e a s o n s , a s  stated,  in a first  subjective  t o t h e agent) and  g e t no g r i p  Some p e r s o n a l p r e m i s e must be added to result  to a  on t h e p a r t o f t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t .  ones w h i c h make r e f e r e n c e  h i spractical  i t does,  t o see o n e s e l f  t o Nagel, the s u b j e c t i v i s t  (i.e.,  ivations.  and s u b j e c t -  r e a s o n i n g , b u t t h e q u e s t i o n remains whether o r  this difference points,  "practical  conclu-  I t points out  t h e c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e between o b j e c t i v i s t  practical  motivation.  person p r a c t i c a l  sees f o r t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t  o n h i s mot-  i n order f o r the judgment.  here i s t h a t  The  i t is  not  e a s y t o s e e how t h e a d d i t i o n o f a p r e m i s e , s u c h a s " I am  the  man i n t h e g r e e n h a t , " c a n i n t r o d u c e m o t i v a t i o n a l c o n t e n t  into  the reasoning.  a real  one s i n c e  jectivist  this  i tarises  actually  by f o l l o w i n g  t h e problem  i s , however, n o t  from Nagel's assumption  gets to h i s f i r s t  that  person p r a c t i c a l  (or a t l e a s t  the s u b j e c t i v i s t  t h e weaker one N a g e l must be a b l e  t h e sub-  judgments  t h e p r o c e s s o f d e d u c t i o n from p r i n c i p l e s .  assumption  makes t h a t  I suggest that  Without  explicitly  t o get to those  practical  judgments  i  gets  t h e c o n c l u s i o n does  not arise.  I will  t h e a m o r a l i s t ' s mode o f p r a c t i c a l  into Later  n  t h i s way) t h e p r o b l e m o f how t h e m o t i v a t i o n a l c o n t e n t  be e x a m i n i n g  113  r e a s o n i n g more c l o s e l y , o f a d i g r e s s i o n , an for  the  own)  a s s i g n s no He  and  does not  commit h i m  just  healthy.  principles  does.  is still  taken  account  of.  I f Nagel i s r i g h t ,  s u b j e c t i v i s t must be  able to accept  u n i v e r s a l i n f o r m and  and  reason reasoning  I have a  reason  I t h i n k he  a practical  anyone  sense,  reasons  but  to  be  i s , the  principle  Such a  my  It  healthy or  on  a p p l i e s t o anyone.  healthy.  "I v a l u e  i n Nagel's  requirement  he  commit him?  to the view t h a t h i s being  the u n i v e r s a l i t y  (his  His  follows:  Therefore  o b j e c t i v e value  way  to h i s being  b e c a u s e he  r e c o n s t r u c t e d as  keep me  h e a l t h y has  there  would  by  a subjectivist,  To what d o e s t h i s b i t o f r e a s o n i n g  else's being  is  here,  someone f o r whom h e a l t h  i n Nagel's sense,  healthy,  Doing A w i l l  t o do A."  outline  suppose t h a t , b e i n g  some o c c a s i o n m i g h t be  health.  just  t h i n k t h a t anyone e l s e need r e c o g n i z e any  t o promote h i s b e i n g on  Consider  objective value,  does n o t  l e t me  a l t e r n a t i v e view of p r a c t i c a l  subjectivist.  i s important  but  which  principle  be:  (p,A)  ( I f R a p p l i e s t o A,  then  p has  a reason  to promote  A)  where R i s a p r e d i c a t e w h i c h i d e n t i f i e s  a reason.  Nagel  seems  to think that the  f o r R here  would  be  "promotes p ' s principle, But  a reason  the only p o s s i b i l i t y .  o f him  also yields  t h a t would c e r t a i n l y  v i z . "Anyone has  h e a l t h o f an  his  h e a l t h " and  i t i s not  conceive  appropriate candidate  values  h e a l t h has  The  subjectivist  a reason  R t o be  his health."  a subjective principle,  a subjective  t o promote h i s h e a l t h . "  (the a m o r a l i s t ) w o u l d t a k e  agent,, p, who  yield  namely,  as  "promotes  the  This predicate  "Anyone who  t o promote h i s h e a l t h . "  I  Now  values  that  prin-  114  ciple but of  will  probably  the reason "acting  seem a l m o s t  that  i t seems t r i v i a l  f o r a reason"  values.  R i n the  Indeed  chapter counts, I  classed  him  i n a sense  i s t h a t we  second  tend to t h i n k  way  R i s very important relativizes  the p e r s o n a l e g o i s t on N a g e l ' s  reasons  I talked  definition,  as an o b j e c t i v i s t .  about  as a s u b j e c t i v i s t  has  "real"  value f o r a person  i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f what he  confusion, in  my  someone who  however, and  sense  i s also  his  own  t e r m s and  p r e s e n t l y but I  have In  values.  i t remains  I n any  that  l e t me  a  i n Nagel's  case, Nagel  actually  cause  although the  c a n be  answered I will  t h e d i g r e s s i o n on  t h e c a s e above where R i s Vpromotes p's  Anyone has  reason  I have r e a s o n  3. D o i n g ' A w i l l .•.4.  affairs  subjectivist con-  on do  that  which  h e a l t h " and  i s "Anyone has  1  t o promote h i s h e a l t h .  t o p r o m o t e my p r o m o t e my  I have r e a s o n  reason  construes the s u b j e c t i v i s t s  follows:  .*. 2.  because,  embarked.  promote h i s h e a l t h " Nagel  1.  while  countenancing  i s required.  conclude  which the corresponding p r i n c i p l e  as  is  T h i s need n o t  true that  i s a l l that  first  some s t a t e o f  does t h i s  a subjectivist  v e r s e does n o t h o l d .  last  This discrepancy arises  allow that  relativized)  person's  i n the  a s u b j e c t i v i s t may  (albeit  between  to a  Nagel,  objective  to  because  for  v a l u e s , w h e r e a s f o r me  i tis,  Nevertheless the d i f f e r e n c e  ways o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g  construing  and  as n e a r l y e q u i v a l e n t t o " a c t i n g  achieve a valued r e s u l t . " t h e s e two  trivial  t o do  A.  health.  health.  in  to reasoning  115  T h e r e d o e s seem t o be content" process  enters. of the  reasoning  a problem here  However, t h i s  subjectivist  u s i n g R i n the  amoralist.  t h e h e a l t h o f t h e a g e n t , p, who Anyone who health.  values  2.  I v a l u e my  health.  .'.3.  I have r e a s o n  4.  Doing A w i l l  .'.5.  first  seems p e r f e c t l y  without  is  superfluous to a deductive  is  a principle  legitimizes  (where R i s "promotes  a fact  health.  health.  i t . of  s i n c e the  Indeed  i t seems  i n f e r e n c e such  argument.  w h i c h we  f u n c t i o n s as w e l l a s jectivist t h e way  he  and  reasoning sort  h a r d l y be  an  have been c a l l i n g explanatory  commits h i m s e l f by does.  as Modus  as  Ponens  figure  i t were.  in There  comes f r o m  a mere n o t i n g  h e n c e as of others  t h e way i f he  o f p r o j e c t as he  account  is.  of the connection  a practical  precept  conducting  I t does not  r a t h e r as t h e p r i n c i p l e  stood  superfluous  I t does not  i t from without,  2 which can  argument  -  of  about o n e s e l f .  P r e m i s e 1,  but  get:  t o promote h i s  no m y s t e r y a b o u t where t h e m o t i v a t i o n a l c o n t e n t  i t enters with premise  reasoning  r e c o n s t r u c t the  reason  seems s u p e r f l u o u s  roughly  argument b u t  above  the  A.  in  the  1  t o do  cogent  t h e way  I f we  h i s h e a l t h has  promote my  premise  represent  "motivational  v a l u e s h i s h e a l t h " ) , we  t o promote my  I have r e a s o n  Here t h e  does n o t  s e c o n d way  1.  a b o u t where t h e  principle,  to which the  h i s own  deliberations in  f u n c t i o n as a p a r t o f h i s  by w h i c h h i s r e a s o n i n g  them a s  reasoning,  i s t o be  i n w h i c h he must u n d e r s t a n d i s t o see  sub-  under-  the  engaged i n t h e  same  (Later I w i l l  offer  a more  complete  between r e a s o n s  and  values.)  This  116  p r i n c i p l e and t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t ' s a c c e p t a n c e o f i t ,  t h e n , con-  s t i t u t e s h i s acceptance o f t h e f u l l and e q u a l r e a l i t y o f o t h e r persons.  T h i s c o n c l u d e s my r a t h e r l o n g d i g r e s s i o n i n t o t h e  r e l a t i o n s h i p between N a g e l s and my v e r s i o n o f s u b j e c t i v i s m 1  and t h e way i n w h i c h t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t a m o r a l i s t can a v o i d N a g e l ' s charge o f p r a c t i c a l s o l i p s i s m .  I now r e t u r n t o answer  Nagel d i r e c t l y on h i s own ground. N a g e l i s r i g h t i n h i s c l a i m t h a t t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t cannot deliberate to fully-fledged p r a c t i c a l conclusions taining  a purely  impersonal  view  of  himself,  while  main-  but that i s not  s u f f i c i e n t t o show t h a t he l a c k s a c o n c e p t i o n o f h i m s e l f as j u s t one p e r s o n among many.  I n a passage quoted above, Nagel  admits t h a t i t is p o s s i b l e t h a t someone s h o u l d possess a conc e p t i o n o f h i m s e l f as " j u s t another o f t h e w o r l d ' s i n h a b i t a n t s " and t h a t he s h o u l d ,  "from  this  from h i s p r a c t i c a l n a t u r e .  standpoint,"  remain detached  B u t I see no need t o i n s i s t t h a t one  always t a k e t h e i m p e r s o n a l v i e w o f o n e s e l f n o r even t h a t one be a b l e t o t a k e i t d u r i n g d e l i b e r a t i o n . one  cannot  There a r e t h i n g s which  do from t h e i m p e r s o n a l p o i n t o f v i e w , a t l e a s t i f I  u n d e r s t a n d what i t i s t o t a k e up t h a t p o i n t o f v i e w , even i f one operates with o b j e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e s .  One cannot p e r f o r m a  d e l i b e r a t e a c t i o n , f o r example, as l o n g as one i s c o n c e i v i n g o f o n e s e l f as m e r e l y one p e r s o n among many, because t o c o n c e i v e o f o n e s e l f i n t h i s way i s t o i g n o r e o r b r a c k e t t h o s e f a c t s about o n e s e l f and one's s i t u a t i o n which make a c t i o n p o s s i b l e . One needs t o c o n c e i v e o f o n e s e l f as engaging t h e w o r l d i n one's complete u n i q u e n e s s .  To  have  a c e r t a i n conception of oneself  117  it  i s not  all  necessary  of the  f o r one  do  personal unless  ation and  irifact,  standpoint.  one  One  that  that  conception  "action necessarily involves  cannot  i n general  knows s o m e t h i n g a b o u t who  Thus i t i s n o t must be  a b l e t o use  time.  Nagel r e c o g n i z e s , the  t o be  action  conductable  i s t o be  but  deliberation?  deliberation  from the  avoided. Why  one  impersonal  But  why  should  this  decide  what  i s " (p. 121);.  which Nagel  supposes  standpoint,  i f dissoci-  d i f f e r e n c e between a c t i o n  i t seem more damaging t h a t a  cannot a c t without  k n o w i n g who  he  d e l i b e r a t e without  knowing what he  to  i s , than cares  t h a t he  about?  person  cannot  Nagel  says:  The f a c t i s t h a t n e i t h e r o f t h e two s t a n d p o i n t s [ t h e p e r s o n a l and t h e impersonal] c a n be e l i m i n a t e d f r o m o u r v i e w o f t h e w o r l d , and when one o f them c a n n o t a c c e p t t h e j u d g ments o f t h e o t h e r , we a r e f a c e d w i t h a s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s n o t o p e r a t i n g as a unit. Two s i d e s o f t h e i d e a o f h i m s e l f , and h e n c e two s i d e s o f h i m s e l f , a r e c o m i n g a p a r t (p. 1 1 9 ) . Notice be  the  able  suggests  language here.  to accept t h a t the  ments w h i c h c a n not  find  this  the  their  i s not  the  judgment o f a n o t h e r  problem  counterparts case.  sonal counterparts.  are  i n the  A l l of the personal  It i s just  "coming a p a r t " :  simultaneously.  A  standpoint t h a t the  failure  of  are  do  just  judg-  which  have t h e i r  two not  simultaneous  to  do But  practical  impersonal The  are  standpoint.  subjectivist's  r a t h e r they  similar  standpoint  not  This  that there  impersonal  Nagel's terms, m o t i v a t i o n a l content. not  standpoint  standpoint?  i s s u p p o s e d t o be  be made f r o m the: ^ p e r s o n a l  j u d g m e n t s made f r o m t h e  in  What i s i t f o r one  imper-  ones l a c k ,  ideas of  oneself  operating operation i s  118  apparent  i n actions  as w e l l ,  a s we have s e e n .  I n a c t i n g one  does n o t s i m u l t a n e o u s l y  see o n e s e l f  "me  i s no h i n t h e r e t h a t two i d e a s  a s I am,"  self  but there  a r e "coming  a s " j u s t someone" and a s  apart."  What N a g e l n e e d s t o show, and what he c a n n o t there  i s some i n c o n s i s t e n c y  sonal  vs. the personal  that  content.  show, i s t h a t  i n t h e judgments made f r o m t h e i m p e r -  standpoint.  one o f t h e s e ' s o r t s  motivational  o f one-  It will  n o t do t o n o t e  o f judgments h a s , w h i l e t h e o t h e r The d i f f e r e n c e between my  "Greg Durward h a s r e a s o n t o A" and my  judgment  judgment t h a t  simply lacks, that  " I have  t o A" i s s i m i l a r t o t h e d i f f e r e n c e between my  judgment t h a t  Durward l o v e s  p."  suggestion my  p" and my  judgment t h a t  i n t h e second case t h a t  self-conception  i s defective.  "I love  am e x p r e s s i n g For sonal not  I t i s just that  on  standpoint  ever r e l a t i o n  i n the former something I  things  are d i f f e r e n t .  From t h e i m p e r -  h i s c o n c e r n s do r e m a i n engaged.  h i s self-conception  t h e above a n a l o g y  were r e p o r t s  or that  i n the l a t t e r .  the o b j e c t i v i s t  show t h a t  "Greg  T h e r e i s no  I am coming a p a r t  o f t h e p a i r , I am r e p o r t i n g on, b u t n o t f e e l i n g ,  reason  But t h a t  i s any " h e a l t h i e r . "  To c a r r y  i t i s as though h i s " e x p r e s s i o n s  of love"  on s o m e t h i n g a b o u t p  ("p i s l o v a b l e " )  he h a s t o p i s n o t m e r e l y p e r s o n a l  so t h a t  what-  but impersonal.  In N a g e l ' s words: I f one a c k n o w l e d g e s t h e p r e s e n c e o f an o b j e c t i v e r e a s o n f o r s o m e t h i n g , one h a s a c k n o w l e d g e d a r e a s o n f o r anyone t o promote or d e s i r e i t s occurrence - a t l e a s t t o d e s i r e i t , e v e n i f he i s n o t i n a p o s i t i o n t o do anything about t h e matter. T h i s i s because o b j e c t i v e reasons represent the values of occurrences, a c t s , and s t a t e s o f a f f a i r s t h e m s e l v e s , n o t t h e i r v a l u e s f o r anyone (pp. 119-120).  does  119  For  the s u b j e c t i v i s t a l l values My c o n t e n t i o n  he  has f a i l e d  or untoward results  t o show t h a t  personal  o f view.  that,  world  i n abstraction  from t h e a  objective  values  The s u b j e c t i v i s t c a n d e l i b e r a t e o n l y i n  i n i t , w h i l e he i s n o t d e l i b e r a t i n g a b o u t show a t e n d e n c y f o r two  i n a problematic  from anyone's a c t u a l l y v a l u i n g  appear e n t i r e l y  way.  self-  A l l i t shows i s valuable  i t , i n viewing the  f r o m h i s own a c t u a l c o n c e r n s t h e w o r l d  void motivationally.  q u i t e a sane way f o r t h i n g s It w i l l  which  i s simply  b e c a u s e he d o e s n o t s u p p o s e t h a t a n y t h i n g  apart  to  peculiar  conclusions  He c a n n o t , b u t t h a t  I n no s e n s e d o e s t h i s  quite  be  practical  t h a t he d o e s n o t a s s i g n  c o n c e p t i o n s t o come a p a r t is  very  mode, b u t he c a n t a k e an i m p e r s o n a l v i e w o f h i s  and h i s p l a c e  what t o do.  i s anything  he i s u n a b l e t o d e l i b e r a t e t o f u l l y -  motivationally-charged  states of a f f a i r s .  world  there  that  consequence o f t h e f a c t  the  someone.  i n the s u b j e c t i v i s t ' s concept of himself  impersonal point  to  for  then, a s r e g a r d s N a g e l ' s m a i n argument, i s t h a t  from t h e f a c t  fledged,  are values  And t h a t  will  seems t o me t o  t o be.  be r e c a l l e d t h a t my p r o j e c t  i n this  c h a p t e r h a s been  i n v e s t i g a t e some a r g u m e n t s w h i c h have b e e n a d v a n c e d i n  favour  o f the moral agent's outlook o r against  outlook.  I have s p e n t a good d e a l  N a g e l ' s t h e s i s f o r two r e a s o n s . very  o f time d i s c u s s i n g  First,  objectivist  as  one o f t h e c e n t r a l f e a t u r e s  o u t l o o k which I i d e n t i f i e d  sense, r e q u i r e d .  Secondly,  agent's  Thomas  i t seems t o me t o be a  i n t e r e s t i n g and s o p h i s t i c a t e d a t t e m p t  of  t h e amoral  t o show t h a t i n the f i r s t  of moral t h i n k i n g ,  the sort chapter  i s i n some  t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f h i s argument h a s  120 e n a b l e d me, precise  I hope, t o e x p l o r e t o some a d v a n t a g e  statement  subjectivism. into  this  ends f r o m I said  of the d i s t i n c t i o n  fairly  between o b j e c t i v i s m and  In the next chapter, I w i l l  distinction,  one  be l o o k i n g  further  b u t b e f o r e p r o c e e d i n g t h e r e a r e some l o o s e  t h e f o r e g o i n g d i s c u s s i o n w h i c h s h o u l d be t i e d o f f . earlier  that  the o b j e c t i v i t y  thesis  (that the o n l y  a c c e p t a b l e r e a s o n s were o b j e c t i v e ones) h a s t h e e f f e c t all  practical  p r o b l e m s seem l i k e m o r a l  now be c l e a r e r .  light is  from  the moral  o f an a t t e m p t  to f i n d  such t h a t  f o r each  o f view, i n the  I t i s n o t enough t o f i n d  individual  person  an outcome  t h e r e i s some r e a s o n o r i t /is necessary  an outcome w h i c h i s s u p p o r t e d by the•same r e a s o n f o r  everyone.  I t must be an o b j e c t i v e l y v a l u a b l e outcome e v e n t o  people not d i r e c t l y Finally, passage  point  a p o s s i b l e outcome f o r w h i c h t h e r e  f o r him t o p r o m o t e t h a t outcome; r a t h e r  to f i n d  should  corresponds  a s one i s c o n s t r a i n e d t o l o o k a t e v e r y s i t u a t i o n  an o b j e c t i v e r e a s o n .  other  The r e a s o n  The u s e o f o b j e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e s  roughly to viewing every s i t u a t i o n insofar  ones.  o f making  from  involved.  some r e l e v a n t  issues are raised  i n the following  Nagel:  The p r i m a r y o p p o s i t i o n t o my v i e w comes from egoism.... Egoism h o l d s t h a t each i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e a s o n s f o r a c t i n g and p o s s i b l e m o t i v a t i o n s f o r a c t i n g , must a r i s e f r o m h i s own i n t e r e s t s a n d d e s i r e s , however t h o s e i n t e r e s t s may be d e f i n e d . The i n t e r e s t s o f one p e r s o n c a n on t h i s v i e w m o t i v a t e a n o t h e r or p r o v i d e him w i t h a r e a s o n o n l y i f they a r e connected w i t h his.s.interests - o r a r e o b j e c t s o f some s e n t i m e n t o f h i s , l i k e sympathy, p i t y , or benevolence. ... I t s h o u l d be n o t i c e d how p e c u l i a r e g o i s m w o u l d be i n p r a c t i c e ; i t w o u l d have t o show i t s e l f not only i n the lack of a d i r e c t c o n c e r n f o r o t h e r s b u t a l s o i n an i n a b i l i t y  121  t o r e g a r d o n e ' s own c o n c e r n s as b e i n g o f i n t e r e s t t o anyone e l s e , e x c e p t i n s t r u m e n t a l l y o r c o n t i n g e n t l y upon t h e o p e r a t i o n o f some s e n t i m e n t (pp. 8 4 - 5 ) . There are  t h r e e comments I want t o make on  it  clear  i s not  t h a t N a g e l has  vations  can  arise  sense.  I t seems t h a t t h e  state of a f f a i r s involves  except  or the  t a k i n g some  a desire.  But  g i v e n an  acceptance  interest  or moral?  and  the  confused  chapter.  the  thesis  of egoism o f f e r e d i n t h i s  with  any  a g a i n s t the  subjectivist  ethical  a r c h e t y p i c a l ( n o n - e g o i s t i c ) a m o r a l i s t who  objective value  ist  can  of o b j e c t i v e (relative)  to anything  to Nagel s general 1  i s not  committed,  egoistic  a direct motivating T h e r e i s no a direct  reason  thesis  interest why  interest  value  enough t o a v o i d  should  last  any  assign  more t h a n  the  passage  since  and  i n the w e l f a r e  even the  judgments  does n o t  do,  to  dissociation.  in this  p e r f e c t l y w e l l a l l o w t h a t some p e o p l e  cannot take  passage  e g o i s t b e c a u s e h i s argument p u r p o r t s  The  generally.  love  e g o i s t , the p e r s o n a l e g o i s t  a l l o w are not  take  a  ( i n h i s sense) would,  f o r m e r two  not,  or d e s i r e  form of egoism I t r e a t e d i n the  the  can  of  o f human m o t i v a t i o n and  sort  he  like  assignment  show t h a t e v e n t h e  others,  t o some  Even Kant r e c o g n i z e d  N a g e l ' s argument a g a i n s t e g o i s m  however, t e l l and  some  objective principle  r e s t . o n some i n t e r e s t  a g e n e r a l view about the nature  n o t be  moti- .  rationality).  Secondly, is  o f an  First,  o r coming t o have something  (Not  rational  o f how  o r d e s i r e s , in  perhaps the p o i n t i s t h a t the  e v e n t o be  passage.  assignment of o b j e c t i v e value  itself  duty  account  from i n t e r e s t s  o b j e c t i v e v a l u e does not  of  this  others of  do  persons  a r c h e t y p i c a l amoral-  i n the w e l f a r e  of  certain  122  persons,  a l t h o u g h h i s c o n c e r n does n o t g e n e r a l i z e  a b l e e x t e n t beyond t h o s e Nagel thesis is  i s involved  he r e f e r s  possible  persons.  i n showing t h a t  to i s false  and t h a t  p r e t t y much i n t h e way N a g e l so o n .  What I am c o n c e r n e d  way.  But Nagel's  t o show i n t h i s  could not. practical  a t t a c k on e g o i s m  I have s u g g e s t e d  chapter i s that i n a very  does r a i s e t h e  a m o r a l i s t can adequately  principles  t h a t what N a g e l  are b e t t e r understood  thinks i s the only  calls  subjective  as e x p l a n a t o r y  a m o r a l i s t uses  own and o t h e r p e o p l e ' s p r a c t i c a l  ciples  reasons  I w o u l d be w o r r i e d i f i t t u r n e d o u t t h a t he  precepts which the s u b j e c t i v i s t his  i n assigning  t o someone's t h i n k i n g  p e o p l e who do r e a s o n t h e way N a g e l  a c c e p t a b l e way.  I t does  and do manage t o d e l i b e r a t e  q u e s t i o n o f whether o r n o t a s u b j e c t i v i s t understand  i n h i s sense  suggests, using o b j e c t i v e  i s no c o n c e p t u a l b a r r i e r  different  altruism  egoistic  (even most) p e o p l e do s u c c e e d  objective value to states of a f f a i r s  there  the general  and I have some sympathy w i t h h i s p r o j e c t .  seem t o me t h a t many  and  t o any a p p r e c i -  t o understand  thinking.  Can t h e s e  prin-  p r o v i d e t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t w i t h a way o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g  objectivists? The  subjectivist  cannot  admit  that  o b j e c t i v e v a l u e , b u t he can u n d e r s t a n d t o t h i n k t h i s way. thinking  of a f f a i r s  what i t w o u l d be  He may t h i n k t h e r e i s s o m e t h i n g  has  like  wrong w i t h  there are objectively valuable states of a f f a i r s  (depending involved)  any s t a t e  on t h e d e t a i l s o r he may  of t h i n k i n g ,  albeit  just  of h i s understanding  of the concepts  r e g a r d i t as s i m p l y a d i f f e r e n t  one w h i c h he d o e s n o t u s e .  In e i t h e r  way case  123  he  could accept (p,A)  the p r i n c i p l e  (the e x p l a n a t o r y p r e c e p t ) :  ( I f R a p p l i e s t o A,  then  p has  a reason  where R i s t h e p r e d i c a t e " i s a s t a t e o f a f f a i r s assigns objective value." not  commit him  or promoting  either  any  As  we  other people  do.  He  may  want someone t o do what t h e y want t h e r e v e r s e .  whatsoever.  on  "You  i n d i c a t e our  L e t me  have  (he has)  I suggested  t o do  s i n c e we  a reason  d e s i r e t h a t someone do  t h a t t h e r e a r e two  a m o r a l i s t must be not  endowed w i t h  etc.,  insight).  main l i n e s  i t has  faculty  Secondly,  of  i n some  Against not  use  state-  to counsel  of t h i s  or  chapter.  of approach i n  attempts  someone's t a k i n g  been suggested  that  e i t h e r b e c a u s e he  o f sympathy,  up  the is  benevolence,  of conscience  (or o t h e r  t h e r e a r e arguments which  p u r p o r t t o show t h a t t h e a m o r a l i s t i s i r r a t i o n a l deficient  times  reason  normally  the r e s u l t s  the u s u a l sentiments l a c k s the  at other  something.  emotionally defective,  o r b e c a u s e he  forms o f moral  First,  neutral,  and  t o do A"  t o show t h a t t h e r e i s s o m e t h i n g wrong w i t h the a m o r a l i s t o u t l o o k .  judgments  n e u t r a l about  t h i s makes h i s use  summarize v e r y b r i e f l y  does  some o c c a s i o n s v e r y much  have r e a s o n  Obviously,  p  himself  His  have a r e e t h i c a l l y  j u d g m e n t s open t o m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g ments l i k e  this  to assigning o b j e c t i v e values  w h i c h i s not to say that he must be a t t i t u d i n a l l y what o t h e r p e o p l e  to which  have a l r e a d y s e e n  s t a t e s of a f f a i r s  a b o u t what r e a s o n s  t o promote A ) ,  or c o n c e p t u a l l y  way.  " s e n t i m e n t i s t " t h e o r i e s I have s u g g e s t e d  a t a l l c l e a r how  emotional  responsiveness  can  that i t i s  underwrite  124  the  whole o f m o r a l t h i n k i n g .  can  account  the  concepts o f r i g h t , duty, o b l i g a t i o n , etc.?  i s very  f o r a concern f o r others,  difficult  and v e r y  serious  "Rationalist" show e i t h e r t h a t is  of others  not merely d i f f e r e n t .  familiar  required  ceptually  how c a n i t make s e n s e o f  i n general  Intuitionist  Furthermore, i t very  i s actually defective  theories  are beset  with  difficulties.  t h e o r i e s , on t h e o t h e r the o b j e c t i v i s t  odd f o r someone t o be l i t t l e I t i s possible  hand, seem u n a b l e t o  posture evident  of r a t i o n a l agents o r that  well being.  f o r instance,  t o show t h a t anyone who d o e s n o t f e e l  much f o r t h e w e l f a r e and  E v e n i f sympathy,  i n moral  i ti s irrational concerned with  t o make s e n s e o f p r a c t i c a l  agency  o r con-  others' deliber-  a t i o n on a s u b j e c t i v i s t a c c o u n t o f t h e n a t u r e o f v a l u e s , and none o f t h e f o r m a l the  necessity  jectivist not  seem t o i n v o l v e  o f d e l i b e r a t i n g from t h e m o r a l p o i n t  Nagel's attempt requires  requirements of r a t i o n a l i t y  t o show t h a t  an i n t e g r a t e d  o f view.  self-conception  the adoption of objective p r i n c i p l e s f a i l s . and t h e o b j e c t i v i s t  show t h a t  there  differ,  i s any c o n c e p t u a l  t o be s u r e ,  The sub-  but Nagel  s t r e s s on t h e f o r m e r .  does  125  IV  OBJECTIVISM AND  1  Objectivism In  the f i r s t chapter, I o f f e r e d  moral agent  i n which  two  features:  central  which  are grounded  that  there  a r e two  amoral agency.  are  clear  h i s recognition of p r a c t i c a l  "amoralist" not  reasons  are amoral  I t remains  Hereafter,  egoists  in virtue  to investigate  t h e n the terms  of t h e i r  notion  since  of  the  suggests  they  their  objectivity/  be t h e t a s k o f t h e n e x t  s h o u l d be u n d e r s t o o d t o r e f e r  moral agents i n v i r t u e  This  to explore the  In Chapter I I , I d i s c u s s e d  d i m e n s i o n , and t h i s w i l l  three chapters.  t o be h i s  of moral requirements.  dimensions along which  for others.  subjectivity  of the  i n t h e w e l f a r e o f o t h e r p e r s o n s , and h i s  c a s e s o f p e r s o n s who  disregard  a characterization  I c o n c e n t r a t e d on what seem t o me  acceptance of the o b j e c t i v i t y  of  SUBJECTIVISM  "amoral agent" t o p e r s o n s who  a d o p t i o n o f an  and are  extreme  subjectivist posture. The  terms  "objectivism"  by m o r a l p h i l o s o p h e r s  and  "subjectivism"  i n many, o f t e n c o n f l i c t i n g ,  v e r y c l e a r ways and more t h a n once been  sounded.  same t e r m s  keep  most d i f f i c u l t the  have been  the c a l l  and o f t e n  not  t o abandon them  has  B u t , as i s o f t e n t h e c a s e , t h e v e r y f a c t r e a p p e a r i n g i n debates which and  fundamental problems  problem, whatever  i t i s ,will  used  that  the  c o n c e r n some o f t h e  in ethics  suggests  n o t go away s i m p l y by  our  that  126 refusing found  t o t a l k a b o u t i t i n t h e t e r m s w h i c h s o many p e o p l e  it' natural  to use.  As a f i r s t  over the o b j e c t i v i t y o f m o r a l i t y sense, there morally there two  are things  speaking.  questions Harman  very  a b o u t how t h i n g s  "really"  authors, unfashionably seriously.  Both J.L.  (1977) s u p p o s e , a s I do, t h a t  includes moral values  not  When  there  i s a real  a challenge  i s grossly  of the world"  there  i s nothing  these  (1977) and G i l b e r t  here) a r e n o t o b j e c t i v e  mean, o f c o u r s e , t h a t  exist entities  Mackie  problem  and t h a t  the denial  to morality  Mackie argues t h a t values  a "part of the f a b r i c  the world  perhaps, take  o f moral o b j e c t i v i s m ,  c a n n o t be t a k e n l i g h t l y .  that  o u g h t t o be?  binding?  of o b j e c t i v i t y t o morals presents  not  Are  A r e t h e o b l i g a t i o n s and d u t i e s w h i c h most  bound up i n t h e n o t i o n  being  or false?  o v e r some m o r a l m a t t e r , must a t l e a s t one  o f them be m i s t a k e n ?  Two r e c e n t  r i g h t and wrong,  Can m o r a l j u d g m e n t s be t r u e  people disagree  the issue  i s w h e t h e r o r n o t , and i n what  which are " r e a l l y "  moral t r u t h s , t r u t h s  people recognize  approximation,  which  (and he  i n t h e sense o f  (p. 1 5 ) . of value  d e f i c i e n t - but rather  This  i n the world -  that  or r e l a t i o n s of a c e r t a i n kind,  does  "there  o r r e q u i r e m e n t s , w h i c h many p e o p l e have b e l i e v e d t o  exist"  (p. 1 7 ) .  The i s s u e  f o r M a c k i e i s t h u s e s s e n t i a l l y an  o n t o l o g i c a l o n e , a l t h o u g h he does s a y a t one p o i n t  is  the claim  t o say t h a t value  they a r e n e i t h e r  do  objective  values  way o f e x p r e s s i n g  have  that  there  that  a r e no o b j e c t i v e  another values  j u d g m e n t s do n o t have a t r u t h v a l u e , i . e .  true  Mackie notes t h a t  nor f a l s e . c e r t a i n sorts o f value  j u d g m e n t s , ones i n  127  which there  i s implicit  reference  of  standards of evaluation,  by  whether t h e o b j e c t  or n o t .  value  they evaluate  satisfies  lack objective v a l i d i t y .  In other  tional  s t a n d a r d s , makes no d i f f e r e n c e ; t h e r e  vism  standards  words, whether o r  s t a t e m e n t s p o s i t o r assume t h e e x i s t e n c e  directly  the  determined  the standards  those  values  values.  determinate set  do have a t r u t h v a l u e  B u t t h e n h i s t h e s i s becomes t h a t  themselves not  t o some f a i r l y  or i n d i r e c t l y  of objective  through the operation  o f conven-  a r e no o b j e c t i v e  Harman a l s o u n d e r s t a n d s t h e o b j e c t i v i t y i s s u e  to involve  t r u t h o f m o r a l j u d g m e n t s and he p u t s t h e t h e s i s o f o b j e c t i i n terms o f t h e e x i s t e n c e It  o f moral f a c t s .  i s u s e f u l t o f o r m u l a t e o b j e c t i v i s m more b r o a d l y  e i t h e r M a c k i e o r Harman do i n o r d e r  to include  than  as o b j e c t i v i s t ,  t h e o r i e s w h i c h deny t h a t m o r a l judgments c a n be, s t r i c t l y true  or f a l s e .  L e t us u s e t h e t e r m  t h e o r i e s which hold and  t h e term  The  idea  "cognitivist"  " n o n - c o g n i t i v i s t " f o r t h e o r i e s w h i c h deny  s i s t e n t with both c o g n i t i v i s t Thus, h a v i n g  a t r u t h value  devoid and  judgment  as a t h e o r y  value, this.  which i s con-  and n o n - c o g n i t i v i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s .  will  be j u s t one way i n w h i c h a  judgment c a n be s a i d t o be o b j e c t i v e . objective  to refer to  t h a t m o r a l j u d g m e n t s have a t r u t h  i s to formulate objectivism  speaking,  L e t us s a y t h a t a n  i s one w h i c h c a n be e x p r e s s e d  of i n d e x i c a l expressions  such as  i:  you,"  i n a form  "here,"  "now," e t c .  w h i c h c a n be a s s e s s e d , o r i s i n p r i n c i p l e s u b j e c t t o  a s s e s s m e n t , by r e f e r e n c e independently preferences,  t o s t a n d a r d s w h i c h have  o f any p a r t i c u l a r p e r s o n ' s b e l i e f s , and so o n .  I t i s important  validity attitudes,  t o note t h a t  i t i s the  128  s t a n d a r d s ' v a l i d i t y which i s t o be independent o f these s u b j e c t i v e f a c t o r s , and n o t t h e judgment i t s e l f .  The judgment t h a t S a l l y  i s angry, f o r example, i s an o b j e c t i v e one j u s t i n case t h e r e i s some s t a n d a r d f o r a s s e s s i n g i t which i s v a l i d o f anyone's " s u b j e c t i v e s t a t e s . "  independently  I assume t h a t t h e s t a n d a r d  o f a s s e s s i n g t h i s s o r t o f judgment as f o r o t h e r o r d i n a r y empiri c a l judgments i s , r o u g h l y , correspondence  w i t h the f a c t s , the  r e a l w o r l d , t h e way t h i n g s r e a l l y a r e , o r something l i k e t h a t . I t i s t h e acceptance  o f t h e e x i s t e n c e o f an " e x t e r n a l w o r l d "  which u n d e r w r i t e s t h e concept o f t h e o b j e c t i v i t y o f e m p i r i c a l judgments.  We suppose t h a t t h e s t a n d a r d o f e m p i r i c a l t r u t h  (correspondence  w i t h the f a c t s ) i s independently v a l i d i n the  way r e q u i r e d . N a t u r a l i s t i c metamoral t h e o r i e s a r e ones a c c o r d i n g t o which m o r a l judgments a r e o b j e c t i v e and can be t r a n s l a t e d , w i t h o u t o f o b j e c t i v e c o n t e n t , i n t o judgments  which r e f e r  loss  t o and assume  the e x i s t e n c e o f o n l y what we n o r m a l l y c a l l e m p i r i c a l p r o p e r t i e s and r e l a t i o n s .  A t h e o r y which h o l d s t h a t m o r a l judgments a r e  r e p o r t s o f t h e speaker's  emotions,  f o r example, i s a n a t u r a l i s t i c  t h e o r y even though such a t h e o r y i s o f t e n c l a s s e d as s u b j e c t i v i s t on t h e grounds t h a t i t r e f e r s t o t h e speaker's s u b j e c t i v e states. ivism.  By " s u b j e c t i v i s m " I w i l l mean j u s t t h e d e n i a l o f o b j e c t On a n a t u r a l i s t i c t h e o r y t h e s t a n d a r d s f o r t h e a s s e s s -  ment o f m o r a l judgments a r e i d e n t i c a l l y t h e same as those for  o r d i n a r y e m p i r i c a l judgments and t h e methods o f s c i e n c e a r e  the a p p r o p r i a t e ones by which we a r e t o conduct t h e assessment (at  l e a s t i f we u n d e r s t a n d  " s c i e n c e " b r o a d l y enough)..  Naturalist  129  theories,  then, a r e  i n my  Non-naturalism objective,  they  terms o b j e c t i v i s t  i s the view t h a t w h i l e moral  are not  translatable  because m o r a l judgments r e f e r p r o p e r t i e s and kind.  The  found  relations  clearest  example,  t h e o r y o f forms i s another,  the  standard I said  c o u l d be of the Bretano  but  do  they not  them.  assessed,  on  Moore  like  this  w h i c h depend one  crucial  i s to  example.  with  In  theory  lead  from  (1961),  outline a  t h e work o f  standards  attitudes,  nothing  a c c o r d i n g t o whether  but or  The  of appropriateness f o r  expressed  case  i n the f i r s t  t o p o s t u l a t e any  theory  Franz  emotions or  judgments a s s e r t  account,  by m o r a l  judgments. depend  s i n c e i t i s those place.  special  There  i s no  ethical properties  the e m p i r i c a l f a c t s ,  non-naturalist theories.  of e m p i r i c a l f a c t s ,  facts.  consider a theory i n  to express  attitudes  (somehow) on  and  the moral  i s a p p r o p r i a t e or c o r r e c t .  cases  be  Plato's  i s appropriate i n a given situation w i l l  advantage over role  (1903).  to b r i e f l y  the o r d i n a r y e m p i r i c a l f a c t s of the  n e e d on  theory,  a s w e l l as c o g n i t i v i s t t h e o r i e s  Moral  this  o f e m o t i o n s and  f a c t s which d i s t i n g u i s h  it  our  Everett Hall  r e p o r t on  What a t t i t u d e on  Taking  i s t h a t there are v a l i d sort  non-empirical  b u t more d i f f i c u l t ,  judgments a r e t a k e n  be  ethical,  the c l e a r e s t  o f G.E.  I would  the emotion or a t t i t u d e  idea the  and  sort.  (1969) and  can  judgments  t h e o r i e s , m o r a l j u d g m e n t s have a t r u t h v a l u e  objectivist  not  i f not  that non-cognitivist  which moral  are  t o o r assume t h e e x i s t e n c e o f ,  of assessment i s correspondence  former  judgments  i n t o non-moral  of a s p e c i a l ,  i n the non-naturalism  non-naturalist  ones.  and  this  gives  Because o f  the t h e o r y can b e g i n  the  to e x p l a i n  130  why m o r a l and  language has t h e a p p a r e n t l y  the fact  facts  fact-stating  t h a t moral debate centres  agreed  a s i t d o e s on g e t t i n g t h e  on b y a l l p a r t i e s and a t t e m p t i n g  relevance.  The p r o b l e m w i t h  to understand  the concept  form i t does,  the theory,  o f immutable  to assess  however, l i e s  standards  their i n trying  of appropriate-':  n e s s w h i c h d i c t a t e what r e s p o n s e s a r e t h e r i g h t o n e s t o v a r i o u s situations.  Aside  from t h e e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l d i f f i c u l t y  know what t h e s t a n d a r d s with  a kind of f e l t  metaphysical culties  a r e (Brentano  a r e t o be found  i s just  of the  Similar  diffi-  i n Samuel C l a r k e ' s n o t i o n o f t h e f i t t i n g -  1 9 6 5 ) , b u t my p r i m a r y  of the theory  i s the question  of the standard.  ness o f a c t i o n s t o the circumstances (Clarke,  t h o u g h t t h e e m o t i o n s come  correctness), there  s t a t u s and s o u r c e  o f how we  of their  purpose  performance,  i n developing  the outlines  t o show t h a t t h e r e c a n be t h e o r i e s w h i c h  are n o n - c o g n i t i v i s t but o b j e c t i v i s t . There  i s one o t h e r  form o f o b j e c t i v i s m which deserves  as w e l l , s i n c e i t t r a f f i c s ness o f emotions. call  Beginning  non-theological  which there God-given, these  with  imperativism  are objectively s e t standards  imperatives  i n neither truth  valid  It  assessed  according  has developed imperatives  imperativist tradition  non-cognitivist  one.  which, while not  consistency with  two t y p e s  A cognitivist  we m i g h t  according to  Usually  of r a t i o n a l i t y ,  i s bound t o c o m p l i a n c e .  to their  i s possible to distinguish  objectivist  Kant, a k i n d o f theory  i n some c o n c e p t i o n  so t h a t anyone who i s r a t i o n a l are  nor the a p p r o p r i a t e -  f o r , o r c o n s t r a i n t s on, a c t i o n .  a r e grounded  mention  Actions  the imperatives.  of theories within the  - a cognitivist  a p p r o a c h and a  v e r s i o n m i g h t most n a t u r a l l y  131  take  the  form o f the  be  understood  as  an  objectively valid  c l a i m t h a t o r d i n a r y m o r a l judgments a r e  stating  t h a t some a c t i o n c o n f o r m s t o o r  moral imperative.  might h o l d t h a t m o r a l judgments a r e nature they  and  are  express  squarely  imperatives.  confronted  be  "really"  K a n t , t o my  he  certainly  wrong i n a v e r y  strong  Kant's C a t e g o r i c a l Imperative c e r t a i n maxims o f a c t i o n and (I  should  objective  say  was  standard  Law  of O b j e c t i v i t y  and  Lewis thought  i t had  Whatever t h e d e t a i l s  of  to  warrant c a l l i n g  important  the  actions  them m o r a l  i n Chapter  a l l that i s  a d v a n c e d as an  practical  C.I.  imperatives  there  is a  sort,  t h a t i t can  I n s o f a r as r a t i o n a l i t y  can  be  o f as g e n e r a t i n g  imperativist  (For a r e c e n t attempt  is a  objectivity.  appropriate  amorality.  content  a t a l l , or there  g r o u n d any  and  the  problem  have enough  have t h e r e q u i s i t e  thought  Lewis'  imperative  t h e o r i e s of t h i s  same; e i t h e r  an  consequences.  III that i t i s unlikely  are purely formal  out  necessary  can  a l l they  judg-  themselves.  shown t h a t r a t i o n a l i t y  at  never  theory which p r o v i d e s  fundamental imperatives  i n showing t h a t t h e y  I have a r g u e d  was  imperativist  i n them a r e  showing t h a t t h e  39)  not  sense.  judgments about a c t i o n s . )  (1955, p.  in  knowledge,  supposed t o r u l e  for actions provides  t h e -evaluation o f m o r a l  difficulties  to whether or  did think that actions  hence c e r t a i n  t h a t I assume t h a t any  for  problem  themselves i m p e r a t i v a l i n  the q u e s t i o n o f whether o r not moral  ments have a t r u t h v a l u e , b u t could  violates  A non-cognitivist version  s u b j e c t to assessment a c c o r d i n g  valid  to  be  imperatives. imperatives  are q u i t e c o n s i s t e n t with to provide  a n a l y s i s o f m o r a l i t y , see  an  Bernard  objectivist Gert's  The  Moral  132  Rules, the  i n which i t i s argued  fact  that, given  r a t i o n a l men of a c t i o n s I do  certain  strong  (Gert, not  pretend  c l e a r on  notion  t o have g i v e n but  only  isfactory  sure  s u c h as  Something should  f o r an  be  I am  their  the  eration sense  i t i s p o s s i b l e to  one  that  some  objectivist  not  conscious-  theory  at a l l sure  that  p e r h a p s be  We  f i n d s i t s way  p e r s o n s , and  o b j e c t i v e when we  i n judging) i t i s best  j u d g m e n t s as  discussing.  Bias  discover  apply  and  The  and  i s one  bias  normally  understood,  prejudice  i n judging  have no valid can  place  placed  deriva-  as  on a  point  considin  this  moral consequence  s e n s e I have b e e n i n an  standards. be  concept  wish to  in their  I think,  o b j e c t i v e i n the  impersonally  amount o f o b j e c t i v i t y  personal  another  discussions  d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the  sometimes d e s c r i b e being  into  requirement of o b j e c t i v i t y  some m a t t e r .  moral  sat-  s a i d a t t h i s p o i n t about  of  of viewing  some  any  same t i m e  and  but  of  descriptive analysis  absence of p r e j u d i c e  deliberation,  to  p h i l o s o p h i c a l grounds.  j u d g m e n t s , as  (objectivity  be  fairly  I have t r i e d  found which i s at the  w h i c h i s t o be  concerned with.  tively out  s o r t , but  clear characteriza-  ordinary moral  accurate  concept of o b j e c t i v i t y which o f t e n of t h i s  the  t h i s makes an  can  that  i n the  However, I am  general  a crystal  I t seems t o me  involved  possibility  theory  on  not  of o b j e c t i v i t y ,  of moral discourse. objectivist  I am  t h i s matter.  n e s s o f most p e o p l e and the  loaded) c o n s t r a i n t s , a l l  1966).)  expound i s e s s e n t i a l l y  sort  (morally  by  would take a c e r t a i n a t t i t u d e towards c e r t a i n s o r t s  t i o n of o b j e c t i v i s m , entirely  that moral r u l e s are v a l i d a t e d  attempt  to  A certain  embraced as  a desirable  133  t h i n g by  an  amoralist  him  to attempt to  may  w e l l be  since  s e t a s i d e mere p r e j u d i c e .  The  concerned to ground h i s v a l u a t i o n s  understanding  of  ensuring  his valuations  his  i t makes p e r f e c t l y good s e n s e  that  the  perceptions,  facts.  and  He  may,  do  not  in this  that  amoral  i n an  i s , be  may  be  agent  accurate  interested in  unduly colour  s e n s e he  for  or  distort  concerned  to  be  objective.  2  Subjectivism Subjectivism  subjectivist for  i s the  theory,  assessing  view t h a t o b j e c t i v i s m  t h e n , i s one  which d e n i e s there  moral j u d g m e n t s w h i c h a r e  f a c t s about the  p e r s o n s m a k i n g them.  of  i s a negative  subjectivism  itive  claims  to the  about the  negative  Gilbert  Harman  Extreme n i h i l i s t s  nothing  good o r bad"  (p. 1 1 ) ,  Moderate n i h i l i s t s , that  world but  "the  and  so we  w h i c h , when  term  that  as  I do,  extreme  there  are  and  to others"  to  no  he  ends up  defending  a form of  simply  unjust,  moral f a c t s ,  to d e s c r i b e  serve  (p. 1 2 ) .  is  morality.  as  Harman  n i h i l i s m i n e i t h e r form runs c o n t r a r y and  conjoined  "morality  purpose of m o r a l judgments i s not  address to ourselves  pos-  "moral n i h i l i s m " to  that  moral f e e l i n g s or  tenet  subjectivism.  o u g h t t o abandon  while agreeing  we  moral thinking  a r e many v a r i a n t  forms of  hold  subjective  i s e v e r r i g h t o r wrong, j u s t o r  t o e x p r e s s our  that  various  standards  defining  d i s t i n g u i s h e s between m o d e r a t e and  illusion:  hold  there  (1977), p r e f e r r i n g the  moral n i h i l i s m .  Because the  A  are  independent of  nature of morality  thesis, yield  "subjectivism,"  an  one,  is false.  to  the  imperatives thinks, common  relativism in  134  order t o preserve the p o s s i b i l i t y Most  subjectivist  of truth  i nmoral  t h e o r i e s a r e forms o f moderate  judgments.  nihilism  a l t h o u g h t h e t e r m i s s e l d o m u s e d by t h e i r d e f e n d e r s f o r o b v i o u s reasons. S u b j e c t i v i s t metamoral cognitivist  t h e o r i e s a r e , o f course, a l l non-  s i n c e one c a n n o t a l l o w t h a t m o r a l  judgments  t r u t h v a l u e w i t h o u t a t t h e same t i m e r e c o g n i z i n g of  truth,  moral  dition  judgments  classic  con-  subjectivist.  statement o f non-cognitivism  works o f D a v i d Hume. feelings  The d e n i a l o f a t r u t h v a l u e  i s n o t , a s we have s e e n , a s u f f i c i e n t  f o r a theory's being  The  some s t a n d a r d s  a n d t h e s e s t a n d a r d s , I t a k e i t , t o be s t a n d a r d s o f  t r u t h must be o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d . to  have a  He a r g u e d t h a t m o r a l  i s found i n t h e  judgments  express  a n d t h e r e f o r e c a n n o t be t r u e o r f a l s e . Take a n y a c t i o n a l l o w ' d t o be v i c i o u s : W i l f u l murder, f o r i n s t a n c e . Examine i t i n a l l l i g h t s , and see i f you c a n f i n d t h a t matter o f f a c t , o r r e a l e x i s t e n c e , which you c a l l v i c e . I n w h i c h e v e r way y o u t a k e i t , you f i n d o n l y c e r t a i n p a s s i o n s , motives, v o l i t i o n s and thoughts. T h e r e i s no o t h e r matter o f f a c t i n the case. The v i c e e n t i r e l y escapes you, as long as you consider the object. You c a n n e v e r f i n d i t , t i l l y o u t u r n y o u r r e f l e c t i o n i n t o y o u r own b r e a s t , and f i n d a sentiment o f d i s a p p r o b a t i o n , which a r i s e s i n you, towards t h i s action. Here i s a m a t t e r o f f a c t ; b u t ' t i s the o b j e c t o f f e e l i n g , n o t o f r e a s o n . I t l i e s i n yourself, not i n the object. So t h a t when y o u p r o n o u n c e a n y a c t i o n o r c h a r a c t e r t o be v i c i o u s , y o u mean n o t h i n g , but t h a t from t h e c o n s t i t u t i o n o f your n a t u r e y o u have a f e e l i n g o r s e n t i m e n t o f blame f r o m t h e c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f i t . (Hume, 1 8 8 8 , Treatise,  Hume's v i e w s have been  revived  pp.  468-9)  by many p h i l o s o p h e r s who  were d i s c o n t e n t w i t h a t t e m p t s t o e x p l a i n  t h e sense i n which  moral  135  judgments c a n be t r u e  or f a l s e .  U n a b l e t o subsume m o r a l  ments u n d e r a n e s s e n t i a l l y e m p i r i c i s t t h e o r y  judg-  o f t r u t h and m e a n i n g ,  many were l e d t o embrace e m o t i v i s m - t h e v i e w t h a t m o r a l ments a r e b u t e x p r e s s i o n s Emotivists theory the  of action.  often write  range o f a l t e r n a t i v e t h e o r i e s  takes very  thing  true or false  strong  this  w h i c h t h e y must  (or a t l e a s t something p o s s e s s i n g  evidence that  o f emotivism.  objective,  to appreciate  cognitive  recent  Roger S c r u t o n  I t i s the f a i l u r e to  h a s p r o v e d t h e most  Emotivists  problematic  h a v e , somehow, t o e x p l a i n t h e  flavour of ordinary  attempt by an e m o t i v i s t  moral  discourse.  t o account  f o r the  " A t t i t u d e s , B e l i e f s and R e a s o n s " )  here. argues  j u d g m e n t s e x p r e s s a t t i t u d e s ; t h e y do n o t e x p r e s s  propositions three  (1971,  that  or lacking  apparent o b j e c t i v i t y o f moral language deserves mention  that moral  argue.  l a n g u a g e a r e t a k e n t o e x p r e s s some-  form o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l v a l i d i t y ) .  appreciate  One  against  fail  s e r i o u s l y what seems t o me t o be good e v i d e n c e  judgments i n o r d i n a r y  aspect  to the o b j e c t i v i s t  c a n t a k e many f o r m s b u t i t s m a i n v i r t u e i s t h a t i t  moral  a  i n opposition  o f G.E. Moore and c o n s e q u e n t l y o f t e n  Objectivism  judg-  w h i c h have a t r u t h v a l u e .  Moral a t t i t u d e s  satisfy  conditions: (1)  Universality  "Moral a t t i t u d e s always aim beyond t h e p r e s e n t i n s t a n c e t o some p r o p e r t y o r s t a t e o f a f f a i r s as such" (p. 4 7 ) .  (2)  Overridingness ~~  " M o r a l a t t i t u d e s have a p a r t i c u l a r s o r t o f a u t h o r i t y o v e r a man ..." (p. 4 7 ) .  (3)  Normativity  " [ A n e m o t i v i s t ] must ... t a k e s e r i o u s l y t h e f a c t t h a t a man's m o r a l a t t i t u d e s r e f e r beyond him-  136  s e l f ; they include a d e s i r e f o r a c o n f o r m i t y o f a t t i t u d e " (p. 4 9 ) . "More g e n e r a l l y , m o r a l a t t i t u d e s are c o n c e r n e d w i t h p r o p o s i n g laws t o w h i c h e v e r y o n e ... must c o n f o r m , in specifiable circumstances.... [A] m o r a l a t t i t u d e w i l l i n c l u d e a d e s i r e t o i n f l u e n c e p e o p l e and p e r s u a d e them t o c o n f o r m i t y t o o n e ' s own m o r a l v i e w s " (pp. 4 9 - 5 0 ) . It  i s largely  possible  because  of the normativity condition  that  i t is  ( i n d e e d n e c e s s a r y ) t o have r e a s o n s f o r h a v i n g m o r a l  attitudes. [ I ] f I have a m o r a l a t t i t u d e t h e n I am committed t o p r o p o s i n g a law o f conduct; a s a r e s u l t I am n o t a t l i b e r t y t o c o n s t r u e any 'Why?' - q u e s t i o n [ a s k e d a b o u t a m o r a l judgment], a s a q u e r y a b o u t my m e r e l y p e r s o n a l d e s i r e s ; n o r am I a t l i b e r t y t o t h i n k t h a t i t does n o t m a t t e r i f such a q u e s t i o n c o u l d n o t be answered i n a way a c c e p t a b l e t o o t h e r s (pp. 7 5 - 7 6 ) . Furthermore,  says S c r u t o n :  However s h a r p t h e i n i t i a l d i s a g r e e m e n t , no m o r a l argument c a n p r o c e e d w i t h o u t t h e a s s u m p t i o n o f some u n d e r l y i n g agreement on the b a s i s o f w h i c h one o f t h e p a r t i e s c o u l d be shown t o be i n e r r o r . . . . [I.]t c a n n e v e r be p r o v e d t h a t t h e r e i s an u l t i mate d i s a g r e e m e n t a b o u t what w o u l d c o u n t a s a good reason f o r an a t t i t u d e . In adducing reasons, t h e r e f o r e , the appearance o f agreement c a n be i n d e f i n i t e l y maintained. As a r e s u l t , we m i g h t s a y t h a t the s u b j e c t i v i t y o f m o r a l judgments ... i s 'suspended' i n r a t i o n a l d i s c u s s i o n (p. 8 0 ) . Thus,  the idea  and b e c a u s e  i s t h a t because  discussion  basis of attitude, are  can proceed only  we e f f e c t i v e l y  ignore  the f a c t  a b a s i c agreement,  intersubjective validity  attitude  i f we s u s p o s e some common that  b e i n g e x p r e s s e d and s p e a k a s t h o u g h we a r e s t a t i n g  S i n c e we a r g u e a s s u m i n g the  o f the nature o f the moral  we c a n t a l k  o f o u r judgments  attitudes facts. as though  c a n be assumed.  137  T h i s approach i s very tion  that people  do  Humean, r e s t i n g  agree  as  in attitude,  i t d o e s on  at least  the  supposi-  a t some deep  level. Scruton's ered,  although  example, being  defense  i s t h e r e any  content  i n producing  f o r an  " i n error"  T h e r e may Scruton  cept of  to f i n d  acceptable  i t s being  that attitude  here  b a s e d on  answers t o such recognized  so f a r .  Of  central  evidence  claims,  subjectivity  thesis  i n a given  withstand  that people  false  beliefs?  questions  and  features  interest  I t h i n k , t h a t i f we sense r e c o g n i z e an e p i d e m i c  What i s r e a l l y  i s h i s con-  only  going  on  first  the  p l a c e , i t must be  s u b j e c t i v i s m we  must i n some  t h e a v e r a g e man  mention, many d i s t i n g u i s h e d p h i l o s o p h e r s )  finds  h i s moral b e l i e f s  o f h i s own  are r e a l l y  expressions  Secondly,  what S c r u t o n  not  allowed,  the p o s s i b i l i t y of moral debate Yet,  or  i n moral  T h i s c l a i m , however, w i l l  self-deception.  quite unacceptable.  the  j u d g m e n t s have  suspend r e c o g n i t i o n o f  In the  suspend our  i t , unless of  think moral  judgments.  close scrutiny.  person  attitude  a l l of the  especial  effic-  i s t h a t i n m o r a l d e b a t e we  i s t h a t people  of those  For  approaches.  have o b j e c t i v e v a l i d i t y .  d e b a t e he  on  raised.  s u s p e n d e d s u b j e c t i v i t y w h i c h he u s e s t o r e p l a c e  Scruton's  can  be  encount-  idea of a consideration's  t h a t i t c o u l d be  o b j e c t i v i t y of c o g n i t i v i s t  seem  still  attitude" besides  seems t o have a t l e a s t  of m o r a l i t y noted  can  I have  I n what s e n s e c o u l d someone's  except  w e l l be  to the  or maintaining  or group of persons? be  i s t h e b e s t one  a number o f q u e s t i o n s  "a good r e a s o n  acious  of emotivism  the  rests  (not  idea that attitudes  d e s c r i b e s as  the  to  138  assumption of u n d e r l y i n g  agreement  of attitude  and w h i c h  he  p o s t u l a t e s as a p r e c o n d i t i o n o f m o r a l d i s c u s s i o n  seems r a t h e r  be a c o n s e q u e n c e  that  o f t h e b e l i e f most p e o p l e have,  there are r i g h t  answers  to moral problems,  w i t h enough i n f o r m a t i o n o u g h t  to  since  reasonable people  t o be a b l e t o a g r e e on t h e  correct  resolution. What d o e s terms?  the s u b j e c t i v i s t  amoralist  a p p l y t o him.  ( I t may  be  that  does  d e s c r i b e t h e way aside u n t i l  The  them may  satisfy  ingness"  s i n c e he may  have a t t i t u d e s w h i c h  states of a f f a i r s  and  "overridtoward  g e n e r a l k i n d s and  the c o n d i t i o n of n o r m a t i v i t y .  This i s  n o t assume an u n d e r l y i n g  he a p p r o a c h e s  of thinking.  shown t o be,  agree-  o t h e r s to attempt  He n e e d  irrational  p r e v e n t s h i s h a v i n g and a c t i n g  not suppose  h i s own  on a d e s i r e  to that  conflict,  or " i n error."  None o f  t o have o t h e r s  share h i s a t t i t u d e s ,  b u t he n e e d n o t have and need  such a d e s i r e .  i f and when he d o e s , he d o e s  Even  and  are d i r e c t e d  efficacy  he, o r a p e r s o n w i t h whose a t t i t u d e s c a n be  or a subset of  but they  the amoral agent does  them t o h i s way  atti-  f o r him,  ment on t h e b a s i s o f w h i c h  this  of c e r t a i n  to  question  n o t have m o r a l  the c o n d i t i o n s of " u n i v e r s a l i t y "  do n o t c o m p l e t e l y f u l f i l l  either  t h e o r y which i s  His attitudes,  have an o v e r r i d i n g m o t i v a t i o n a l  convert  Scruton's  l a n g u a g e c a n be m o d i f i e d  a m o r a l a g e n t does  t u d e s a s S c r u t o n d e s c r i b e s them.  because  like  the a m o r a l i s t t h i n k s but I leave t h i s  later.)  p r o p e r t i e s and  an a n a l y s i s  some e m o t i v i s t  i n a d e q u a t e as an a c c o u n t o f m o r a l  is,  i n Scruton's  A l t h o u g h the amoral agent does n o t s u b s c r i b e t o the  notion of moral t r u t h n e i t h e r  which  look l i k e  n o t a c t on so w i t h o u t  139 suspending the is  not  constrained  objectivity, viz.  s u b j e c t i v i t y of h i s a t t i t u d e s .  that  or  by  one  of  the  important  makes a m o r a l  to argue w i t h d i s s e n t e r s  that his interlocutor i s i r r a t i o n a l , impaired,  etc.  j u d g m e n t s w h i c h commit him  3  The  error  The to  until  he  mistaken,  agent  of  morality;  judgment i s  indefinitely  amoral  consequences  even suspended s u b j e c t i v i t y , i n  someone who  cognitively  The  constrained becomes  convinced  incompetent,  a m o r a l a g e n t makes no  practical  this.  theory  J o h n M a c k i e s u p p o r t s what he  calls  the  e r r o r theory.  He  says: I f s e c o n d o r d e r e t h i c s were c o n f i n e d , t h e n , t o l i n g u i s t i c and c o n c e p t u a l a n a l y s i s , i t ought to conclude t h a t moral v a l u e s a t l e a s t are o b j e c t i v e : t h a t t h e y a r e so i s p a r t o f what our o r d i n a r y m o r a l s t a t e m e n t s mean: the t r a d i t i o n a l moral concepts o f t h e o r d i n a r y man as w e l l as o f t h e main l i n e of western p h i l o s o p h e r s are concepts of o b j e c t i v e value. But i t i s p r e c i s e l y f o r t h i s r e a s o n t h a t l i n g u i s t i c and c o n c e p t u a l a n a l y s i s i s n o t enough. The c l a i m o f o b j e c t i v i t y , however i n g r a i n e d i n o u r l a n g u a g e and t h o u g h t , i s n o t s e l f - v a l i d a t i n g . I t c a n and s h o u l d be q u e s t i o n e d . But t h e d e n i a l o f o b j e c t i v e v a l u e s w i l l have t o be p u t f o r w a r d n o t as t h e r e s u l t o f an a n a l y t i c a p p r o a c h , b u t as an ' e r r o r t h e o r y ' , a t h e o r y t h a t a l t h o u g h most p e o p l e i n m a k i n g m o r a l j u d g m e n t s i m p l i c i t l y c l a i m , among o t h e r t h i n g s , t o be p o i n t i n g t o s o m e t h i n g o b j e c t i v e l y p r e s c r i p t i v e , these claims are a l l false. I t i s t h i s t h a t makes t h e name 'moral s c e p t i c i s m ' appropriate. (Mackie, The  Ethics,  v i e w t h a t e r r o n e o u s , c o n f u s e d and  t i o n s may one.  1977,  be  built  It i s widely  r i g h t into ordinary  p.  35)  even u n i n t e l l i g i b l e language i s not  s u p p o s e d t h a t when t h e  ordinary  man  a  assumpnew  attributes  140  colour is  t o an o b j e c t he means t o s a y  strictly  i n t o our  speaking  t h i n k i n g and  on p h i l o s o p h i c a l is  theory  but  false.  The  something about i t which  view t h a t naive r e a l i s m i s b u i l t  l a n g u a g e and  t h a t the view i s  grounds i s a l s o w i d e l y  l a d e n and  held, I think.  the t h e o r i e s i t bears  also metaphysical  and  ontological  are not  but  come i n t o  use,  majority ary  of cases  the v u l g a r as  partly at  undergo changes or drop  least  useful  a c h a n g e i n t h e o r y has we  can  l o n g as we  amoral agent  through i f he  understand  c a n be  to understand  been i n f l u e n t i a l ,  other areas besides morals and  between them and  eration.  G e o r g e B e r k e l e y made a v a l i a n t  man.  the e r r o r  that h i s theory of immaterialism  I t was  that i t r e a l l y  that relatively  become b e f u d d l e d  through  i s the  their  l a n g u a g e embodied m e t a p h y s i c a l Philonous:  ordinwith  be  effort  error.  an  draw some under c o n s i d -  t o show,  i s consistent with  not common  theory of the o r d i n a r y  acceptance and  to  i n which  theory here  way.  theory,  It will  s m a l l group o f people  p r e h e n s i b l e n o t i o n of substance,  mouth o f  on  position  t o t r y and  parallels  also  the  the a m o r a l i s t ' s p o s i t i o n  error  but  In  of the e r r o r  reflectively.  two  sense,  concepts  effect  to hold h i s  o f some f o r m  consider b r i e f l y  just  ordinary  o u r words i n t h e c o r r e c t  expected  holds h i s p o s i t i o n  t h e o r y has  little  on  f o l l o w B e r k e l e y ' s a d v i c e t o speak  h i s acceptance  in trying  out of use.  scientific  ethical.  effect  sometimes l a r g e n e t w o r k s o f words and  l a n g u a g e and  The  o r no  Language  only  - perhaps a l s o  Sometimes c h a n g e s i n t h e o r i e s have l i t t l e langauge,  unacceptable  not  who  had  of a thoroughly t h e common man,  I n d e e d , he  says  incomwhose  from  the  14.1  I do n o t p r e t e n d t o be a s e t t e r - u p o f new notions. My e n d e a v o u r s t e n d o n l y t o u n i t e , and p l a c e i n a c l e a r e r l i g h t , t h a t t r u t h w h i c h was b e f o r e s h a r e d between t h e v u l g a r and t h e p h i l o s o p h e r s : - t h e f o r m e r b e i n g o f o p i n i o n , t h a t those things they immediately perceive are the real things; and t h e l a t t e r , t h a t the things immediately perceived are ideas, which exist only in the mind. Which two n o t i o n s p u t t o g e t h e r , do, i n e f f e c t , c o n s t i t u t e t h e s u b s t a n c e o f what I a d v a n c e . ( B e r k e l e y , 1965, Three Dialogues, pp. 224-5) Berkeley's that  a t t e m p t t o make o f common s e n s e an  p h y s i c a l o b j e c t s have any  outside  of t h e i r  clearly  fails.  which Berkeley thinking It  than  being  about the  I would  an  last  not  ordinary  e r r o r theory  language, but  and  not,  we  h e n c e we  o r when we  about causes. we  normally  existence o r by  God)  (materialism) entrenched  Berkeley's  according  i n v o l v e s an  e r r o r theory,  are  view  in his denial  against  in ordinary  i s o b j e c t i v i s m i n morals.  when, f o r example, we we  t h a t the  theory  speak o f t h i n g s  None o f t h e s e  ought t o  but is in  abandon,  of materialism.  ought to b e g i n ought t o b e g i n  we  That i s ,  t o t h i n k about t h i n g s t o mean s o m e t h i n g existing  need u p s e t i t will  any  somewhere where  of the  ask  actual projects  change t h e i r  complexion  somewhat. In  s u p p o s i n g t h a t common s e n s e and  in  different  t o p h y s i c a l l a w s , o r when we  undertake, although  as  language  implies materialism,  u n t e n a b l e m e t a p h y s i c s and  the  refer  metaphysics  to which o r d i n a r y  analysis quite unintelligible,  way  continued  (whether by men  e m p i r i c a l , p h y s i c a l world  the  a new  say  and  a r g u e s i s e v e n more f i r m l y  since materialism  the  perceived  i s more p l a u s i b l e t o r e g a r d  suggesting  on  real  ally  ordinary  language  are  142  on h i s s i d e ,  Berkeley  i s rather like  a metamoral  who c l a i m s n o t t o s e e t h a t he s t a n d s prima by  common s e n s e  and o r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e ,  to e x p l a i n the o b j e c t i v e flavour claims  i tisn't  there t o begin  f a c i e contradicted  and who d e n i e s  any need  o f m o r a l j u d g m e n t s because, he  with.  We may s e t o u t some p a r a l l e l s t h e two d e b a t e s  subjectivist  among p o s s i b l e p o s i t i o n s i n  as f o l l o w s :  1.  O r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e and common s e n s e i m p l y m o r a l o b j e c t i v i s m and t h a t theory i s acceptable.  1. * O r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e a n d common sense imply t h a t p h y s i c a l o b j e c t s have a m i n d - i n d e p e n d e n t e x i s t e n c e and t h a t t h e o r y i s acceptable.  2.  O r d i n a r y language and common s e n s e i m p l y m o r a l s u b j e c t i v i s m and t h a t theory i s acceptable.  2. * O r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e and common sense imply i m m a t e r i a l i s m and t h a t t h e o r y i s a c c e p t a b l e .  3.  O r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e and common s e n s e i m p l y m o r a l objectivism but that theory i s unacceptable. We o u g h t t o r e v i s e o u r thinking while retaining morality. Amorality i s n o t t h e answer.  3.*  4.  O r d i n a r y language and common s e n s e i m p l y m o r a l objectivism but that theory i s unacceptable. We o u g h t t o abandon morality.  )4.* O r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e and common sense imply m a t e r i a l i s m b u t that theory i s unacceptable. We s h o u l d embrace s o l i p s i s m .  I have s u g g e s t e d but  that Berkeley a c t u a l l y  held a position  that that p o s i t i o n i s not very p l a u s i b l e .  something l i k e about  " t h e o r d i n a r y man."  2*  to the facts  I know o f no one who h a s a r g u e d t h e  2 corresponding  t h e m a t e r i a l i s m debate.  like  I o f f e r e d him  3* a s b e i n g a p o s i t i o n w h i c h i s t r u e r  metamoral p o s i t i o n in  O r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e a n d common sense imply m a t e r i a l i s m b u t that theory i s unacceptable. We o u g h t t o r e v i s e o u r t h i n k ing while r e t a i n i n g our b e l i e f in the existence of a universe which i s independent o f our minds. Solipsism i s not the answer.  In both  to Berkeley's cases  actual  the f i r s t  stand  and t h i r d  143  positions nihilist  a r e t h e most common. o f t h e extreme v a r i e t y .  q u a l i f i c a t i o n s w h i c h we w i l l of  P o s i t i o n 4 i s that o f the moral W i t h a number o f c a u t i o n s  encounter l a t e r ,  other  s o r t of e r r o r theory  argued  that  Consider  there  from another  i s an e r r o r b u i l t  i n ordinary  t o introduce  field.  that  Corresponding  t o t h e p o s i t i o n s a b o v e , we have t h e f o l l o w i n g :  1'.  T h e o l o g i c a l language i m p l i e s w i t h p r o p e r t i e s p ^ and t h e r e  2'.  T h e o l o g i c a l l a n g u a g e i m p l i e s t h e r e i s no God w i t h p r o p e r t i e s p-^ ( o r p e r h a p s b e t t e r " t h e r e i s a God with properties where, t o keep t h e p a r a l l e l , t h e properties q i are unobjectionable i n themselves but a t t h e same t i m e n o t v e r y G o d - l i k e ) .  3'.  T h e o l o g i c a l l a n g u a g e i m p l i e s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a God w i t h p r o p e r t i e s Pj_ b u t n o t h i n g does o r c o u l d (two p o s i t i o n s ) e x i s t which has those p r o p e r t i e s ( i . e . t h e t h e o r y o f God i m p l i e d i n t h e o l o g i c a l l a n g u a g e i s unacceptable). We o u g h t t o r e v i s e o u r t h i n k i n g a b o u t God w h i l e r e t a i n i n g r e l i g i o n .  4'.  T h e o l o g i c a l l a n g u a g e i m p l i e s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a God w i t h p r o p e r t i e s p.j_ b u t n o t h i n g d o e s o r c o u l d e x i s t which has t h o s e p r o p e r t i e s . We o u g h t t o abandon religion.  over f i r s t ,  the  o f God  t h e o l o g i c a l l a n g u a g e i s one w h i c h  t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a God i s such a b e i n g .  Here i n t h e r e l i g i o u s c a s e a s i n t h e o t h e r s ,  in  discourse.  the notion  fundamentally confused o r even i n c o h e r e n t .  roughly  one  Suppose i t i s  into theological  i n p a r t i c u l a r the suggestion  which i s i m p l i e d  and  i t i s the p o s i t i o n  the amoralist. B e f o r e commenting f u r t h e r I w o u l d l i k e  is  and  a debate  t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f an e s t a b l i s h e d way o f s p e a k i n g  thinking,  secondly,  the a c c e p t a b i l i t y of the theory  t h o s e i m p l i c a t i o n s , and t h i r d l y , u n a c c e p t a b i l i t y of the theory  theory.  we f i n d  I think  the appropriate  contained  response to  among t h o s e who r e j e c t t h e  i t i s c l e a r that nothing  i n general  c a n be s a i d  144  in  favour  o f any  remark t h a t attempting  of  these four s o r t s of p o s i t i o n s  i t i s always wise to avoid t o d e f e n d what i s r e a l l y  misinterpreting  the  will  among o t h e r  and  d e p e n d on, the  vary  appeal of  from c o n t e x t The  for  our  present  up  possible  that  i s that the  way  the  of  a n a l y s i s of  the of  religious  ordinary  preserving  since  concerns.  That  is a fairly  i t involves  the  various  Someone c o u l d , intellectual  of  I think,  despair  understanding  distinctive i s , one  r e l i g i o u s langauge i n the  of  over  theology,  God,  nature of  but  r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t ways, i s u t t e r l y d e s t r u c t i v e o f  coming to b e l i e v e where b e f o r e  he  case the  to note t h a t  i s not  t o be  proposition  believed  the  the  while  contrary.  to  and carry  thinking the  nature  the a n t i r e l i g i o u s  u n d e r s t o o d as  t h a t God  with  with  religion  in  in this  in a  decide  also  might conclude t h a t same o l d way  does not  Rather,  4'  in particular  using  conversion  quite  e x i s t s which i s c o n s i s t e n t  I t i s important  close  attempts  on  of r e l i g i o n .  will  the  I t seems t o me  of  man's c o n c e p t i o n the  position  t h e o l o g i c a l example  a l t e r n a t i v e 4'  t a l k a b o u t God.  way  the  these f a c t o r s i n turn  t h e o l o g i c a l l a n g u a g e and  f i n d i n g a way  decision  b r o u g h t t o embrace a l t e r n a t i v e  thoroughly respectable of  The  d e t a i l s of  the  consideration  i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y no  any  language).  amoralist,  someone m i g h t be  an  possibility  only  by  context.  case of  t o make s e n s e o f  not  thesis  o f a whole r e a l m o f d i s c o u r s e .  to provide  that  a revisionist  to  through a conscientious  mood o f  of  a l t e r n a t i v e s and  concerns  to the  course  the  most i n t e r e s t i n g f e a t u r e  parallel giving  things,  to  heroic  f a c t s of o r d i n a r y  the  (unless  someone's exist,  i n the  context  145  of  trying  t o come t o g r i p s w i t h t h e c o n c e p t  framework i n w h i c h t a l k a b o u t p e r f e c t l y good s e n s e , leaving sense  o f God, t h e c o n c e p t u a l  God made, o r seemed t o make,  has crumbled  around  h i m , a s i t were,  n o t some new d o c t r i n e , b u t a v o i d .  t o suggest  to a person  i n this  I t h a r d l y makes  situation  t o c a r r y on  speaking with the v u l g a r - the point o f speaking terms has been Now  lost.  some p e o p l e a r e a b l e t o t o l e r a t e  imprecision  i n religious  i n their  concepts  a g r e a t e r degree o f  than o t h e r s .  R e f l e c t i o n s and  w o r r i e s which throw i n t o q u e s t i o n a whole r e a l m o f d i s c o u r s e f o r one  person might  that  not trouble  some p e o p l e ,  another  f o r example, c a n f u n c t i o n  so i t seems) w h i l e b e i n g p r e p a r e d way o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g Indeed sort  sought  God o r r e l i g i o u s  since  seek  pursuit  realm,  of understanding  My r e a l m o t i v e  close bear  t h e r e may be no  discourse i n general.  t h a t an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e  i s no d o u b t  Certainly,  t o wade  what one t h i n k s a b o u t  o f , seeking a f t e r  the person driven  deeper,  the possi-  understanding i n  t o atheism through a  is intelligible  d i s m i s s e d as having missed  length  that  a n d I am n o t q u a l i f i e d  o f , and d e s i r a b i l i t y  the r e l i g i o u s  a fact  p e r f e c t l y w e l l (or  "God s u r p a s s e s a l l u n d e r s t a n d i n g . "  I do t h i n k t h a t no m a t t e r  bility  I t i s just  i s n o t o n l y n o t t o be h a d , b u t i s n o t t o be  t h e s e a r e muddy w a t e r s but  t o admit  i t i s sometimes p u t f o r w a r d  atheists  at a l l .  and n o t t o be  lightly  the point of r e l i g i o n .  f o r discussing apparent.  the r e l i g i o u s  case a t t h i s  I think that considerations very  t o t h o s e we h a v e e n c o u n t e r e d on t h e i s s u e o f a m o r a l i t y .  i n the r e l i g i o u s  error  I f o r d i n a r y language  does  theory  146  i m p l y m o r a l o b j e c t i v i s m and not  demonstrable  understanding bearing or  not  on  i f there are grave  impossibilities,  i n t h e way  of moral o b j e c t i v i s m , then  the reasonableness  a subjectivist  difficulties,  o f an  if  adequate  the c r u c i a l  questions  o f a b a n d o n i n g m o r a l i t y become w h e t h e r  t h e o r y can  be  found  which does not  mine m o r a l i t y i n t h e p r o c e s s  of r e v i s i n g  and  to hold;out.(in,something.like a  whether  i t i s reasonable  gesture of f a i t h ) difficulties, if  o n l y we  and My  the  central  not  pretend  project,  m o r a l i t y to decide  4  am  not  response  i s probably  found,  and  difficult  a n s w e r s t o them. to give a character-  t o show t h a t i t i s n o t a l t o g e t h e r  to certain  reflections  on  the  nature  t o abandon m o r a l t h i n k i n g a l t o g e t h e r . as  Berkeley.  completely  added can  do  which both  t h i n k i n g , and  satisfactory  philosophical  are c e r t a i n  i m p o s s i b l e t o show c o n c l u s i v e l y  found  m o r a l l a n g u a g e and  I  definitive  a l l , i s t o attempt  q u i t e as a m b i t i o u s  t h e o r y c o u l d be  of  be  apparent  Against objectivism It  no  to o f f e r  o f the amoral agent  of  theory w i l l  These q u e s t i o n s are extremely  after  unreasonable  t h i n k i n g about i t ,  t h a t , whatever the  an a c c e p t a b l e o b j e c t i v i s t  an  I  assumption  keep t r y i n g .  I shall  ization  on  our  under-  theory  on  adequately a t the  same t i m e  completely  c o n s i d e r a t i o n s w h i c h i n c l i n e me  s k e p t i c i s m may  be w a r r a n t e d  here.  a t t h i s p o i n t i s to survey b r i e f l y  candidates  f o r the  source  no  analyzes ordinary  general philosophical  i s ever  that  i s deemed grounds.  satisfactory,  Perhaps but  there  t o t h i n k t h a t a modicum However, t h e most t h e most  prominent  or grounds of the a l l e g e d o b j e c t i v i s m  147  i n moral judgments and t o suggest i n each case the problems which must be overcome.  Anyone who has a d e t a i l e d  l i k e l y f i n d the d i s c u s s i o n  theory a t hand w i l l  f a r too s k e l e t a l t o be t r u l y  worri-  some but I can hope a t l e a s t t o i n d i c a t e the area i n which further (i)  debate must c e n t r e .  Empirical  t r u t h as the source o f o b j e c t i v i t y  A n a t u r a l i s t theory i s one a c c o r d i n g t o which moral judgments can be t r a n s l a t e d , ability,  f o r purposes o f a s s e s s i n g t h e i r accept-  into ordinary empirical  judgments o f one s o r t o r another.  Sometimes one f i n d s attempts t o e f f e c t the t r a n s l a t i o n by the d e v i c e o f equating e t h i c a l p r o p e r t i e s etc.)  (goodness,  w i t h some n o n - e t h i c a l p r o p e r t i e s  rightness,  (conducive t o hedonic  e x p e r i e n c e s , tending towards the maximal s a t i s f a c t i o n of human desires,  etc.).  utterances  Sometimes the t r a n s l a t i o n i s between whole  (e.g., "You ought t o ..." becomes "In our s o c i e t y  there i s a r u l e r e q u i r i n g theories can,  t h a t people . . . " ) .  moral judgments a r e t r a n s l a t e d  In a l l n a t u r a l i s t  i n t o statements which  i n p r i n c i p l e , be assessed by the o r d i n a r y standards o f  empirical  t r u t h and the method i s roughly the method  of•"science."  One g e n e r a l problem faced by a l l n a t u r a l i s t t h e o r i e s none of the translations a l moral judgment.  i s that  seem t o capture the meaning of the o r i g i n -  Of course there i s no need t o a b s o l u t e l y  i n s i s t t h a t they do, but then there i s the q u e s t i o n o f j u s t what the  r e l a t i o n s h i p o f the o r i g i n a l moral judgment t o the t r a n s l a t i o n  comes t o , i f i t i s not an i d e n t i t y o f meaning.  I f the n o t i o n o f  a t r a n s l a t i o n i s n o t the a p p r o p r i a t e one, then i t may be p o s s i b l e to argue t h a t the o b j e c t i v i t y of moral judgments i s grounded i n  148  the  truth of corresponding  uncommitted  to the claim  empirical  that moral  statements while  remaining  judgments a r e s t r i c t l y  speaking true  or f l a s e .  The i d e a w o u l d be t h a t a m o r a l  is  or correct  i f (and, p r e s u m a b l y , o n l y  acceptable  empirical Either the  statement  i s true.  i f ) some  Now a dilemma p r e s e n t s  the nature of the empirical  statements  itself.  involved  explains  r e l a t i o n s h i p we h a v e n o t e d b e t w e e n m o r a l j u d g m e n t s and m o t i -  vation,  o r i t does n o t .  of m o r a l i t y does,  I f i t d o e s n o t , one f u n d a m e n t a l  r e m a i n s d e e p l y and d i s t u r b i n g l y m y s t e r i o u s .  i t seems t h i s must be b e c a u s e t h o s e e m p i r i c a l  report  f a c t s which a r e i n t r i n s i c a l l y  Suppose t h e n t h a t appropriate  i f and o n l y  thus r a t i o n a l l y  a c e r t a i n moral  judgment i s c o r r e c t o r  i f some e m p i r i c a l  statement  i s true.  statement i s  bound t o a c c e p t t h e m o r a l judgment.  f o r doing  something.  t o o p e r a t e i n t h i s way?  If i t  statements  But t o accept  a m o r a l judgment s i n c e r e l y i s t o a c c e p t a r e a s o n and a motive  aspect  motivating.  Anyone who a c c e p t s t h e t r u t h o f t h e e m p i r i c a l  on  judgment  What s o r t o f f a c t I have a l r e a d y  sufficient  c a n be c o u n t e d  discussed  what seems  t o me t o be t h e most s o p h i s t i c a t e d a t t e m p t t o e s t a b l i s h t h e connection  between f a c t s and t h e m o t i v a t i o n a l  j u d g m e n t s i n my t r e a t m e n t o f t h e i d e a l The ivity the  basic  of moral  fact  problem  observer  theory.  i s t h a t any a t t e m p t t o g r o u n d t h e o b j e c t -  judgments i n t h e e m p i r i c a l  f a c t s tends t o  ignore  t h a t p e o p l e a r e n o t a c t u a l l y m o t i v a t e d by t h e same  things.  T h i s means t h a t we must g i v e  validity  of moral  reactions  content o f moral  up t h e i n t e r p e r s o n a l  judgments o r d i s q u a l i f y c e r t a i n p e o p l e ' s  t o t h e f a c t s on some g r o u n d s o r o t h e r .  The d i f f i c u l t y  149  in  the l a t t e r  (ii)  i s to avoid  Non-empirical truth Even  ence  less  loading  n o n - n a t u r a l goodness.  a r e t h e o r i e s which  entities,  posit  the e x i s t -  be t h e y o b j e c t i v e v a l u e s o r  J . L . Mackie  of h i s a n t i - o b j e c t i v i s m  illegitimately,  as t h e source o f o b j e c t i v i t y  satisfactory  o f odd o n t o l o g i c a l  the dice  (1977), d i r e c t s v i r t u a l l y a l l  arguments a g a i n s t  such  theories.  I have n o t h i n g t o add t o t h e c h o r u s o f v o i c e s w h i c h h a s been r a i s e d applied  non-naturalism.  f o r the excision  delicate ones.  against  of unnecessary  instrument i s required  understand  entities,  to eliminate  I s h o u l d s a y , however, t h a t  a c c e p t and p e r h a p s  I f Occam's r a z o r  such e n t i t i e s ,  takes ordinary  c a n be l a r g e l y  f o r b y two t h i n g s .  accounted  uage i s i n d i c a t i v e indicative and  in  ones t o a p p l y .  t h e way t o u n d e r s t a n d  of correspondence  The a p p e a l o f  language  very  First,  seriously  moral  lang-  logic of  S e c o n d l y , common  correspondence  holds out the p o s s i b i l i t y he assumes i s p o s s i b l e  most p r o m i s i n g l i n e  non-empirical  is in  between j u d g m e n t s o r s e n t e n c e s o r p r o p o s What c o u l d be more  harmony w i t h t h e o r d i n a r y man's u s e o f m o r a l  a t h e o r y which  sense  the notion of t r u t h  a n d " t h e way t h i n g s a r e " ( t h e f a c t s ) .  The  I would  s e n t e n c e s , and t h i s makes t h e c a t e g o r i e s o f t r u t h  suggests that  itions  I expect  i n f o r m and o b e y s t h e o r d i n a r y  falsehood natural  terms  less  bring myself to  indeed.  a Moorean a n a l y s i s w h i c h  a much  t o be  unintelligible  i f I could  have a v e r y good a n a l y s i s o f m o r a l i t y  ought  of just  a g e n e r a l theory o f t r u t h which  than  the sort of  i n other realms o f d i s c o u r s e ?  o f development  truth probably l i e s  language  f o r a concept o f  i n the attempt  t o generate  h a s some f o r m o f c o r r e s p o n d e n c e  150  t h e o r y as a s p e c i a l case adequately deal with that (iii)  Universality  f o r empirical idea  here.  o f . s e n t i m e n t as t h e source o f O b j e c t i v i t y  I have a l r e a d y had s o m e t h i n g t h e o r i e s which p o s i t persons as  ability  the correct  i s not very p l a u s i b l e .  anything l i k e  a moral  to discern  i s very sketchy.  and a u t h o r i t a t i v e m o r a l  c a n be f o r m u l a t e d .  F o r example, i t m i g h t  t h e v e r y n a t u r e o f man t o l i v e  to  be e x p e c t e d  weal o f t h e i r  that people w i l l fellows  not just  or  attitudinal  that  the only t r u l y a life  i n which  Rather  these  Thus, i t emotional  i t i s the  represent the core of being  an i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f t h e c o r e .  the requirements  i n the  s i t u a t i o n s which i s import-  the standards f o r a c t i o n .  these emotional responses  i t is  human e x i s t e n c e  to a given extent.  to certain  that  theory  t o c a r e f o r t h e woe and  i n h i s leading  influence  responses  human o r a t l e a s t to  learn  t h a t most p e o p l e happen t o s h a r e c e r t a i n  f o r providing  fact  are taken  and i t i s n o t o n l y  i n ways w h i c h a r e e x p r e s s i b l e  t o man c o n s i s t s exert their  be a r g u e d  socially  of morality, but that  is  ant  sense  forms o f t h e s e n t i m e n t a l i s t  in  sentiments  t o be t h e  t h e r e s i d u e seems u n i m p r e s s i v e .  Much more s o p h i s t i c a t e d  possible  f o r human  When t h e i n f l u -  operation of a natural  requirements  some  f o r the existence  s o u r c e s o f what may a p p e a r  account,  through  standards o f a c t i o n  ence o f o t h e r p o s s i b l e  into  sense i n  The idea that we come equipped,  The e v i d e n c e  sense  I I I about  e x i s t e n c e o f a moral  a n d I have n o t h i n g t o add h e r e .  emotional response  of  t o say i n Chapter  the u n i v e r s a l  i t were, w i t h some s p e c i a l  beings  c l a i m s , b u t I cannot  To be s u b j e c t  o f m o r a l i t y i s t o be s u b j e c t t o t h e p r o m p t i n g s  151  of one's t r u l y human nature.  The standard  moral judgments i s t h e i r conformity human emotional s e t .  The theory  f o r assessment o f  w i t h the prompting o f an i d e a l  needs t o be f l e s h e d out c o n s i d -  e r a b l y , o f course, but the c r u c i a l elements are the p o s i t i n g of a t r u l y human s o r t o f emotional makeup and the c l a i m it  that  i s t h a t makeup which e x p l a i n s both why moral judgments have  the m o t i v a t i o n a l  e f f i c a c y they do, and the idea t h a t everyone  i s a t bottom s u b j e c t t o the same o b j e c t i v e requirements. There i s c e r t a i n l y something a p p e a l i n g  about t h i s s o r t o f  approach but i t r e l i e s on i g n o r i n g or downplaying the v a l u a t i o n a l character  of the n o t i o n o f being  to ground m o r a l i t y  " t r u l y human."  i n some conception  The attempt  o f an i d e a l human nature  i s i n t e r e s t i n g , but i t must be kept i n mind t h a t what one gets i s not s t r i c t l y speaking an o b j e c t i v e m o r a l i t y unless  i t can be  shown t h a t the i d e a l i s an i d e a l independently o f anyone's embracing i t . One might be f o r g i v e n f o r suspecting  that  there  i s as much i n our t r u l y human nature which i s d e s t r u c t i v e to m o r a l i t y as there  i s t o support i t .  However p e r s u a s i v e  d e s c r i p t i o n s of an i d e a l are, I do not  see how i t can be shown t h a t i t has any v a l i d i t y other  than the  r e l a t i v e v a l i d i t y i t may have f o r persons who a c t u a l l y accept i t as t h e i r own i d e a l .  Even the n o t i o n of h e a l t h , broadened  perhaps t o i n c l u d e such t h i n g s as emotional h e a l t h ,  spiritual  h e a l t h and p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h , r e s t s on e i t h e r the concept o f f u n c t i o n or o f purpose, and i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how i t can be argued t h a t the emotional o r a t t i t u d i n a l responses and s e n s i t i v i t i e s o f the h e a l t h y  person a r e those which u n d e r l i e  152  morality,  e s p e c i a l l y i f one c o n c e n t r a t e s  on t h e r e q u i r e m e n t  that  t h e c o n c e p t i o n s o f f u n c t i o n o r p u r p o s e must be v a l u a t i o n -  ally  neutral or at least universal. I do n o t d o u b t t h a t  there  i s some c o n c e p t i o n  o f an i d e a l  human n a t u r e a t t h e b o t t o m o f most p e o p l e ' s t h i n k i n g morality  b u t I do d o u b t t h a t  sense o f t h e i d e a (iv)  of that  i t i s p o s s i b l e t o make v e r y  ideal's objective  Universality of subjective valuations objectivity If  value  i tcould  be shown t h a t  either  i s intrinsically, moral  desire  s a t i s f a c t i o n ) or could  anyone p u r s u i n g could in  (e.g.,  anyone  as t h e ground o f  that  something  t h e m a x i m i z a t i o n o f human  values  them i s a u t o m a t i c a l l y  t h e sense t h a t  validity.  and t h a t  be a t t a i n e d  (i.e.,  p e r h a p s be m a i n t a i n e d  good  everyone does, o r has reason t o ,  s o m e t h i n g o r some s e t o f t h i n g s  adoption of moral values  about  only  through the  which a r e such  that  a moral agent) then i t  t h a t m o r a l judgments a r e o b j e c t i v e  who u n d e r s t a n d s what he h a s r e a s o n *•  t o do w o u l d a d o p t a m o r a l o u t l o o k o r p e r h a p s e v e n c e r t a i n moral p r i n c i p l e s .  I f , f o r example, m o r a l i t y  necessarily  pointed  the  way t o a s t a t e o f a f f a i r s  off  than under any o t h e r  has  o v e r r i d i n g l y good r e a s o n t o do what w i l l make h i m b e t t e r  off,  then  it  could  a r r a n g e m e n t , and i f anyone  i t w o u l d be p l a u s i b l e t o a r g u e t h a t  n a t u r e o f human e x i s t e n c e This  i n w h i c h e v e r y o n e w o u l d be b e t t e r  approach could be h e l d  that  that moral t h i n k i n g  i t i s i n the very f i n d s i t s source.  t a k e a t l e a s t two b r o a d  there  "really"  always  forms.  Either  a r e reasons which a r e  i n d e p e n d e n t o f what p e o p l e a c t u a l l y c o u n t a s r e a s o n s  (i.e.,  some  153  things  just  are reasons  people  find  important) or  fact  In Chapter universal interest shared which  i t could  be  to  the  c o n c e r n and  There  small  with,  unvalued  same s o r t s  There  morality of  v a l u e s ought  are universal  such d i s t i n c t i v e l y  obligation  being  c a n be  have  there i s a virtually  seem content  pretty relatively  a l l human  to those  i n c e r t a i n ways, and  in this  Obligations  and  on.  relation-  even i f  difficult  those of fact  others, so  the  But  i t i s  n o t i o n s as  given a foothold  i n the ordinary moral  value  over  a r e v e r y g e n e r a l and  moral  who  necessary  to take precedence  uniform.  action  surprising  Even i f people  of valuations,  contorted i n the process.  more a u t h o r i t y  do  i t w o u l d be  universally  t h e r e were a g e n e r a l c o n g r u i t y  and  that  in it.  aggregated  among t h e m i s f a r f r o m  how  people  things,  Any  see  that and  t o be  to  concerns  of giving  i s nothing particularly  same s o r t s  certain  in a  self-  "real"  i s there anything very helpful  t o ground  which  information.  value.  t h a t v a l u e s ought concerns  agree  morality yet  of  universally  have  face the problem  of concerns  neither  much t h e  show t h a t  ship  people  do  enough  i t wanting;  what  a matter  a l l "really"  to ground  of v a l u e s i n terms of which  but  as  i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h what t h e y a c t u a l l y  i s v e r y good e v i d e n c e  attempt  pretty  found  Arguments t h a t  understood.  this,  would  quite  o f an  class  be  people  that  the best candidate f o r a  themselves  idea  much t h e  held  I I , I discussed the attempt  propensity. may  be  independently of  a r e a s o n o r .would i f t h e y h a d  seems t o be  concern  can  as  egoistic  to  to  some a r e n o t ,  (perhaps o f v e r y deep f a c t )  on what c o u n t s  in  and  duty  without  duties  have  consciousness than can  be  154  grounded  in facts  o f what p e o p l e happen t o  I have b e e n a r g u i n g adequate grounding I have n o t , ily  fail  and  nor  even i f s t r o n g tions  there  for a very  could  that  that  not,  i t has  may  strictly  w e l l be  course,  the  speaking  the  w i t h the  5  The  to  find of  issue.  given  What m a t t e r s  support  objectivist  t u r n out  i s the  they r e f l e c t the  moral discourse, general I  should  are  subject  now  to turn  p r o b l e m s w h i c h must be section  I concentrate  revisionist  on  In Chapter VI, a  thinking in  f o r m and  and  t o c r i t i c i s m on  spirit.  by  account of m o r a l i t y ,  l a n g u a g e and  I  (strictly) consistent  the  and  subjectivist  i n the  ordinary grounds of  some o f  the  theories.  In  to give  next s e c t i o n  some p r o b l e m w i t h o r d i n a r y  which are  a  intelligibility.  examination of  and  theories,  meaning o f  t h e o r i e s which purport  d e a l w i t h t h e o r i e s w h i c h see  they  subjectivism  t o an  faced  of  discourse.  p h i l o s o p h i c a l concern for c l a r i t y like  to  i s not,  impact  I have s u g g e s t e d t h a t o b j e c t i v i s t m e t a m o r a l however w e l l  the  terms,  someone's a c c e p t i n g  problems i n metamoral  And founda-  thinking.  f l a v o u r of moral  necessar-  unshakeable  a n a l y s i s of moral concepts which i s  objectivist  objectivism.  without value.  o n e s , i n my  ways o f  any-  a t t e m p t must  Whether t h e s e t h e o r i e s  p o s s i b i l i t y of  subjectivist  the  t h e o r i e s which can  subjectivist  important  important.  formulation  c a n n o t be  have on m o r a l c o n c e p t s and consider  strong  been o r must be  p o s t u r e of moral agency. be  i t is difficult  prove that  objectivism  find  essentially  a  this non-  I  will  moral  revisionist  155  If  I am r i g h t i n c l a i m i n g  language  that  i s not merely a surface  a deep a c c e p t a n c e o f some k i n d moral  subjectivism  an a d e q u a t e provide  are  not only  centre  an e x p l a n a t i o n  reflects  on t h e p a r t o f  t h e main problems  on i t s f a i l u r e fact.  with  to provide  A s u b j e c t i v i s t must  of the objective  flavour of  language, b u t a l s o an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f i t i n terms  consistent with the denial of the o b j e c t i v i s t Roger  s u b j e c t i v i t y and I have a r g u e d  Since  I think  attempt t o defend e m o t i v i s t inconsistency  thesis  that h i s theory  subjectivism  with ordinary  language,  against I will  which itself.  S c r u t o n ' s a t t e m p t t o do j u s t t h i s  c o n c e p t o f suspended  h i s account f a i l s .  of  of objectivism  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of that  I have d i s c u s s e d the  will  form o f moral  phenomenon b u t r a t h e r  a g e n t s , i t i s t o be e x p e c t e d t h a t  metamoral  moral  the o b j e c t i v i s t  using that  i s the best the charge  add  nothing (  further  here.  There .is, received  the  earlier  i m p e r a t i v i s t approach. judgments  are also  R.M.  Hare  imperativism  etc.  Hare  standard  which  (1963) a r g u e s , f o r example,  exists f o r assessing  speaks o f m o r a l agency  m o r a l game" and he r e c o g n i z e s  everyone w i l l a s Hare  which  s u b j e c t i v i s t versions of  i s independent of i n d i v i d u a l persons' d e s i r e s ,  beliefs,  I  are e s s e n t i a l l y p r e s c r i p t i v e but that  no o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d  which  the  the s t r a i n of o b j e c t i v i s t  from Kant, b u t t h e r e  that moral is  which has  w i d e s p r e a d a t t e n t i o n and w h i c h d e s e r v e s comment.  discussed derives,,  however, a n o t h e r f o r m o f s u b j e c t i v i s m  o r e v e n need  play  conceives of i t involves using  them  preferences,  i n terms o f " p l a y i n g  the p o s s i b i l i t y  t h e game.  there  that not  (Playing  moral  t h e game,  language  according  156  to c e r t a i n rules.) while  someone may  Ordinarily, I think, not  play  i n v o l v e s making a m i s t a k e the is  point  i s to  subject  play  the  say  to the  demands o f m o r a l i t y ,  no  objective  reference  persons'  out.  t h o s e who  that  Moral  to reasoning  "subjective  putting  everyone  - i n some s e n s e i t i s But  further, according  enter  the moral be  to not to  the moral arena,  judgments c a n  Hare  of  everyone ought  there  pronounce-  assessed  r u l e s w h i c h o p e r a t e on  states."  that  playing  A n o t h e r way  standards f o r evaluating  ments o f p a r t i c i p a n t s . by  or not  i s i n or  case of  not  o r d i n a r i l y suppose t h a t  game w h e t h e r t h e y do  Hare, even i n the  game o f m o r a l i t y ,  i n some s e n s e .  t h a t we  o p t i o n a l w h e t h e r one  are  the  i t i s supposed  only  f a c t s about  says:  The r u l e s o f m o r a l r e a s o n i n g are, b a s i c a l l y , two, c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e two f e a t u r e s o f m o r a l judgments w h i c h I a r g u e d f o r i n t h e f i r s t h a l f o f t h i s book, p r e s c r i p t i v i t y , and u n i v e r s a l i z a b i l i t y . When we a r e t r y i n g , i n a c o n c r e t e c a s e , t o d e c i d e what we o u g h t t o do, what we a r e l o o k i n g f o r (as I have a l r e a d y s a i d ) i s an a c t i o n t o w h i c h we c a n commit o u r s e l v e s ( p r e s c r i p t i v i t y ) b u t w h i c h we a r e a t t h e same t i m e p r e p a r e d t o a c c e p t as exemplifying a p r i n c i p l e o f a c t i o n t o be p r e s c r i b e d f o r others i n l i k e circumstances ( u n i v e r s a l i z a bility) . I f , when we c o n s i d e r some p r o p o s e d a c t i o n , we f i n d t h a t , when u n i v e r s a l i z e d , i t y i e l d s p r e s c r i p t i o n s w h i c h we c a n n o t a c c e p t , we r e j e c t t h i s a c t i o n as a s o l u t i o n t o o u r m o r a l p r o b l e m - i f we c a n n o t u n i v e r s a l i z e t h e p r e s c r i p t i o n i t c a n n o t become an 'ought'. (Hare, 1963, Freedom and Reason, pp. 89-90) The  essential objection  in p r i n c i p l e unresolvable no  argument a g a i n s t  actual disputants it  i s an  objection  to Hare's a n a l y s i s  moral disagreement.  a metamoral theory  i n a moral debate can to a theory  that  that  i s that Of  course  i t fails  come t o an  i t leaves  no  i t  to  allows i t is  show  agreement,  room f o r  the  how but  157  n o t i o n of one person's c o n t r a d i c t i n g another's moral i n cases where both p a r t i e s are engaged  judgment  i n s e r i o u s moral d i s -  c u s s i o n f o l l o w i n g the r u l e s of the moral language game. an adequate d e s c r i p t i v e metamoral  That i s ,  theory must a l l o w the p o s s i b i l i t y  of t h e r e b e i n g , and ought t o p r o v i d e some way o f understanding, g e n u i n e l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y moral judgments. a l l o w t h a t moral judgments  Hare's a n a l y s i s  can be c o n f l i c t i n g  does  i n roughly the way  t h a t commands can be c o n f l i c t i n g but I t h i n k t h a t o r d i n a r y moral t h i n k i n g r e q u i r e s more than t h i s . A c c o r d i n g to Hare, moral judgments two dimensions.  First,  can be c r i t i c i z e d a l o n g  i f a person who makes a judgment  not embrace the u n i v e r s a l i z e d judgment  that applies to  then he i s r e q u i r e d to withdraw the judgment i s not a moral judgment  at a l l .  does anyone,  or t o admit t h a t i t  Secondly, i f the person does not  embrace the p r e s c r i p t i v e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f h i s judgment  i n the  full  range o f a c t u a l and h y p o t h e t i c a l cases, then a g a i n he must w i t h draw h i s o r i g i n a l judgment,  as a moral one.  No doubt t h i s  p r o v i d e a good d e a l o f l e v e r a g e on persons who  are concerned t o  defend themselves m o r a l l y , but there i s some q u e s t i o n i t goes f a r enough. persons who prepared  does  whether  Hare h i m s e l f r e v e a l i n g l y chooses to c a l l  pass the t e s t s proposed but who  do so only by being  ( h y p o t h e t i c a l l y ) to endure the p a i n f u l p e r s o n a l con-  sequences o f t h e i r moral p r i n c i p l e s  (putting t h e i r  above t h e i r comfort as i t were), " f a n a t i c s . "  "ideals"  That suggests a  r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t there i s a c t u a l l y more to p l a y i n g the moral game t h a t Hare sometimes a l l o w s ( i n p a r t i c u l a r t h a t i t i n v o l v e s d i s p l a y i n g a concern f o r the w e l f a r e of o t h e r s ) .  158  What w o u l d be r e q u i r e d "universal First,  prescriptivism"  I think that  somehow b u i l t  into  to turn  i n t o a v i a b l e metamoral  a concern the moral  language  moral  to ensure  i n "morally charged"  narrow range  of acceptable actions.  to p l a y the moral Hare a c t u a l l y along and  these l i n e s  Reason.  game. S e c o n d l y ,  j u d g m e n t s must be i n p r i n c i p l e  must be b i n d i n g on e v e r y o n e  theory?  f o r t h e w e l f a r e o f p e r s o n s must be  of c r i t i c i z i n g that  t h e b a r e bones t h e s i s o f  t h e methods  tight  enough  situations there i s a  fairly  Finally,  moral  requirements  i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f whether they  choose  game o r n o t . g o e s some way t o w a r d  developing a theory  i n t h e c h a p t e r on U t i l i t a r i a n i s m  in  Freedom  I n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e q u e s t i o n o f what i s t o c o u n t a s  being prepared  t o embrace t h e u n i v e r s a l i z e d  by o n e ' s m o r a l  j u d g m e n t s he s a y s :  prescriptions  F o r i f my a c t i o n i s g o i n g t o a f f e c t t h e i n t e r e s t s o f a number o f p e o p l e , and I a s k m y s e l f what c o u r s e o f a c t i o n I c a n p r e s c r i b e u n i v e r s a l l y f o r people i n j u s t t h i s s i t u a t i o n , t h e n what I s h a l l have t o d o , i n o r d e r t o answer t h i s q u e s t i o n , i s t o put myself i m a g i n a t i v e l y i n the p l a c e o f t h e o t h e r p a r t i e s ( o r , i f t h e y a r e many, o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e sample o f them) a n d a s k t h e same s o r t o f q u e s t i o n s a s we made t h e c r e d i t o r a s k when he had i m a g i n e d himself i n the s i t u a t i o n of h i s debtor. And t h e considerations; t h a t w e i g h w i t h me i n t h i s i n q u i r y c a n o n l y be, How much (as I i m a g i n e m y s e l f i n t h e p l a c e o f e a c h man i n t u r n ) do I want t o have t h i s , o r to avoid that? B u t when I h a v e b e e n t h e r o u n d o f a l l t h e a f f e c t e d p a r t i e s , and come b a c k , i n my own p e r s o n , t o make an i m p a r t i a l m o r a l judgment g i v i n g e q u a l w e i g h t t o t h e i n t e r e s t s o f a l l p a r t i e s , what c a n I p o s s i b l y do e x c e p t a d v o c a t e t h a t course which w i l l , taken a l l i n a l l , l e a s t f r u s t r a t e the d e s i r e s w h i c h I have i m a g i n e d m y s e l f having? B u t t h i s ( i t i s p l a u s i b l e t o go on) i s t o m a x i m i z e s a t i s f a c t i o n s (p. 1 2 3 ) .  entailed  159  If  to test  taking  one's m o r a l  judgment  on e v e r y o n e ' s p o s i t i o n  involves  (ignoring  imaginatively  one's  interests,  ations,  e t c . e x c e p t t o c o u n t them a s someone's),  should,  i f the e x e r c i s e  the  same answer.  the  first There  is still  i s a c o n c e i v a b l e one a t a l l , maneuver, t h e n , e f f e c t i v e l y  the matter of entering  T h a t we o r d i n a r i l y  agents)  little  t o s a y on t h i s  assessing  i s fairly  the moral  clear  point.  the r e s u l t s  those persons.  to  Because  The judgment  t h e judgment  a moral debate, and Hare's  fulfill.  language  our moral  judgments  (not non-  however, h a s v e r y  what he o f f e r s  i s a method  o f p e r s o n s who a r e w i l l i n g t o  sincerity,  sensitiveness,  and i n f o r m e d -  g e t a g r i p o n l y on  J o n e s makes t h a t  t o Smith o n l y  enter the debate according  to  the moral  Hare,  of the assessments w i l l  debts then i s r e l e v a n t  Smith o f f e r s  of  satisfies  they a r e prepared to  I think.  judgments  make them, i n t e r m s o f t h e i r ness,  arrive at  (provided o f course they are moral  moral)  his  suppose  a p p l y t o anyone r e g a r d l e s s o f whether  enter moral debate  of  t h e n anyone  two r e q u i r e m e n t s t h e b a r e bones t h e o r y f a i l e d  game, however. to  The  inclin-  Smith ought  t o pay  i f Smith i s p r e p a r e d  t o t h e r u l e s o f t h e game.  If  t h a t he o u g h t  n o t t o p a y J o n e s we have  fleshed-out  t h e o r y h o l d s some p r o m i s e  there being a determinate r e s o l u t i o n .  The r e s o l u t i o n  will  have t h e f o r m o f t h e d i s c o v e r y o f some p r i n c i p l e w h i c h J o n e s and S m i t h and any o t h e r m o r a l a g e n t w i l l not,  however, i n v o l v e  objective validity in  of the rules  The r e s o l u t i o n  will  t h e d i s c o v e r y o f a p r i n c i p l e which has  since  the only kind o f v a l i d i t y  v i r t u e of the (subjective)  volved  adopt.  i t has, i t has  a c c e p t a n c e by t h e p a r t i e s i n -  of moral reasoning.  What i s r e q u i r e d t o  160  attain  o b j e c t i v i t y i n moral  objectivity thinking  signals a  judgments  failure  t h e way we f i n d  i s this last  6  Revisionist  step  i n the theory  i t operating  demonstration of the necessity It  it and to  the lack of  to describe  i n the r e a l world)  w h i c h seems  i s some debate.  insurmountable.  theories be p u z z l e d  a t t h e s t r e s s I have  on t h e i s s u e o f o b j e c t i v i t y , e i t h e r b e c a u s e t h e y  a s o b v i o u s t h a t my o b j e c t i v i t y r e q u i r e m e n t that  moral  o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the moral  No d o u b t some r e a d e r s w i l l placed  (and I t h i n k  is-too  I have gone t o o f a r i n a t t r i b u t i n g a c e n t r a l  i t i n my c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f o r d i n a r y  regard  strong status  moral discourse,  or  b e c a u s e i t seems a s i m p l e m a t t e r t o c o r r e c t t h e e r r o r by w h i c h strong  o b j e c t i v i t y h a s come t o be a p a r t  moral consciousness.  I t i s my e x p e r i e n c e  be b r o u g h t t o r e c o g n i z e cussing  i n their  strongly as  Let  the kind  even i f t h e y g i v e us assume i n t h i s  objective  revisionist  subscribed including  they r e a c t  up t h a t  have.  rather  feature.  section that  there  isa  significant  g e n e r a l l y , and  t h e work o f s u b j e c t i v i s t s  A l t h o u g h most s u b j e c t i v i s t s have n o t  t o what I have c a l l e d R. R o b i n s o n  dis-  t h i n g s m i g h t go on p r e t t y much  of construing  in spirit.  interpretations, difficult  and t h a t  e l e m e n t i n m o r a l l a n g u a g e and t h i n k i n g  c o n s i d e r -the p o s s i b i l i t y as  that  t h a t most p e o p l e c a n  o f o b j e c t i v i t y I have been  own m o r a l t h i n k i n g  to the suggestion  before  of our p r e r e f l e c t i v e  the e r r o r theory,  (1948) , M a c k i e  a few,  (1977), and Hume, on some  Revisionist theories  to assess than d e s c r i p t i v i s t  a r e much more  theories  s i n c e what  will  161 constitute  an  on  such  of  moral  be  individual  can  things  to  functions  can  should  a  b r i e f l y  be  expected  assumption hand,  justifying customs,  i t  laws  and  objectively  and  a  in  "morally  these  holds  to  f a l l  lends  an  violate  the  expectations  same a  time  "We  of  an  easier  to  The  liberty, the  wrong  peace, other  modes  of  hand,  a  or  greater  to  i n  to  of  speak,  the  and  behaviour  but  idea  a  notion to  I  examine  to  appeal an that  combined  w i l l  these  a  dual  some at  to  the  importance there with  social  individuals to  are the  one  powerful of  of  large.  accept  importance.  strongly  have another  social  objectivity  attempts  impersonal  easier  i s  extent  duties  i s  when  populace  to  justice the  and  force  by  lesser  avoid  has  that  government, some  and  importantly,  idea  I  therefore  p o s s i b i l i t y of  on  most  framework.  morals  more  well  underwritten and  obligations  a b i l i t y  and  be  depend purpose  may  features  suggested  important  impose  to  the  The  objective  The  back  so  the  Then  and,  authoritative  want  On and  r a i l s , "  of  subjectivist  the  legitimate"  the  (as  out  actions  "on  . . . "  a  there  adopted.  objectivity  society  ought  been  within  grounded  a b i l i t y  matters  be  and  w i l l  how  dimensions.  me  to  thinking  required, on,  some  are  founder  analysis  i s so  to  i n s t i t u t i o n s .  "real"  The  seem  have  ordinary  these  judgments  of  individual  and  suggest  which  to  to  change  along  to  which  tendencies  one  tool.  i s  moral  ways  a  conceived,  subjectivist  The  to  great  morality  some  the  i s  here  that  subversive  On  how  revision  differences  do  of  notion  which  as  thinking  hope  the  acceptable  i t s A  demand)  to  keep  members "You i s  at  gracefully objective social  the than  values  force.  "really" d i f f i c u l t y  right of  162  knowing  with  atmosphere, and  as  far  of  in are  at  the  of  least  attempt  moral  of  morality  as  the  and  solution groups  to  and  that  least ions  are  in a  able  or  any  and very  be  the  this with  assumption  are  which be  the  to  call  is a  empirical) that  community  wrong-making difficult  one  a  ought  determine  only  If  there  be  at  least  properties  of  actions,  find  to  held and  arguments  as  requirements results  to  the  i s no  to  various  make  by  virtually  convince not  on  i t will which  (at act-7  anyone else's  fact any  clearly  views  people  which  anyone of  correct  correct  which  standards  i n matters  able  power  their actions  of  with  controlled.  the  tends  then  widely  to  the  solutions  the  of  advertized  accept  for  dealt  or  that  be  people  be  view  will  for  to  others  or  to  influence  be  realm.  quasi-political  approximation  that  to  i s correct  there  can  the  atmosphere  minimized  justification  presumption one  the  be  objective,  for  and  supposed  objectivity to  an  as  moral  best  affect others). are  to  to  but  of  accountable  assessed  the  expected  determined  prefer.  There  person  can  affects  involved,  minds  individuals  position  actions. moral  to  best  the  resolution  questions  they  those  the  creates  appears  in  political  measure  expected  political  Finally,  If  issues  everyone  Contrast  large  be  the  conscientiously  solution.  feel  can  of  discussion  differences  forum.  in  wrong  rational, disinterested,  objectivity also  ideal circumstances  best  r i g h t and  i n which  resolving  public  the  is  dispassionate,  for  i n t e r e s t groups  Under  In  the  considering  and  is  possible  method  debates  j u s t what  anyway,  assumption  questions by  ideally as  appropriate The  certainty  the be  they  (whether reasonwrong. right-  generally can  expect  163  others  to accept  Thus t h e i d e a  f o r views which r u n c o n t r a r y that  there  to public  opinion.  must be a p u b l i c l y d e f e n s i b l e  justifi-  cation  f o r actions  public  a c c o u n t a b i l i t y which w i l l  to everyone.  i n the moral realm creates  Other persons w i l l  d e l i b e r a t i v e process. there  advisee's  problems, w i l l  stakes,  t o be a c o r r e c t  also  it.  show t h a t  have a r e a s o n t o s e t a s i d e  t h e o r i e s , t h e n , must n o t o n l y  l a n g u a g e and t h i n k i n g  per-  philosoph-  b u t t h e y must  i s consistent  p r e t t y much t h e way we know  that morality  ment o f o b j e c t i v i t y h a s seemed r e a l that  i n the  their  offer a  theory,  the acceptance of subjectivism  The p o s s i b i l i t y  Arguing  appear as a l l i e s  s o l u t i o n i n p r i n c i p l e to the  s a t i s f a c t o r y non-objectivist value  with moral  non-arbitrary  i f any.  Revisionist ically  ideally  and  A d v i c e c a n be s o u g h t and a d v i s o r s ,  supposing  sonal  seem n a t u r a l  an a t m o s p h e r e o f  cannot  survive  enough t o many  emotivism d i s c r e d i t s m o r a l i t y ,  t h e abandonphilosophers.  H.J. P a t o n s a y s  e v e n i f p e o p l e ' s a p p r o v a l s w o u l d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y change were some f o r m o f e m o t i v i s m t o be a d o p t e d : ... t h e s o - c a l l e d " m o r a l " a c t i o n s w o u l d have no v a l u e o t h e r t h a n t h a t o f s a t i s y i n g my c o n t i n g e n t d e s i r e s , and so ... t h e y w o u l d n o t be m o r a l a c t i o n s a t a l l (p. 1 2 1 ) . I c a n s e e l i t t l e hope f o r t h e s p r e a d o f " m o r a l " a c t i o n i n t h e w o r l d u n l e s s we a r e p r e p a r e d t o a c c e p t and t o a c t upon a l a w w h i c h we b e l i e v e h o l d s f o r a l l men a l i k e and b i d s u s t r e a t o t h e r s , n o t s i m p l y a s a means t o t h e s a t i s f a c t i o n o f o u r own c o n t e n g e n t d e s i r e s . , b u t a s ends i n t h e i r own right. To a c c e p t a n d t o a c t upon s u c h a law a s b i n d i n g upon a l l men i s t o a d o p t i n a c t i o n a p r i n c i p l e which i s o b j e c t i v e , not merely i n t h e sense t h a t i t t r e a t s m y s e l f and o t h e r s i m p a r t i a l l y , b u t i n t h e sense t h a t i t s p r i n g s from a r e a s o n which  s  that,  164  necessarily manifests i t s i m p a r t i a l i t y i n a c t i n g (as i n t h i n k i n g ) and i s d i s t i n c t f r o m any m e r e l y c o n t i n g e n t d e s i r e . ( P a t o n , 1948, "The E m o t i v e T h e o r y o f E t h i c s , " Symposium. Logical Positivism and Ethics, pp. 122-3) This  p a s s a g e i s i n t e r e s t i n g f o r what i t d o e s n o t  of course, i s not be  i s an  only  objectivist  f a l s e but  undermined  and  pernicious.  as  generally  generally  s u p p o s e t o be  objectivists. concerned people its  The  r e t a i n the  drift  there  are  in general.  circumstances, other  of  will  persons,  likely  to  be  not  only  also  tend  actions  thrive  we  anyone who  be  is  see  that  whatever  i n t e r n a l pressures M o r a l a g e n c y and  Suppose t h a t Then, i n t h e be  concerned  absence of  expected to  to  find  to  insist  t o them, b u t  out The  that  in itself  and  own  will  suppose  search,  that  really by  a  group  ascribe  is  we  moral  welfare be  objectivist  peculiar  call  Because v a l u e s  their  induce  objectivism  what i s  s o r t of values  some o t h e r s ) .  which  someone i s an  scheme t o w h i c h a l l c a n  i n p r e c i s e l y the  (as w e l l , p e r h a p s , as people w i l l  i s to  t h e n p e o p l e must  that  i n a g r e e m e n t w i t h him.  for a value  issue  non-necessary  outlook of o b j e c t i v i s m  such a p e r s o n can  persons s i m i l a r l y  of v a l u e  would  actually started  done must a t t e m p t t o  to o b j e c t i v i s m .  are mutually r e i n f o r c i n g . about v a l u e s  be  of  sort of  t o be  subjectivism  If morality  morally)  has  and  Paton,  credentials.  Interestingly a natural  required  that moral a c t i o n s  intellectual  emotions.  that  say.  of morality  emotivists  to perform the  conclusion  i n general  task  expressions  (merely c o n t i n g e n t ) d e s i r e s o r people are  i s arguing The  i f p e o p l e came t o be  to view t h e i r moral b e l i e f s  (if  he  quite  is  are  practical,  valuable,  l e d to adopt  a  165  theory is  according  t o which the w e l f a r e  p e r se i s what  valuable. Conversely,  and more t o t h e p r e s e n t  moral agents i n t h a t they erate  p o i n t , people  l a n g u a g e and w i l l  way o f t h i n k i n g i s n o t one t h e y  i n a world  n o t a l s o t h i n k and a c t s i m i l a r l y ,  persons  would  prepared  tend  t o use  i n which o t h e r s d i d  and t h e s h e e r  and b e h a v i o u r  their  c o n t i n g e n t l y adopted.  fact  of con-  p a t t e r n s o f such,a  s o o n e x t i n g u i s h any l i n g u i s t i c  w h i c h made p r a c t i c a l  delib-  come t o t h i n k t h a t  have s i m p l y  A moral agent c o u l d h a r d l y e x i s t  g r u e n c y among t h e v a l u e s  who a r e  have t y p i c a l l y m o r a l c o n c e r n s ,  f r o m t h e m o r a l p o i n t o f v i e w , and so on, w i l l  objective-sounding  of  o f persons  j u d g m e n t s seem c l e a r l y  to d e l i b e r a t e from the impersonal,  group  conventions  personal.  Being  moral p o i n t o f view,  a l r e a d y t a k e s o n e f a r enough t h a t t h e r e m a i n i n g  step t o the view  t h a t one i s d i s c o v e r i n g what o u g h t t o be done r a t h e r t h a n deciding puts  what t o do w i l l  the question  favour eration  seem q u i t e n a t u r a l .  "What do I want?" i n t o  of the question  "What s h a l l  involves addressing  this  Moral  merely  thinking  the background i n  I do?"  Because m o r a l  delib-  q u e s t i o n from a p o i n t o f view  w h i c h d e e m p h a s i z e s any p u r e l y p e r s o n a l d e s i r e s and p r e f e r e n c e s , the moral agent w i l l this is  standpoint  see h i m s e l f as simply  the o b j e c t i v i s t problem  t h e moral agent  sees  'among many and i s a l r e a d y c o n c e r n e d sufficiently  t h a t he w i l l  quite comfortable.  "What s h a l l  h i m s e l f as j u s t with  From  "What o u g h t t o be d o n e ? "  b a r e l y d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from t h e q u e s t i o n Finally,  a "someone."  one  the i n t e r e s t s  f i n d an o b j e c t i v e v a l u e  B e c a u s e he i s p r e p a r e d  I do?" person o f 'others  vocabulary  t o s u b t r a c t from h i s  166  view of h i m s e l f , i n h i s p r a c t i c a l t h i n k i n g , much of what duates him,  indivi-  he w i l l e a s i l y f i n d h i m s e l f supposing t h a t what i s  i m p o r t a n t t o him  i s a c t u a l l y important o b j e c t i v e l y .  In c o n c l u s i o n , t h e n , I suggest t h a t whatever the  ultimate  p h i l o s o p h i c a l v e r d i c t on the i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y and a c c e p t a b i l i t y o f o b j e c t i v i s m , the b u l k o f mankind i s bound t o a c c e p t , u n r e f l e c t i v e l y , the t h e s i s of o b j e c t i v i s m .  however  Not o n l y i s t h i s a  n a t u r a l c o u r s e i n the ways o u t l i n e d b u t , as Paton a r g u e s , m o r a l i t y cannot s u r v i v e a g e n e r a l , r e f l e c t i v e and  sustained  subjectivism. I n Chapter V I , I w i l l be d i s c u s s i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y individual  of  (versus g e n e r a l ) moral s u b j e c t i v i s m but I hope enough  has been s a i d t o show t h a t the p r o s p e c t o f t r e a t i n g s u b j e c t i v i s m as a r e v i s i o n i s t t h e o r y d i r e c t e d a t the g e n e r a l p u b l i c i s one not l i k e l y  t o succeed and t h a t p r o s p e c t o f f i n d i n g a s a t i s f a c t o r y ,  o b j e c t i v i s t metamoral t h e o r y existent.  i s s l i m , but not e n t i r e l y  non-  In the n e x t c h a p t e r I w i l l attempt t o e x p l a i n , i n  more depth than I have been a b l e t o manage so f a r , how ive  s u b j e c t i v i s t a m o r a l i s t might t h i n k  his  p r a c t i c a l vocabulary  a reflect-  ( p r a c t i c a l l y ) and  how  might d i f f e r from t h a t of a m o r a l agent.  167  V  REASONS AND  1  VALUES - A SUBJECTIVIST OUTLOOK  Facts, reasons, If  esting,  the d e f i n i t i o n  of  "moral"  subjectivist  amoralism i s to c o n s t i t u t e a r e a l ,  and  human p o s s i b i l i t y , t h e r e must be  the nature with  and  this  rational  of p r a c t i c a l outlook.  reasons  w h i c h i s t e n a b l e and  r e f l e c t i v e l y and  rationally.  involved  i n developing  acceptable  are very d i f f i c u l t justice. a theory  an  o n e s and  However, I w i l l i n an  compelling  a view  Obviously, theory  attempt  hold his  the  problems  of p r a c t i c a l  I c a n n o t hope h e r e  of  consistent  Otherwise the a m o r a l i s t c o u l d not  position  inter-  t o do  the  reason subject  to produce the o u t l i n e s o f  e f f o r t t o show t h a t t h e r e a r e no  o b j e c t i o n s to t a k i n g the  obvious  subjectivist  such  and  amoralist ser-  iously. Peter  Singer  (1973) has  r e c e n t l y suggested  o s o p h e r s have e x p e n d e d f a r t o o much e n e r g y on "the moral." matters, nected and  The  important  according  to Singer,  with reasons  practical he  metamoral  positions.  i s how  for acting.  insignificance  morality,  Neutralism  question, the  To  issue that  statements  really  of f a c t  show t h e u l t i m a t e  takes  t o be  i s the view t h a t a p r i n c i p l e  phil-  attempts to d e f i n e  of the debate over  d i s t i n g u i s h e s what he  t h a t moral  are  futility  the nature the  con-  two  i s a moral  of  extreme  principle  168  for  a p e r s o n i f i t h a s an o v e r r i d i n g  A moral p r i n c i p l e ,  Thus,  i s not universal  universalizable  a t t h e o t h e r extreme, certain  is  that  though  welfare.  i s t h e view t h a t  moral  c o n d i t i o n s o f f o r m and c o n t e n t .  i d e n t i f i e s moral p r i n c i p l e s  a s ones w h i c h a r e  a n d c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e w e l f a r e o f p e r s o n s , i s an  example o f a d e s c r i p t i v i s t The  i s a m o r a l one, even  and t a k e s no a c c o u n t o f o t h e r s *  p r i n c i p l e s must s a t i s f y A theory which  f o r him.  the personal egoist's p r i n c i p l e , "I  o u g h t t o p u r s u e my own s e l f - i n t e r e s t "  Descriptivism,  force  on t h i s v i e w , may have a n y f o r m and a n y  content whatsoever.  it  practical  theory.  advantage o f t h e n e u t r a l i s t  position  according  t o Singer  i t l e a v e s no t r o u b l e s o m e gap between someone's a c c e p t -  ance o f a m o r a l p r i n c i p l e  and h i s a c t i n g  i n accordance with  that  principle: The n e u t r a l i s t i s a b l e t o e x p l a i n why, i f a man a c t s on t h e b a s i s o f a c o h e r e n t s e t o f p r i n c i p l e s a t a l l , he w i l l a c t i n a c c o r d ance w i t h h i s m o r a l p r i n c i p l e s . I f a man recognizes that a certain action i s pres c r i b e d by h i s o v e r r i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s , he s u r e l y w i l l do t h a t a c t i o n , i f he c a n (p. 52) . T h e r e i s , however, a p r o b l e m w i t h t h e n e u t r a l i s t  view.  It is  t h a t many o f t h e s o r t s o f f a c t s w h i c h we n o r m a l l y t a k e t o be relevant  t o m o r a l p r o b l e m s c a n be r u l e d  someone whose o v e r r i d i n g egoist, view,  f o r example,  facts  o u t a s i r r e l e v a n t by  p r i n c i p l e s make no room f o r them.  The  c a n i g n o r e w i t h i m p u n i t y , on t h e n e u t r a l i s t  a b o u t t h e damaging e f f e c t s  o f h i s a c t i o n s on o t h e r s '  welfare. At ensuring  t h e o t h e r extreme,  descriptivism  the relevance of c e r t a i n  has t h e advantage o f  familiar  forms o f  arguments  169  and o f c e r t a i n  sorts of facts  with descriptivism  i s that  t o moral d i s c u s s i o n .  i tfails  b e t w e e n a man's m o r a l p r i n c i p l e s  The p r o b l e m  t o ensure a connection  and h i s a c t i o n s :  We a r e n o t , on t h e d e s c r i p t i v i s t v i e w , f r e e t o f o r m o u r own o p i n i o n a b o u t what i s and what i s n o t a m o r a l p r i n c i p l e ; b u t we a r e f r e e t o r e f u s e t o c o n c e r n o u r s e l v e s about moral p r i n c i p l e s . . . . So m o r a l i t y may b e come i r r e l e v a n t t o t h e p r a c t i c a l p r o b l e m o f what t o do (p. 5 3 ) . Descriptivism but  a l l o w s us t o argue from f a c t s  l e a v e s us f r e e  t o ignore those moral  ism ensures t h a t moral l e a v e s us f r e e  judgments  prescriptive positions  judgments,  are relevant  according  t o which moral  and u n i v e r s a l i z a b l e .  nor the middle p o s i t i o n  gap between f a c t s and a c t i o n .  judgments while  neutral-  to action but  t o adopt a n y t h i n g a t a l l as a moral  Singer c o n s i d e r s a "middle p o s i t i o n " descriptivism  t o moral  principle.  between n e u t r a l i s m and  judgments  But n e i t h e r  are necessarily  t h e extreme  can succeed i n b r i d g i n g the  He c o n c l u d e s t h a t :  ... t h e r e a r e l i m i t s t o what a n y a c c o u n t o f m o r a l i t y c a n d o . No d e f i n i t i o n o f m o r a l i t y c a n b r i d g e t h e gap.... I t follows t h a t t h e d i s p u t e s over the d e f i n i t i o n o f m o r a l i t y and o v e r t h e " i s - o u g h t " p r o b l e m a r e d i s p u t e s o v e r words w h i c h r a i s e no r e a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i s s u e s (p. 5 6 ) . It  i s worth  possibility ivism is  noting  o f combining  that  S i n g e r does  the elements o f n e u t r a l i s m  i n t h e way I h a v e .  I have s u g g e s t e d t h a t  one w h i c h b o t h h a s a c e r t a i n  riding.  O f c o u r s e , some w i l l  account that  n o t even c o n s i d e r t h e  a moral  judgment  f o r m and c o n t e n t and i s o v e r -  s e e i t a s a d i s a d v a n t a g e t o my  i t l e a v e s open t h e p o s s i b i l i t y  making n o r b e i n g committed  and d e s c r i p t -  t o making m o r a l  o f someone's n o t judgments,  but that i s  170  different  from  criptivism  the problem  allows that  judgment and  yet f a i l  Singer sees i n d e s c r i p t i v i s m .  someone m i g h t  s i n c e r e l y make a  My  account  in peculiar  c a s e s such as t h o s e i n which  insists  o f weakness o f w i l l ) .  between f a c t s and  involve  showing  ment and  that  t h o s e who  this  action either  assessment  invoke the n o t i o n  i f that  commits him  i s taken  judgments.  from the moral  t h e s i s and who  p o i n t o f v i e w may  is  be  narrow range  of possible  the debate  and  to which moral  response might  sufficiently  v e r b a l way  neutralist overriding  judgment w h i l e t h e  and  as, f o r  a crude form o f e m o t i v i s t  The  a t human w e l f a r e a s m o r a l .  expect the n e u t r a l i s t  and  of  Singer i s able  theory  emotional  emotivist  might  emotional descriptivist  to count o n l y c e r t a i n v e r y general emotional  responses d i r e c t e d one m i g h t  i n terms  Of c o u r s e , a n e u t r a l i s t  s t r o n g and  can generate a moral  prefer  f o r a very  judgments a r e e x p r e s s i o n s o f  responses to various s i t u a t i o n s . a l l o w t h a t any  descriptivists,  d i s a g r e e i n a merely  example, when b o t h o f them h o l d according  constrained  over the nature of m o r a l i t y  seem t r i v i a l .  might  committed  actions.  a d i s p u t e between n e u t r a l i s t s  a descriptivist  for  Someone, f o r  the f a c t s as p r o v i d i n g a j u s t i f i c a t i o n  t o make t h a t d e b a t e  in a  t h i s gap  to interpret  By p u t t i n g  to  to a c t i n g  a c c o u n t does b e g i n t o c l o s e  accepts the o b j e c t i v i t y  to d e l i b e r a t i n g  we  (except  account does not b r i d g e  a r e p r e p a r e d t o make m o r a l  example, who  i s not p o s s i b l e  t h e f a c t s commit a p e r s o n t o a m o r a l a s s e s s -  the moral B u t my  that  Of c o u r s e , my  t h e gap  c e r t a i n way.  moral  t o c o n c e r n h i m s e l f w i t h i t when i t comes  to a c t i n g .  that  Des-  In such  the d e s c r i p t i v i s t  cases to  use  171 p r e t t y much t h e same s o r t o f "arguments" ical  pract-  s i t u a t i o n , a l t h o u g h t h e terms i n which c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a r e  advanced might d i f f e r that  their But  somewhat.  approach t o p r a c t i c a l  there  neutralism the  i n any r e a l - l i f e  neutralist emotivist that  there  emotivism w i l l  problems w i l l  i s no g u a r a n t e e t h a t  and d e s c r i p t i v i s m w i l l  who b e l i e v e s  Their  be v e r y  the d i f f e r e n c e s  similar.  between  a l w a y s be so s l i g h t .  above w i t h a d e s c r i p t i v i s t are true  ensure  Contrast  objectivist  and o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d  moral  p r i n c i p l e s which a r e u n i v e r s a l i n form and which c o n c e r n t h e welfare  of a l l persons e q u a l l y .  real-life in very  i t i s clear that  in a  s i t u a t i o n t h e s e two p e r s o n s c a n be e x p e c t e d t o a r g u e  d i f f e r e n t ways.  emotivist  I think  Just  a s one example, t h e n e u t r a l i s t  may r e s o r t w i t h o u t any qualms t o p u r e r h e t o r i c and  exhortation  i n order  . the d e s c r i p t i v i s t  t o c o n v i n c e someone t o do s o m e t h i n g ,  while  o b j e c t i v i s t may make a p p e a l s t o t h e s e l f -  evidence o f the t r u t h of various  basic moral  No p u r e l y  verbal  agreements w i l l  bring  What S i n g e r  l a r g e l y ignores  i s the fact  requirements.  t h e s e two i n t o t h e same  camp. that  neutralism  and  d e s c r i p t i v i s m a r e p o s i t i o n s which a r e advanced, n o t o u t o f  the  blue,  nor even as p u r e l y  of moral judgments. largely Singer of  fact  that  d e s c r i p t i v e accounts of the nature  Rather they a r e p o s i t i o n s which a r e h e l d  as a r e s u l t o f t h e attempt t o g e t c l e a r on j u s t t h e i s s u e s e e s a s t h e i m p o r t a n t one - t h e r e l a t i o n and r e a s o n s f o r a c t i n g .  between  Neutralists typically  t h e g a p between f a c t s and a c t i o n must be c l o s e d  individual's  own c h o i c e  of practical  statements suppose  by each  principles. Descriptivists  172  typically certain  a r e i m p r e s s e d by arguments  forms o f p r i n c i p l e s  w h i c h p u r p o r t t o show t h a t  and c e r t a i n  s o r t s o f facts have a  s p e c i a l c l a i m on t h e a c t i o n s o f r a t i o n a l I  can see l i t t l e  human a g e n t s .  reason t o t h i n k t h a t attempts t o under-  s t a n d t h e n a t u r e o f m o r a l i t y must g e n e r a t e mere v e r b a l nor  t h a t p h i l o s o p h e r s have i n f a c t  been  distracted  from important  i s s u e s by t h e i r  concern t o understand moral discourse.  ists  prefer  don't  rather about  just  they p r e f e r  t o use t h e term  disputes,  Neutral-  " m o r a l " t h e way t h e y do;  t o u s e i t t h a t way b e c a u s e  the nature of reasons f o r a c t i n g .  o f some d e e p e r  views  The same i s t r u e o f  descriptivists. M o r a l d i s c o u r s e p r o v i d e s i m p o r t a n t c l u e s a b o u t t h e way people t h i n k about reasons. ical  The a t t e m p t t o p r o v i d e a p h i l o s o p h -  a n a l y s i s o f moral discourse  t h o s e ways o f t h i n k i n g them.  i n v o l v e s t h e attempt t o e v a l u a t e  as w e l l as the attempt t o understand  The t e r m i n o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s between n e u t r a l i s t s and  descriptivists  s h o u l d be u n d e r s t o o d a s s y m p t o m a t i c  o f much  deeper  differences. As does  I have n o t e d , my c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e m o r a l  n o t l i e a t o r between t h e e x t r e m e s  According language  t o my a n a l y s i s ,  the amoralist's  identifies.  failure  t o use moral  s i g n a l s much more t h a n a v e r b a l d i f f e r e n c e .  agent's language r e a s o n i n g which that  Singer  agent  The m o r a l  embodies a v i e w o f t h e n a t u r e o f p r a c t i c a l the amoralist  rejects.  I suggest, c o n t r a  Singer,  t h e a t t e m p t t o g i v e an a n a l y s i s o f m o r a l l a n g u a g e and p r i n -  ciples  i s capable  of highlighting  rather  q u e s t i o n s he s e e s a s t h e i m p o r t a n t o n e s .  than obscuring the  173  In the r e s t o f t h i s c h a p t e r I s h a l l an a c c o u n t o f how practical  a reflective  r e a s o n s i n h i s own  to see, i n o u t l i n e ,  how  g o i n g on when he a c t s do,  and  offers  I have s a i d  t h e s e m a t t e r s and is  right,  But  a m o r a l i s t might  case.  T h a t i s , I am  f o r reasons, deliberates  a b o u t how  justifications  that  there  available,  I t may  questions.  be t h a t  none o f w h i c h  i s that  I am  outline  claim  views  be b e t t e r  embarrassed  correct  argued  i f our  answer t o s u c h  the amoral agent  But e a c h may  on  are  their  recognize i n  c a n no more be p r o v e n  correct  T h i s chapter, then, attempts to  one v i e w an a m o r a l i s t m i g h t thinking.  leaves  to the  t h i s puts l i m i t a t i o n s  to the views of the other.  t h a n c a n h i s own.  practical  in principle,  i s no c l e a r l y  the o t h e r a c o h e r e n t p o s i t i o n which or f a l s e  this  there are simply various  can, even  o f c o u r s e , and  i n favour  acceptable or true account of  The o u t l o o k o f t h e m o r a l and  inconsistent,  him,  not committing myself,  I see no r e a s o n t o f e e l there  and  a m o r a l i s t commit h i m s e l f ,  i s u l t i m a t e l y o n l y one  than another.  conclusion  views  somewhere.  s u g g e s t e d t h a t no c o n c l u s i v e arguments  the r e f l e c t i v e  tolerance  of h i s a c t i o n s .  i f t h e m o r a l a g e n t , as I have d e s c r i b e d  t o examine a l t e r n a t i v e s .  the matter.  for  a b o u t what t o  a r e f l e c t i v e moral agent  o f t h e m o r a l a g e n t ' s o u t l o o k have b e e n o f f e r e d  n o r need  about  interested  t h e n t h e amoral agent i s making a m i s t a k e  I have a l s o  us f r e e  think  an a m o r a l i s t m i g h t u n d e r s t a n d what's  e x p l a n a t i o n s and  something  be a t t e m p t i n g t o g i v e  take of the nature of  174  2  Reasons and e x p l a n a t i o n The n o t i o n o f a p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n has two f a c e s - one t u r n e d  toward e x p l a n a t i o n and t h e o t h e r toward j u s t i f i c a t i o n .  Consider  f i r s t t h e r o l e t h a t the a p p e a l t o r e a s o n s p l a y s i n e x p l a i n i n g a person's a c t i o n s .  I n o r d e r t o e x p l a i n some person's d o i n g  something by p o i n t i n g t o h i s reasons i t i s n e c e s s a r y t h a t the r e a s o n s adduced s h o u l d be t h a t person's r e a s o n s i n a f a i r l y s t r o n g sense.  W h i l e we sometimes say t h a t someone has a r e a s o n  to do a p a r t i c u l a r t h i n g whether o r not he knows i t ( i . e . or  whether  not he i s aware o f t h e f a c t s i n which t h e re ason - r e s i d e s ) no ;  r e a s o n of t h i s s o r t can e x p l a i n h i s a c t i o n .  One t h i n g we  can  r e q u i r e i s t h a t f o r something t o count as a r e a s o n which e x p l a i n s a c e r t a i n a c t , i t must be something which p l a y e d some r o l e i n b r i n g i n g t h e a c t i o n about.  That does n o t mean t h a t r e a s o n s  must f u n c t i o n s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g as c a u s e s , nor t h a t a person must be aware o f what h i s r e a s o n s were i n o r d e r f o r h i s a c t i o n s t o be e x p l a i n a b l e i n terms o f h i s r e a s o n s .  I t does mean, however,  t h a t t h e r e must be a t r u e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f the a c t i o n which makes r e f e r e n c e s t o what a r e adduced as the person's r e a s o n s f o r a c t i n g as he d i d . In o r d e r t o make any p r o g r e s s w i t h the q u e s t i o n o f r e a s o n e x p l a n a t i o n s work i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o say something what i t i s f o r someone t o do something f o r a r e a s o n .  how about  Unfortun-  a t e l y t h i s i s one of the most d i f f i c u l t a r e a s of e t h i c s , i n my v i e w , and I cannot hope t o do more here t h a n t o g e s t u r e toward a theory.  To b e g i n t o a p p r e c i a t e the problem one need o n l y  r e f l e c t on the v a r i o u s s o r t s o f ways o f c o m p l e t i n g the sentence  175  "His  reason  f o r d o i n g t h a t was ...."  Following identify is,  Thomas N a g e l  (see Chapter  III, section  5 ) , l e t us  reasons w i t h p r e d i c a t e s which apply t o a c t i o n s .  l e t us assume t h a t ,  g i v e n an a c t i o n A w h i c h a p e r s o n P h a s  done f o r c e r t a i n r e a s o n s , predicates  i t i s possible  which P b e l i v e d  adduced as t h e r e a s o n s  That  applied  P d i d A.  i n principle  to locate  t o A, and w h i c h c a n be  As we have s e e n  the a m o r a l i s t  r e c o g n i z e s o n l y reasons which c a r r y a r e f e r e n c e t o t h e agent concerned  (subjective reasons,  i n Nagel's  this,  he g r o u n d s a l l r e a s o n a t t r i b u t i o n s  about  the agent  acceptance  t e r m s ) , b u t more i n particular  ( f o r example, h i s a c t u a l c o n c e r n s  of objective  i s , roughly, to count  considerations ized  he h a s r e a s o n s only  o f cases  the simpler case of p o s i t i v e  terms,  i s that  and t h e amoral  the former w i l l  r e a s o n s w i t h o b j e c t i v e ones  o f R^ t o A a s  T h i s i d e a c o u l d be g e n e r a l -  i n w h i c h someone d o e s A  f o r n o t d o i n g not-A,  between t h e m o r a l  o r even h i s  g i v e n by t h e p r e d i -  the a p p l i c a b i l i t y  i n f a v o u r o f d o i n g A.  to take account  reasons. agent,  The m a i n  again using  be p r e p a r e d  (i.e.,  difference Nagel's  t o back h i s s u b j e c t i v e  w i t h ones w h i c h make no  to the agent).  The m o r a l  amoralist  i s not prepared  t o do t h e same, b u t he w i l l  s i n c e he t h i n k s t h a t ,  at least  u l t i m a t e l y . a c c e p t a b l e reasons In  because  b u t we c a n s a f e l y c o n s i d e r  reference  this  facts  values).  To do some a c t i o n A, t h e n , f o r r e a s o n s cates  than  a g e n t may r e a l i z e  that the n o t condone  i n some c a s e s , t h e o n l y  are objective  ones.  g e n e r a l , o f c o u r s e , t h e r e a r e many r e a s o n s w h i c h t o g e t h e r  e x p l a i n a person's  action.  H e r e , a s when we o f f e r c a u s a l  176  explanations salient we  suppose our  of  the the  the  of  the  tend to  situation.  reason(s) w i l l  ignore  Which o f  depend on  i n t e r l o c u t o r t o know a l r e a d y  p u r p o s e f o r w h i c h we  are  a l l but  do  were on  we  go  a person's  such t h i n g s about the  attempting  about t r y i n g to  a p a r t i c u l a r occasion  mation consider t o A was  one  likely  the  claim  of  say  action?  that:  A had  he  not  i f he  believed  that  i t .  there  are  someone w o u l d have b e e n l e s s l i k e l y  that  not-R a p p l i e d counting  to A but  >r R as  R applied  may  a new  where t h i s  a consideration  i n a way  s i t u a t i o n i n which other  present  and  sufficient  imagine such a case  function  as  probabalistic t o A and  the  A.  analysis  P's  that  R  applied  but  t o A.  there  A had  are  he  true believed  show t h a t o f A.  This  The  P belief  i n p r o d u c i n g A by,  for  being  d i f f e r e n t r e a s o n s were  a c t i o n A.  original  It i s possible  R would  normally  S o m e t h i n g more t h a n a mere believeing that  d o i n g A,  is  i s incomplete  of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g actions  happenings or  quite  between P's  l i k e l i h o o d of  approxi-  which r e s u l t e d i n h i s  i n which the  connection  Secondly, the  does not  i n favour  to produce the  a r e a s o n against  reasons  R applied  t o do  have b e e n i n s t r u m e n t a l  e x a m p l e , d i s t r a c t i n g him  way  explanation  cases i n which i t i s  that  no  we  would have been  First,  to  what  an  a first  a person's b e l i e f  of h i s reasons f o r doing A t o do  As  problems w i t h  in  reasons  as  what a p e r s o n ' s  t o what i s n e e d e d , I t h i n k ,  that  most  circumstances  to give  comes f a i r l y c l o s e  was  the  action.  How  less  some e v e n t , we  features  o f f e r as  and  of  R  applies  required. i n that  it  provides  done f o r r e a s o n s f r o m  other  "mere d o i n g s " 'which a r e made more p r o b a b l e  because  177  of the  holding  In o t h e r  of a b e l i e f  words, we  about the  must a l r e a d y  a case of a c t i n g - f o r - a - r e a s o n as  the  I am  notion  not  of  o r we  fits  the  what i t was  t o do  i t .  If a situation  consciously  identified  about the  t h e n he may himself,  be  but  Someone may  likely able  this act  the  l e d to m i s i d e n t i f y to  produce of  favour  l i n e s o f what I have  as  he  i s one the  as  regards  a reason.  s o r t of  task of a  a c t i o n which disposed  question  an  trying  matter  i n w h i c h t h e p e r s o n has  important  to provide  The  the  did is essentially  o f what t o do  f a c t s about the  consequences of v a r i o u s  i s by  way  a c c o u n t o f what i t i s t o  about the  sciously raised for himself  and  the  i s an  t h i n g w h i c h a p e r s o n might c o u n t as  of determining  with  f u r t h e r development  f o r reasons which i s h i g h l y g e n e r a l  someone a c t e d  dealing  amoralist's position.  i n part,  t o e x p l a i n why  behaviour.  a consideration in  something along  after,  be  some  are  i n some o t h e r  s o m e t h i n g as  well with  What I am act  but  may  t o a t t e m p t any  "counting  of a c t i n g " here, suggested  going  of  know t h a t we  reasons t h i n g s which operate  action.  nature  of h i s  no means g u a r a n t e e d o r  f o r r e a s o n s o f w h i c h he  con-  and  i s not  has  situation  a c t s open t o  explanation  him  him,  actions  necessary. consciously  aware. C o r r e l a t i v e with values.  I n s o f a r as  systematically counting t i o n of are  t h i s view of reasoning  a person's reasoning  the  person's value  important  t o him.  To  can  account  counting formulate  or  of  not  a descrip-  scheme - a d e s c r i p t i o n o f what some e x t e n t  of  displays a pattern  t r e a t i n g c e r t a i n f a c t o r s as  f o r a c t i n g c e r t a i n ways, one  i s an  s u c h a p a t t e r n must  things exist  178  for  a c t i o n t o be  recognition  explainable  3  any  that  i t i s possible  p a r t i c u l a r occasion  R e a s o n s and As  i t i s only  of, or presumption of, a pattern  person's a c t i o n s what on  at a l l since  to  say  through  which pervades w i t h any  a person's reasons  are.  justification  I argued  i n the  or o b j e c t i v e l y .  least  first  That  chapter,  being  a moral agent  i s , the moral agent  some s o r t s o f r e a s o n s  a s s e s s e d on regardless  some g r o u n d s w h i c h have a v a l i d i t y o f what v a l u e s  good o r  invalid,  i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f who  acceptable  i s what makes t h e  p o w e r f u l one. pinnings G.E. special of  bad,  of  Moore  notion  various of  non-natural property  t h o s e w h i c h do  value. into The in  According  o f g o o d n e s s and  have t h i s p r o p e r t y  not  are  the  first  justify  place  and  valuable  either neutral  t o Moore, we  j u s t which s t a t e s of attempt to  the  this  or  a  reason.  such a under-  justification.  s t a t e s o f a f f a i r s w h i c h have i t a r e and  arguing  (1903) f o r example, t h o u g h t t h a t  states of a f f a i r s  be  R e a s o n s on  justification  ways o f  at  everyone  a c t u a l l y c o u n t s what as of  extern-  can  unacceptable, v a l i d  moral notion  There are  this  or  sort) for  t h e y a c t u a l l y have.  involves  supposes t h a t  (the most i m p o r t a n t  view are  This  a  confidence  a d o p t i n g a v i e w o f r e a s o n s w h i c h makes them c r i t i c i z a b l e ally  a  can  affairs  actions  b o t h r e s t on  and the  t o promote t h o s e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s  that  and  the  do  (ought t o  sorts  not.  Those  exist)  or possessed of d i s intuitive  w h i c h do  point  idea  is a  certain  others  somehow g a i n do  there  not  insight  have  value.  of d e l i b e r a t i n g  t h a t a n y o n e has  which c o n t a i n  t h e most  reason goodness.  179  Moore's a p p r o a c h it  i s an e x t r e m e  one b u t i t i s i n s t r u c t i v e  shows how p o w e r f u l i s t h e d r i v e  to find  a t h e o r y which can  make s e n s e o f t h e c o n c e p t o f j u s t i f i c a t i o n o r d i n a r y moral  w h i c h we f i n d i n  discourse.  The m i n i m a l a c c o u n t o f r e a s o n i n g o u t l i n e d "internal"  grounds  fora critical  Insofar  a s an a c t i o n  so  i t c a n be v i e w e d  that  i n that  assessment  forms a p a r t  above s u g g e s t s some  of a person's reasons.  of a coherent pattern  as d i r e c t e d  toward  of action  the achievement o f  some v a l u e d e n d , i t c a n be a p p r a i s e d a s e f f i c i e n t  or inefficient.  If  o t h e r b e h a v i o u r o f t h e same p e r s o n w a r r a n t s t h e a t t r i b u t i o n  of  some v a l u e ( s )  criticized value.  A c t i o n s c a n b e u n d e r t a k e n on l e s s  so o n .  the importance o f the goal In each case the e v a l u a t i o n  attributable  the  i n which  i s to offer  i n that  sense.  To  i n any o f t h e s e  the actual values o f  an " i n t e r n a l  which  goes beyond  this  justification" of  internal  The m o r a l a g e n t o n t h e o t h e r hand o f what we c a n c a l l  justification to  i s p r e m i s e d on t h e v a l u e s  An a m o r a l a g e n t h a s no u s e f o r any c o n c e p t o f  justification  possibility  infor-  a r e used t o ensure t h e r e l e v a n c e o f t h e c r i t i -  cism t o the agent, action.  that  i t i s intended to serve,  i s not d e f i c i e n t  dimensions o f c r i t i c i s m  individual  that  than adequate  t o t h e p e r s o n and i s i n t e r n a l  a t t e m p t t o show t h a t an a c t i o n internal  a c t i o n c a n be  as c o n f o r m i n g t o , as p r o m o t i n g , o r as d e f e a t i n g  mation given and  t o that person then a p a r t i c u l a r  involves  trying  critique.  i s committed  "external  to the  justification."  t o show t h a t an a c t i o n  some s t a n d a r d o f a c c e p t a b i l i t y w h i c h h a s ( o r o u g h t  p a i n o f ... (what?)) w e i g h t  f o r anyone,  External  conforms t o have on  r e g a r d l e s s o f what happens  180  t o a c t u a l l y m a t t e r t o him. very  notion  external attempt the  I t i s sometimes c l a i m e d  of deliberation brings  justification.  with  that the  i t the concept o f  In Chapter I I I , I d i s c u s s e d  t o make good on j u s t s u c h a c l a i m .  C.I. Lewis'  The b a s i c  idea  i s that  p e r f o r m a n c e o f an a c t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y a d e l i b e r a t e l y u n d e r -  taken a c t i o n ,  involves  one i n s u p p o s i n g t h a t  which has reason behind t o be s a i d f o r i t .  i t , or a t least that  Acting  i t i s an a c t i o n there  i s something  d e l i b e r a t e l y , t h e argument g o e s , one  must a c t i n a way w h i c h one h o l d s t o be a c c e p t a b l e , oneself  b u t f o r anyone.  not only f o r  As S a r t r e p u t s i t , f o r r e a s o n s I do n o t  understand: Now, I'm n o t b e i n g s i n g l e d o u t a s an Abraham, and y e t a t e v e r y moment I'm o b l i g e d t o perform exemplary a c t s . F o r e v e r y man, e v e r y t h i n g happens a s i f a l l m a n k i n d had i t s e y e s f i x e d on him and were g u i d i n g i t s e l f by what he d o e s . ( S a r t r e , 1947, E x i s t e n t i a l i s m , p. 24) There a r e three plausible  d i r e c t i o n s w h i c h seem t o be t h e most  from which t o attempt t o e s t a b l i s h t h e supposed  connection  between e x t e r n a l  The  represented  of  first,  by L e w i s , h o l d s  and d e l i b e r a t i o n .  that unless  the point  d e l i b e r a t i o n i s t o get the r i g h t , true, o b j e c t i v e l y correct  answer t o t h e q u e s t i o n has  justification  no p o i n t .  question shall  "What o u g h t  I argued b r i e f l y  i n Chapter I I I that the p r a c t i c a l  which d e l i b e r a t i o n i s t o s o l v e  I d o ? " and t h a t  there  c a n be e x p r e s s e d  may w e l l be a p o i n t  w h i c h c a n be e x p l i c a t e d e n t i r e l y values,  I t o do?", then d e l i b e r a t i o n  is  t o have any p o i n t  at a l l ,  it  d o e s n o t need a n e x t e r n a l o n e .  to deliberation  i n terms o f t h e aims,  and so o n o f t h e d e l i b e r a t i n g a g e n t . require  a s , "What  desires,  A c t i o n may,  i f i t  an i n t e r n a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n , b u t  181  The locate  second  and  argument c a n be p u t t h u s :  t o g i v e due  weight  to reasons  v a r i o u s a c t i o n s open t o one. is  t o adopt  action.  son  some s e t o f r e a s o n s  But  the t h i n g  this  i s just  i s a reason  apply to  f o r any  anyone  circumstances. justification  p e r s o n who  vant  sufficiently  relevantly  in just  has  the agent  (1970, p.  t h i s way.  supportive of that f o r doing  f o r one  per-  Reasons  65)  The  to  in relevantly  similar  links deliberation  answer t o t h i s  the view of reasons  and  argument  I have been  t r u e t h a t anyone r e l e v a n t l y  like  a  a r e a s o n t o 0 a l s o w o u l d have a r e a s o n t o 0 i n  i s t h a t one  is trivial  rele-  same f a c t s  as f a v o u r i n g  s i n c e t h a t i s j u s t what h a v i n g  the reason  amounts t o .  of a c t i o n .  count  i f p a r t of the  the  most t h e argument c a n  show i s a p o i n t a b o u t The  p o i n t about  is  t h a t t h e y h o l d f o r anyone i n t h e  is  externally  (perhaps such  deliberation  so t h e argument g o e s .  like  circumstances, but t h i s  justification  is  of  b e c a u s e t h e y a r e f o r m u l a b l e so as  T. N a g e l  similarity  0-ing, The  person,  I t i s of course  similar  a c t as t h e r e s u l t as  i s to  a g a i n s t the  to accept a j u s t i f i c a t i o n  q u i t e s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d on  taking.  f o r and  i n q u e s t i o n s i n c e whatever i s a reason  are impersonally v a l i d  is  To  to deliberate  justified  i t s intrinsic  externally potential  practical  t o do v i s - a - v i s  external justifications t h a t an a c t i o n  which  i t s consequences)  which  r e a s o n t o promote i t o r a t l e a s t n o t  i t s occurrence.  justified,  internal  i s so i n v i r t u e o f some f e a t u r e o f i t nature or perhaps  t h a t anyone has  i n t e r f e r e with  sense  the  then,  To  admit  t h a t an a c t i o n i s  i s t o make a judgment w h i c h  consequences f o r the  t h e a c t i o n o f someone  to  speaker  else.  has  i n t e r m s o f what  182  The is  third  s o r t o f argument h o l d s t h a t  t o make o f o n e s e l f  act,  an example o f what man o u g h t t o b e .  Every  on t h i s v i e w embodies a n o r m a t i v e p r i n c i p l e o f u n i v e r s a l We have e n c o u n t e r e d one s t a t e m e n t o>£< t h e v i e w  applicability. by  to act deliberately  Sartre  and he s t a t e s  i t again  like  this:  I n f a c t , i n c r e a t i n g t h e man t h a t we want t o b e , t h e r e i s n o t a s i n g l e one o f o u r a c t s w h i c h d o e s n o t a t t h e same t i m e c r e a t e an image o f man as we t h i n k he o u g h t t o b e . To c h o o s e t o be t h i s o r t h a t i s t o a f f i r m a t t h e same t i m e t h e v a l u e o f what we c h o o s e . . . . We a l w a y s c h o o s e t h e good; and n o t h i n g c a n be good f o r us w i t h o u t b e i n g good f o r a l l . (Sartre, It  i s true  that  t o c h o o s e t o be t h i s  to a f f i r m the value that  the value  person type" the  1947, p. 20)  of being  one a f f i r m s  to o n e s e l f .  that  that  i s the value  When I t a k e a s my  I value  need t o be a f f i r m i n g t o be s t r o n g ively  my b e i n g (indeed  and s i l e n t  or absolutely  that  s o r t of person i s  s o r t o f p e r s o n , b u t i t may be  and c o n d u c t m y s e l f a c c o r d i n g l y  fact  or that  that  of being that  ideal  sort of  the "strong  I need o n l y  be a f f i r m i n g  sort of person.  I do n o t  I may deny) t h a t e v e r y o n e  nor that  silent  i t i s good o r v a l u a b l e  I o r anyone e l s e have t h a t  ought object-  sort of  character. I am n o t d e n y i n g  t h a t one can t a k e t h e a p p r o a c h  by  the amoralist  in  t h e way most p e o p l e a r e i n c l i n e d  (although  and t h i n k  I am n o t c o n v i n c e d  t o be s a i d i n f a v o u r myself  to i s the idea  identified  a b o u t d e l i b e r a t i o n and  there  of thinking that  as " e x t e r n a l  to.  rejected  justification  Of c o u r s e one c a n  i s anything  t h i s way).  very  compelling  What I am  one need n o t u s e t h e c o n c e p t  justification"  and t h a t  committing I have  i n giving i t  183  up one i s c e r t a i n l y n o t p l a c i n g o n e s e l f i n t h e r e a l m o f t h e unintelligible. Let  me summarize t h e account so f a r g i v e n o f t h e n a t u r e o f  d e l i b e r a t i o n and add some remarks which may be h e l p f u l .  Delib-  e r a t i o n has as i t s p o i n t t h e performance o f i n t e r n a l l y  justified  a c t i o n s , i . e . , ones which i n c o r p o r a t e a l l t h e a v a i l a b l e  infor-  m a t i o n , which a r e g u i d e d by a c o h e r e n t and c o n s i s t e n t v a l u e scheme ( i f t h e agent has and i s concerned t o have o n e ) , which embody a "decent" e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l t h e o r y , and so on.  I n s o f a r as  d e l i b e r a t i o n i s u n d e r t a k e n i n a s i t u a t i o n i n which one's a c t i o n w i l l , o r can be e x p e c t e d t o , a f f e c t one's r e a l i z a t i o n o f a l i f e i n which one's v a l u e s a r e m a x i m a l l y a c h i e v e d , t h e c r i t e r i a f o r the  assessment o f t h e q u a l i t y o f d e l i b e r a t i o n a r e o b v i o u s  enough.  Every d e l i b e r a t e a c t i m p l i c i t l y c l a i m s t o s a t i s f y the  r e q u i r e m e n t s o f i n t e r n a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n , and so i s a t t h e same time a statement o f t h e agent's v a l u e s .  I have s a i d t h a t v a l u e s  can be i n f e r r e d from how an agent a c t s . i f we can r e c o n s t r u c t his  r e a s o n i n g from our knowledge  eses about h i s v a l u e s .  o f h i s b e l i e f s and our hypoth-  I n one way, t h e n , v a l u e s emerge from  d e l i b e r a t i o n ; y e t i n a n o t h e r , d e l i b e r a t i o n makes sense o n l y i f a p e r s o n has v a l u e s a l r e a d y . paradox i n t h i s .  I do n o t t h i n k t h e r e i s any r e a l  We d e l i b e r a t e because something i s a t s t a k e  but i n t h e p r o c e s s o f w e i g h t i n g t h e f a c t s we sometimes a l s o come to  a p p r e c i a t e them i n a d i f f e r e n t way than we have i n t h e p a s t .  E x p e r i e n c e t e a c h e s us t o make more and more s u b t l e d i s t i n c t i o n s , and t h i s produces a s h i f t i n v a l u e s .  We d i s c o v e r t h a t p a s t g o a l s ,  once a c h i e v e d , have y i e l d e d more p a i n than we e x p e c t e d o r o f f e r e d  184  less challenge  or-failed  had  That  of  expected. things  cerns are  I t also  searching ities  Practical  agent are  a l l other  ways b u t t h a t  acquiring beliefs  con-  i s not a l l i t  and m o d i f y i n g  them,  may  and much more.  various  Nonetheless,  with  the c e n t r a l  i s the weighting of the f a c t s i n favour  actions.  d e b a t e and v o c a b u l a r y seem f r o m what I have s a i d so f a r t h a t  i s restricted  grounded  prior-  p r e d i c t i n g consequences, experimenting  the amoral  t o r e c e i v i n g and o f f e r i n g j u d g m e n t s w h i c h  i n h i s or other  least  i f he i s t o d e a l  quite  true.  the  and t h a t  number  of f a c t o r s i n the s i t u a t i o n  acting i n various  of a l l of this  of or against  It  are a small  out p o s s i b l e courses of a c t i o n , reconsidering  "ways o f b e i n g , "  4  i s a counting  involves  and v a l u e s ,  activity  values  there  as we  instrumental.  f o r or against  is.  i s n o t t o say t h a t  which are our " r e a l "  Deliberation as  t o s u s t a i n o u r i n t e r e s t as w e l l  persons' e x i s t i n g concerns, a t  with others  sincerely.  He c a n a l s o engage i n d i s c u s s i o n s  But t h a t  i s not  i n which i t i s  avowed p u r p o s e o f one o r more o f t h e p a r t i e s t o i n d u c e a  change i n t h e p r a c t i c a l  basis  amoralist  t o g e t someone e l s e t o come t o v a l u e  i s attempting  o f some o f t h e o t h e r s .  s o m e t h i n g he d o e s n o t now v a l u e , now v a l u e s , person or  he w i l l ,  or. t o d i s v a l u e  When t h e  s o m e t h i n g he  o f c o u r s e , do so n o t b e c a u s e he t h i n k s  that  i s ( o b j e c t i v e l y ) m i s t a k e n b u t b e c a u s e , f o r one r e a s o n  a n o t h e r , he f i n d s i t i m p o r t a n t  have s a i d b e f o r e ,  there  t o e f f e c t t h e change.  As I  i s no r e a s o n t o s u p p o s e t h a t t h e r e i s  185  n e c e s s a r i l y something s e l f i s h or untoward i n t h i s c o n c e r n . may,  f o r example, attempt t o i n s t i l l c e r t a i n v a l u e s  He  in his child-  r e n out o f c o n c e r n f o r t h e i r f u t u r e w e l l - b e i n g and a b e l i e f t h a t o n l y people who  are concerned about c e r t a i n t h i n g s l i v e a  l i f e of t h e s o r t he i s concerned t o have h i s c h i l d r e n l i v e . There are many ways of e f f e c t i n g changes i n someone's valuations.  One  can b e t t e r a c q u a i n t  someone w i t h "the f a c t s "  i n the hope t h a t h i s v a l u e s w i l l a l t e r once c e r t a i n e r r o r s s u s p e c t s he has made have been c o r r e c t e d .  One  one  can a l s o p o i n t  out t h a t t h e r e a r e l o g i c a l o r p r a c t i c a l i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s among his  v a l u e s on the s u p p o s i t i o n t h a t an attempt t o remove the  i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s w i l l produce the d e s i r e d a l t e r a t i o n i n h i s v a l u e s . Another way way  i s t o attempt t o p r e s e n t an i d e a l t o him  as t o " c a p t u r e h i s i m a g i n a t i o n , "  i n such a  perhaps by g e t t i n g  him  t o admire or i d e n t i f y w i t h some f i c t i o n a l or r e a l person h o l d s o r e x e m p l i f i e s the v a l u e one  i s t r y i n g t o advocate.  Other methods i n c l u d e v a r i o u s forms of b r a i n w a s h i n g and as w e l l as more s u b t l e k i n d s of p s y c h o l o g i c a l Some of t h e s e and  a multitude  who  therapy,  manipulation.  of o t h e r s are " r a t i o n a l " i n the  sense t h a t t h e y do or can t a k e the form of a reasoned argument, t a k i n g as premises f a c t s about a person's p r e - e x i s t i n g v a l u e s and b e l i e f s ; o t h e r s are n o n - r a t i o n a l , r e l y i n g on the knowledge of p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s of t r e a t i n g people i n c e r t a i n ways.  The  d i s t i n c t i o n between r a t i o n a l and n o n - r a t i o n a l approaches i s n o t , however, v e r y c l e a r and n e i t h e r i s i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e . Because much of our o r d i n a r y p r a c t i c a l language i s o b j e c t ive  i n form ( i . e . , t h e r e i s no g r a m m a t i c a l d i f f e r e n c e f o r the most  186  p a r t which can  serve to d i s t i n g u i s h  judgments o f " v a l u e " )  and  judgments o f  since moral  so on,  attempts  t o use  others.  The  t o argue  t h e r e a r e p r o b l e m s f o r an a m o r a l ordinary practical  problem  language  i s essentially  i m p l i c a t i o n s w h i c h c a n n o r m a l l y be  one  t o do,  and  so on.  accept-  in certain agent  who  i n conversing with  o f a v o i d i n g some o f  drawn f r o m  what p e o p l e have r e a s o n t o do, what t h e y o u g h t are obliged  from  j u d g m e n t s i m p l y an  ance o f o b j e c t i v e r e a s o n s , a w i l l i n g n e s s ways, and  "fact"  statements t o do,  about  what  According to the account  a r e a s o n t o do  e x p r e s s any  support f o r t h a t person's  indicate  an a c c e p t a n c e  Earlier of  "ought,"  ethical of  Hitler War;  but  i n which,  is  by t h e a m o r a l i s t .  That  early  say  i n the Second  then reasons  from  T h i s i s roughly the  i t i s the hallmark of a d v i c e t h a t  content with,  offered  World hypbthetthat of  the  from the v i e w p o i n t of the a d v i s e e  s i n c e r e l y without  i f not h i s being a c t i v e l y  use  u n l e s s some  w i t h t h e v a l u e s he a c t u a l l y e m b r a c e s .  i s seldom  non-  that  "ought"  i s g i v e n t o t h e c o n t r a r y , i t i s assumed t h a t i s offered  use  i s the  t h e v a l u e s o f someone e l s e and  offered  case.  use w h i c h i s n o n - m o r a l and  and  since  to  the e t h i c a l  f o r example, an h i s t o r i a n m i g h t  p o i n t of view.  to  i n o n e ' s own  uncritically  connected  advice  and  that  t h i n g nor  i s , i n which a person adopts  indication "ought"  doing that  the moral  t o have i n v a d e d England  other person's advice  there i s another used  i s not n e c e s s a r i l y  s o r t of reason  I discussed b r i e f l y  ought  that  ically,  of that  and w h i c h c a n be  "ought"  something  they  I have  g i v e n o f what i t i s t o have a r e a s o n , f o r example, t o say someone has  the  and  Still,  the a d v i s o r ' s ^ b e i n g  concerned  t o promote,  187 the  advisee's  difficult  doing  to  criptive  see  what he  that  s e n s e I am  has  "ought"  to  suggesting  why" are  l e a s t he  l a c k s the can  share  ability  ability  those  to  language can  be  ordinary  used without  values  parties recognize  g r o u n d e d on  agent.  o f an  and  nothing  why  f e a t u r e s of the them).  amoral  (where  taken  "saying  and  are  which a  known t o  (objective-sounding) as  long  as a l l  evaluative utterances  more t h a n t h e i r  At  things valued  misunderstood,  that their  be  Furthermore, given  evaluative  being  des-  speak e v a l u a t i v e l y .  i n which a group of persons share  c e r t a i n values,  of the  about the  valuing  grounds f o r h i s  situation  i n the p u r e l y  i s open t o t h e a m o r a l  s a y what he  involves indicating the  used  Thus, i t i s o f t e n  "ought" i n i t s " d e s c r i p t i v e " sense s h o u l d  s u g g e s t t h a t he  the very  t o do.  i s being  None o f what I have s a i d agent t o use  reason  (perhaps q u i t e  are  contingent)  valuations.  5  What c a n So  be  f a r I have n o t made any  except to  say  t h a t a p e r s o n may  of c o n s i s t e n c y means.  Are  must be  valued  be  valued  character neutral there  valued?  by  room f o r a c r i t i q u e be  among h i s ends and  there by  any  trait,  t e r m s we  s u s c e p t i b l e to of  efficiency  t h i n g s which i n themselves are any  ( r a t i o n a l ) person, or  ( r a t i o n a l ) person? s t a t e of a f f a i r s can  e l i m i n a t e one  I f we  e t c . can  o r d i n a r y E n g l i s h , imply  values,  considerations  i n his choice such t h a t  t h i n g s which  of  they  cannot  assume t h a t any  action,  be  value-  described  k i n d o f example.  a r e d e s c r i p t i o n s w h i c h employ words w h i c h ,  speaking  of  in  Clearly  i f someone i s  (not m e r e l y c o n t e x t u a l l y )  that  188  a p e r s o n has  c e r t a i n values.  "worthwhile," reveal is say  that  the  things  so  that  some words have an  claims  value  t a k e an  or  s u c h as  descriptions  of  his part.  violates It  the  need n o t  obvious,  choice,  language,  way  of  putting  uninteresting  need  (rationally,  failing  are  t o be  to give  In a  however d e s c r i b e d ,  are  there  a broad  any  linguistic  tion will X will  not  harm B,  very  are  we  logically)  these  valuation  someone  debate,  and  drawn.  Is  to  who  i t any  prima  being  answer m a t t e r s  community  valued  by  (b)  The  consensus of values  clear. entitled  For to  in weight  little  when one  is  description.:uses b e c a u s e most  assume t h a t  everyone.  some  facie  c o n s e n s u s on  carry  i t a misuse  (a) b e c a u s e o n e ' s  community v i r t u a l l y be  with  a  s o m e t h i n g as  sense the  linguistic  either  i n one's l i n g u i s t i c  i s generally  present  someone a c c e p t s  words w i t h a c e r t a i n e v a l u a t i v e m e a n i n g o r people  meaning.  however, j u s t what d e s c r i p t i o n s do  i s just  speaking m i s l e a d i n g l y  their  knowingly.  f o r example, t o r e c o g n i z e  s i n c e what we  i s to  i n the  necessarily betrays  i t i s a matter of  one's d e l i b e r a t i o n s ?  one  i n t e r e s t i n g pastimes,  i n s o f a r as  where l i n e s  one's i n t e r e s t s w h i l e  to  this  component t o  food,  "good,"  i n ways w h i c h  importance  concern ourselves  meaning r u l e s  i s not  of  since  to act no  anyone must  i n t e r e s t i n good  " e m o t i v e m e a n i n g " and extent,  that  s o m e t h i n g , he  We  yet  evaluative as  s o m e t h i n g as  hold  One  i s eliminate,  worthwhile books, e t c . ,  in  described  t o have spoken m i s l e a d i n g l y .  context,  of  describe  " i n t e r e s t i n g , " e t c . and  What I want t o do  on  To  certain very  fact  things, that  among members  guarantees that  the  distinc-  example, when A n o t e s t h a t infer  that  he  of  takes himself  doing to  189  be  reporting  grounded  a reason not  t o do  i n t h e meaning o f  reasoning  basis  prevalent  X,  and  "harm" o r  i f so  i n our  i s our  entitlement  knowledge o f  the  i n h i s community o r p e r h a p s i n  moral  something  else? L e t me  assume t h a t  i t i s p o s s i b l e to  ions which l i n g u i s t i c a l l y concentrate  on  entail  t h o s e w h i c h do  d e s c r i p t i o n can  be  seems t o me  valued.  switch  This  ifying  can,  of  against  a rational  T h e r e i s one  be  given  familiar  since  of  put  the  question  various  be  c o n s t r a i n t on  or g o a l ,  an  that  for  thing.  doing  reason  that  since  there  may  achieving  of  other  action  i s done as  be  or  one  the  be one  end  a means o r  are  description  there I can  things think  may  be  an  of  a  of  ident-  in  the  that  doing  a prima  facie  be  a prima  facie  end  and  since  i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the  means  only an  nor  that  a l l actions  a g e n t ' s ends have b e e n  is rationally of  of  about  always c l e a r whether a  end,  ("states  rational  existence  fact  affairs  i n general,  when an  c o v e r e d , means/end r e a s o n i n g But  s t a t e of  I t i s not  but  the  many ways o f a c h i e v i n g  ends.  other,  how  then the  a g e n t , c o u n t as  It will,  t h e means o f achieving  end  bring  known t o t h e  can  person. logical  must, i f i t be  as  a  we  i n terms  s o r t s of a c t i o n s  some s t a t e o f  a certain thing w i l l  to  which  treated  I f a p e r s o n has  as  I want  anything  a g e n t must r e a s o n p r a c t i c a l l y . affairs  •descript-  f u r t h e r assume t h a t  o r must, o r must n o t ,  reasons f o r or  deliberations  L e t me  those  quite plausible especially i f  t o r e a s o n t e r m i n o l o g y and  what p r e d i c a t e s  evaluations  not.  "non-evaluative"  s o r t put  called  affairs"  ) w h i c h must be  given must  dis-  for.  i s t h e most  valued  reason  or which  general cannot  190  be v a l u e d ? purport  We  have a l r e a d y e n c o u n t e r e d  t o show t h a t c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e i n t e r e s t s  must w e i g h i n t h e d e l i b e r a t i o n o f any person. be  But what a b o u t t h e a g e n t ' s  oblivious The  if  we  t o h i s own  answer w o u l d  seem t o be  self-preservation will  can e x i s t  p e r s o n s who  in  and  that  a r e engaged  i s t o be  noted  themselves  condition  human  Can  someone  "no,"  at  least  p a y s no attention t o h i s be  i t i s h a r d t o see how I am  maintained a fully  human  only concerned  with  i n t h e w o r l d v i a h a v i n g p r o j e c t s o f some  just  a b o u t w h e t h e r one  that  on  life  support  systems  t e m p o r a r i l y b u t a s h i s mode o f b e i n g ,  the f a c t  with their  of t h e i r  self-interest  more i s r e q u i r e d  a l l rational  that  or d i e s .  in itself  of r a t i o n a l i t y . i t is irrational  I t may  clear-thinking  be  that,  has  for  relinquishing  so,  we  stronger reasons it.  can c o n c l u d e  not to care  except f o r  person w i l l  realize  an  interest  of  their  in their  own  that  for preserving his l i f e  I suspect that  that v i r t u a l l y  show  Something  t h e r e a r e t h i n g s w h i c h a r e i m p o r t a n t enough t o him  on b a l a n c e he  agents  w e l f a r e t o some e x t e n t ,  e x i s t e n c e , does n o t  to e s t a b l i s h lives  that  own  i s a requirement  v e r y d e s p e r a t e c a s e s , any that  clear  Anyone who  a human v e g e t a b l e , k e p t a l i v e  concern  as a  fully  qualifies.  It do  and  interests?  a pretty  i n t h i s manner.  a h o s p i t a l ward, n o t  hardly  own  perish unless his l i f e  by o t h e r s - b u t e v e n t h e n individual  rational  of others  self-interest?  a t t e n d to the long-run.  sort,  some a r g u m e n t s w h i c h  that  than  i s t h e c a s e and, i f  a l l rational  people w i l l  take  w e l l - b e i n g , i f o n l y as a p r e c o n d i t i o n  being able to s t r i v e  toward the a t t a i n m e n t o f g o a l s  they  h o l d e v e n more d e a r .  est of  i n o n e ' s own being  rational.  i s so)  then  (and  Valuing  and  Calling  contextual  in The  and  anything  r a r e i n s t a n c e s i n which f o r him  to cease  i n the present  "What t h i n g s c a n  "What t h i n g s c a n  acting  context,  be v a l u e d  a person  call  and  i t involves interacting  this  latter  to those  i n v o l v e s one By  conventions  by  a  'good'?"  "good" i n v o l v e s a c c e p t i n g t h e meaning  r u l e s o f meaning.  referring  lie  q u e s t i o n s which,  "good" and  linguistically  am  be  care about  his existence.  secondly,  something  governing  doesn't  irrational  distinguished; f i r s t ,  person?"  inter-  and--commending  T h e r e a r e two must be  t h e r e may  i t i s not  show t h a t an  or whatever i s a c o n d i t i o n  I f someone r e a l l y  or to act to terminate  6  t h a t does not  h e a l t h , happiness,  or cares only to d i e this  But  rules  with other  people  further i n accepting  " c o n t e x t u a l meaning r u l e s " and  understandings  make c o m m u n i c a t i o n p o s s i b l e and  profitable,  which  I under-  but which  are  l a r g e m e a s u r e i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e meaning o f t h e words u s e d . context  through  o f an  utterance affects  the dynamics of the  t h e meaning o f t h e  situation.  "Good" i s a word i n o r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e and rules  governing  are.  I t f u n c t i o n s i n communication  possible  i t s use,  t o m i s u s e i t and  is  not  free to c a l l  in  itself,  anything  i s not  at a l l .  utterance  however h a r d  t o use  t h e r e a r e meaning  i t i s t o s t a t e what  i n c e r t a i n ways and  i t misleadingly.  "good" a n y t h i n g  one  pleases.  enough t o show t h a t one  Thus,  they  i t is one  T h i s , however,  cannot f i n d  J u s t b e c a u s e i t w o u l d be m i s l e a d i n g  valuable or  incorrect  192  to  say o f c e r t a i n t h i n g s  that  i ti s irrational  those  t h i n g s as ends.  context  of explanation  Calling  something  t h a t they  a r e good, i t d o e s n o t f o l l o w  o r i n c o r r e c t i n any o t h e r The c o n t e x t  way t o t r e a t  of justification  c a n be p r i e d a p a r t  to a large  "good" i s d i f f e r e n t  (or t r e a t i n g i t a s g o o d , o r f i n d i n g  i t good) t o t h e d e g r e e  one t o employ, w i t h o u t  evaluative vocabulary as  "good," " v a l u a b l e , "  o f one's s o c i a l  others,  places  one w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t  ongoing  social  unit will  be for  acting w i l l  not only  i s just  operate  within the ordinary value  i n which people can d i s a g r e e while  agreeing  may b o t h a c c e p t  stable value  about t h e i r  reasons  to others but  framework i s n o t of values  to individual  completely w i t h i n t h e frame-  there  i s a region of actions  P e r s o n A and p e r s o n B  explanation  f o r some a c t i o n o f  a b o u t w h e t h e r t h e r e were, and a b o u t  whether C had, r e a s o n s which j u s t i f y  the action.  t y p i c a l moral agents they  will  cases  about t h e e x i s t e n c e  i s a question  will  t o n o t e t h a t most p e o p l e do  explanation.  p e r s o n C b u t t h e y may d i s a g r e e  there  framework  about the j u s t i f i a b i l i t y  t h e same r e a s o n  Any  framework.  d e t e r m i n a t e and because t h e w e i g h t i n g from i n d i v i d u a l  such  and many  of j u s t i f i c a t i o n .  explain the behaviour  i t t o them; b u t t h a t  vary  words  F o r t h e most p a r t , p e o p l e ' s  Because a s o c i e t y ' s v a l u e  mis-  and d e t e r m i n e s what r e a s o n s  justify  work w i l l  using  "important,"  have a f a i r l y  generally acceptable.  invite  that  warning, the o r d i n a r y  group.  "interesting,"  which s t r u c t u r e s j u s t i f i c a t i o n  extent.  from v a l u i n g i t  o n e ' s v a l u a t i o n s a r e a b n o r m a l i n ways w h i c h w o u l d u n d e r s t a n d i n g s were  and t h e  I f A and B a r e  suppose t h a t i n a t l e a s t  some  o f an e x t e r n a l  193  justification In her  o f C's  action.  article,  "Moral B e l i e f s , "  P h i l i p p a Foot argues  that:  ... a s s u m p t i o n (1) [ " t h a t some i n d i v i d u a l may, w i t h o u t l o g i c a l e r r o r , base h i s b e l i e f s a b o u t m a t t e r s o f v a l u e e n t i r e l y on p r e m i s e s , w h i c h no one e l s e w o u l d r e c o g n i z e a s g i v i n g any e v i d e n c e a t a l l . " (p. 84)] i s v e r y d u b i o u s i n d e e d , and t h a t no one s h o u l d be a l l o w e d t o s p e a k as i f we c a n u n d e r s t a n d ' e v a l u a t i o n ' 'commendation' o r ' p r o - a t t i t u d e ' , w h a t e v e r t h e a c t i o n s c o n c e r n e d ( F o o t , 1958-9, p. 9 4 ) . It  should  value"  be  and  begs the argued  of  that Foot  "evidence"  very  this  of value  noted  question  as w e l l ,  i n general  f o r those b e l i e f s  at  are  as  I have a l r e a d y  are  public activities  Having a p r o - a t t i t u d e defined  issue.  into this  c a r r i e d on  little  be  stand  i f he  someone has  I f , however, h a v i n g  existence  vocabulary.  a d i f f e r e n t matter unless  i s prepared  more t h a n b e h a v i n g  fairly  pro-  t o engage i n  pro-  pro-attitude  c o n s i s t e n t l y to  the  object  s o r t , t h e n I do  not  see  i t  a  a  of  F o o t a r g u e s t h a t many  " d a n g e r o u s , " as w e l l object,  described  matters  of  how  the  Foot's  bring  attitude arguments  conclusion.  Basically,  to t h e i r  with a rule-governed  i s , I think,  involves  (eg.  suppose t h a t  commendation  i t s behalf.  her  I have  and  t e c h n i c a l concept that  about or m a i n t a i n the  indeed  argued a l s o , e v a l u a t i o n  on  justify  w e l l be,  this  objects.to-u .  selytism  that  i n a sense  of  she  something only  of  and  about matters  i n t h e way  to  things  I t may  subjective  attitude  and  "beliefs  t h a t moral agents cannot  But  be  speaks of  by  so  that  as not  t h e s e words.  someone who  (all?)  "good") have an j u s t anything For  instance,  evaluative  words  internal relation  can we  intelligibly would not  under-  s a i d t h a t c l a s p i n g o n e ' s hands i s a good  action  194  b e c a u s e we  can  see no  p o i n t to doing  so and  because:  I t i s s u r e l y c l e a r t h a t m o r a l v i r t u e s must be c o n n e c t e d w i t h human good and harm, and that i t i s q u i t e impossible to c a l l anything you l i k e good o r harm (p. 9 4 ) . T h e r e a r e two virtue  own  The  I am  about the concept  second  prepared  p o i n t i s t h e one to g r a n t the  leaving reason  p o i n t Foot  i s trying  I wish  first  explanations of someone who  just  "good" i n  to concentrate  as a c c o r d i n g w i t h  on,  my  commended t h e a c t i v i t y  L e t us c o n s i d e r t h i s realizes attempt  any  sort.  valid  case.  at j u s t i f i c a t i o n such  an  obvious  We  reasons  (We  can  w o u l d be  v a l u e s and  futile.)  suggestion  i s t h a t we  to ask,  don't  "But  understand  i m m e d i a t e and why  wouldn't  to  not  offer this  action.  agent  that to enter  Can  we  an  understand  i f we  and  simply note  t o him;  t o him?"  t h e a c t i o n b e c a u s e we  gain understanding,  e x p l a i n someone's  natural reaction  i s i t important  a t t r i b u t i o n of value to t h i s  acceptable.  say,  can  i s something which i s important The  accept  action?  doing  thing.  simply  suppose t h a t the  h i s hands t h r e e t i m e s ,  this  cannot  f o r performing  clasping so  we  to o t h e r s or attempted  t h a t o t h e r s have d i f f e r e n t  (explain) The  justification)  (even  v a l u e d c l a s p i n g h i s hands w h e t h e r o r  purportedly objectively  can  about  t o make i s , I t h i n k , t h a t  a s i d e the q u e s t i o n of  understand  is  one  of moral  views. The  he  one  (or "good" i n i t s m o r a l s e n s e ) and  general. since  p o i n t s here,  activity. thus  render  don't  that  he v a l u e s to t h i s  I n one  T h e r e a r e two  suggestion  sense  understand  doing  we  his  ways  we  the p r o f f e r e d e x p l a n a t i o n  195  One  way  i s by  more c o m f o r t a b l e (Foot's term). pleasing  or  But  relation the to  I f our  t h e p e c u l i a r v a l u e s t o o n e s we  filling  person  finds  we  what i f e f f o r t s  of t h i s  in a  sort  "special  the  hand c l a s p i n g  significance,  to f i n d  fail?T  l e a v e as  a very  carefully  and  prevent  children they  happier with  resort  him  from  clasping  their  might accumulate  so  value performing  this  h i s hands.  h a b i t or to achieve  in itself  it  from  to  him.  Of  we  still  would not u n d e r s t a n d  course,  this  any  action  i s one  and  do  n o t h a v e , an  the  explanation i s p a r t i a l  why  i t until  we  find  t h a t he It is  surprising  cannot  be  If to  our  is.  doing  result  and  does.  His  want, extent comfort-  t h i n k s as  he  E v e n i f we not  do  cause  e x p l a n a t i o n i n terms o f h i s v a l u e s .  i t i s admitted  value clasping  he  he  does  important  this  e x p l a n a t i o n , however, t h i s w i l l  to r e t r a c t  evidence  completely  o f why  t h e way  To  find us  unhappy i f  h i s v a l u e s b u t we  he  a further  very •  i s not  d o e s o r p e r h a p s how such  i n kind.  to teach h i s  he v a l u e s what he  some a c c o u n t  came t o be  and  tries  explanation of h i s values. we  inclined  behaviour  end.  a very  w h i c h i s e x p l a i n a b l e by  and  are  t o a l l o w t h a t he  and  further  w o u l d be  we  rendering  P e r h a p s enough  are prepared  action  explan-  i s d i s a p p o i n t e d i n them when  he w a n t s .  t h a t we  He  of  different  becomes a g i t a t e d  hands and  i t t h e way  i t i s not  the hand-clasper's  d i s c o v e r t h a t he  t o do  able with  but  some  inclusion  way  i t i s one  with  the  a means/end o r  There i s another  investigate  to clasp  fail  last  aesthetically  i s part of a r i t u a l  m i g h t be  are  background"  sucking noise  e x p l a n a t i o n acceptable, I suggest:  Suppose we  we  w i t h , by  i f doing  intelligible ation.  relating  hands  that i t i s logically (perhaps  p o s s i b l e f o r someone  i t would h e l p the  imagination  196  to  make our. p e r s o n a M a r t i a n )  then i t i s l o g i c a l l y  t h a t we s h o u l d come t o s h a r e h i s o u t l o o k . I of  submit,  event,  we w o u l d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y have any f u r t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n  why someone m i g h t  find  t h e n we w o u l d n ' t f e e l  vis-a-vis  such a p e c u l i a r  t h e need e i t h e r .  same s i t u a t i o n v i s - a - v i s  values.  different  thing  important but  We w o u l d t h e n be i n t h e  t h e hand c l a s p e r  someone who a c t u a l l y  derivative) be  In t h i s  possible  a s we a c t u a l l y a r e  d o e s s h a r e o u r u l t i m a t e (non-  To be s u r e o u r p s y c h o l o g i c a l makeup w o u l d  i n t h e two c a s e s , b u t l o g i c a l l y  the s i t u a t i o n s are  identical. Explaining  a c t i o n by r e f e r e n c e t o r e a s o n s  p r o c e s s , o n l y one o f w h i c h i s u s u a l l y place  i t i n v o l v e s adducing  involves  In  virtually  is  no s i g n i f i c a n t  succeeds. that  or  his action.  In t h e second  place  s h a r i n g t h e v a l u e s and r e a s o n s w h i c h a r e a d d u c e d . a l l c a s e s we a r e a c t u a l l y disparity  I t i s possible,  intact  o r so I have b e e n t r y i n g  at/the f i r s t ,  m a k i n g any l o g i c a l  confronted with,  error.  a t the second  without  t o show,  level  anyone's b e i n g  qualify  human b e i n g , and I s h o u l d s a y , t o a v o i d  misunderstanding,  that  while irrational  Someone c o u l d n o t , o f c o u r s e ,  have any u t t e r l y m y s t e r i o u s v a l u e s and s t i l l fai±ly normal  there  i n v a l u e s and t h e e x p l a n a t i o n  the explanation should f a i l  remaining  In the f i r s t  the reasons o r v a l u e s which a person  has w h i c h o p e r a t e d t o p r o d u c e it  apparent.  i s a two-level  I am n o t s u p p o s i n g  the amoral  as a possible agent  n e c e s s a r i l y has such v a l u e s . The govern  important point  public  i n a l l of this  i s t h a t whatever  rules  d i s c u s s i o n o f v a l u e s and r e a s o n s , and w h a t e v e r  197  meaning r u l e s for  a p p l y t o e v a l u a t i v e words, i t r e m a i n s  someone t o a c t u a l l y  most u n u s u a l c a r e f u l , about stood  fashion.  The  what he  says  amoral  and  importance  Language c a n n o t c a n and  i f he w i s h e s  f o r him)  and  abnormal  find  find  do,  the q u e s t i o n of the nature of m o r a l i t y .  for acting?",  relationship,  make  possible  view  setting  aside,  in i t s logical  of  as S i n g e r u r g e s  essence,  we  reasons  The  this  fact us  to  answer a c c o r d i n g  i s whatever  this:  people  c o n n e c t w i t h a p e r s o n ' s v a l u e s and  f o r someone t o v a l u e a n y t h i n g  can  situations  ^eliminate much a p r i o r i ) .  in dissimilar  (at l e a s t  treating  apparently  that  generally  situations  does  not  o f h i s v a l u e s , and when someone  seems t o have v e r y s t r a n g e v a l u e s . s i m p l y have t o c o n c l u d e  see  similar  ways o r a p p a r e n t l y d i s s i m i l a r  t o form a c o h e r e n t view  reasons or that  I don't  i t is  C o m p l i c a t i o n s a r i s e when  s i m i l a r ways, when someone's b e h a v i o u r  p e r m i t us  may  began  I have b e e n d e v e l o p i n g i s s i m p l y  someone a c t s i n c o n s i s t e n t l y ,  in  important, but i t  it." Ultimately  how  unintelligible.  t o t h e q u e s t i o n w i t h w h i c h we  reasons  "The  misunderin their  "What i s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between s t a t e m e n t s  subjectivist  very  important.  and  to the  (perhaps  i n the  again  L e t us r e t u r n now chapter;  to avoid being  d i c t a t e what p e o p l e c a n  reasons  have t o be  not downright  d o e s embody what p e o p l e do  F a c t s and  attend to reasons  a g e n t may  even i f h i s v a l u e s a r e m e r e l y  relative  7  deliberate  possible  But  i n some s u c h c a s e s  the person  he has v e r y u n u s u a l  ones.  just  doesn't  we have  198  In t h e next c h a p t e r I w i l l  be r e o p e n i n g  whether o r n o t a r e c o g n i z a b l y moral the  subjectivist  theory of reasons  But b e f o r e p r o c e e d i n g objection oped  the question of  outlook i s consistent and v a l u e s o u t l i n e d  I would l i k e  to take a b r i e f  t o the k i n d o f s u b j e c t i v i s m about  with  above.  l o o k a t an  reasons being d e v e l -  here. Many p e o p l e  that reasons the validity something actually  find  i tdifficult  can be s u b j e c t i v e of reasons  t o make s e n s e  i n t h e way  (or v a l u e s )  function  existentialists  i n e v i t a b l y produces  a stultifying  Even e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s Sartre c a l l s  accused  themselves  the r e a c t i o n  Only i f  to reside i n  i t i s thought,  i n t h e way t h e y do.  are often  suggested.  i s supposed  outside of the i n d i v i d u a l ,  o f the n o t i o n  can reasons  T h u s , f o r example,  o f p r e s e n t i n g a theory which despair - a practical  recognize this  to the r e a l i z a t i o n  paralysis.  t o some e x t e n t :  of r a d i c a l  freedom  "anguish." Certainly t h a t we c h o o s e of r e f e r r i n g  t h e r e i s something  disconcerting  o u r v a l u e s and r e a s o n s  f r e e l y w i t h no  using  part of the suspicion that  h e r e comes f r o m  reasons  possibility  an a b s u r d i t y i n t h e v e r y  i d e a o f such a f r e e c h o i c e i s another matter.  culty  the n o t i o n  o u r c h o i c e t o any u l t i m a t e and a b s o l u t e s t a n d a r d .  B u t w h e t h e r t h e u n e a s i n e s s comes f r o m  nificant  about  as i n v o l v i n g  the concept  thinking choice  I think a  there i s a l o g i c a l  sig-  diffi-  of the c r e a t i o n of values or  i n t h e normal  sense.  o f c h o i c e above d e l i b e r a t e l y  I avoided  for this  very  reason. I think that  n o r m a l l y we t h i n k o f c h o o s i n g a s s o m e t h i n g  we  199  do  f o r r e a s o n s and  an  infinite  reasons, and  i t i s obvious that t h i s  regress.  I f we  choose our  t h e n t h e r e must be  r e a s o n s f o r our  I p r e f e r to t a l k  choice  immediately  reasons,  r e a s o n s f o r our  and  choice  do  actions.  to  d o n ' t n e c e s s a r i l y have r e a s o n s f o r  the  f a c t s t h e way  we  "That's j u s t when we  vationally, ourselves, at least  not  up  and  counted  no  other,"  be  take  but  because our  will/determinism  past.  that there  we  w h i c h must be  weighting  at  distinguished.  some s t a t e o f a f f a i r s  do  we  facts, we  At  must  moti-  define  t o some  simply  stand  I can  cannot  regards  our  really funda-  p e r s o n a l i t y have b e e n  h a r d l y hope t o r e s o l v e t h e there  two To  seems t o me  etc.)  First,  senses of say  do  other."  a r e , even as and  in  some p o i n t ,  "Here I s t a n d no  regress  i t d o e s so  t h e way  o b j e c t t h a t we  (where A may  or a t h i n g , person, o b j e c t ,  Not  objection.  least  but  the  responsibility  character  I can  stop  (treating  past,  are.  debate here but  are  the  still  ways o f g e t t i n g a r o u n d t h i s noted  problematic  to ourselves.  I will  someone may f o r who  do  to our  "Here I s t a n d  our  but  f o r what we  responsibility  d e t e r m i n e d by  or  to  i s , in fact,  t o p a s s on  of values  course,  mental values,  do)  serve  of choice,  what we  to others  refuse  realm  we  can  notion  Valuing  only  i f we  I am,"  the  i n t h e way  objective  Of  t h e way  way.  for  do.  steer c l e a r of  a non-trivial  less  for  reasons,  t r e a t i n g f a c t s as c o u n t i n g I t i s at least  up  That i s why  or a g a i n s t v a r i o u s s u g g e s t t h a t we  so  of  of those reasons, and so on.  i n terms o f  sets  that A  t o be  i t should  free two be  "responsible" i s responsible  be  an  event,  state of  may  be  to  t h a t A was  say  for  affairs the  200  cause  ( o r an i m p o r t a n t  duction invoke  o f B.  contributory  community whereby p e r s o n s  are  held  responsible  didn't  {made  like A i n certain  liable  i s a part o f our ordinary  facie,  i n the pro-  at least)  a t l e a s t help  i t may be t o  or moral convention operative i n  the  (prima  factor)  A l t e r n a t i v e l y , where A i s a p e r s o n ,  some q u a s i - l e g a l i s t i c  It  causal  t o be h e l d  to bring  circumstances  a n d so on) f o r B's o c c u r e n c e . moral view t h a t responsible  about.  no one o u g h t  f o r anything  But t h a t  requirement  m o r a l one a n d n o t an a n a l y t i c one and i n any c a s e h o l d s prima  facie.  We do h o l d  could  n o t have been e x p e c t e d  Sometimes s u p e r i o r s for  the actions  are  fired  practice  being  i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n  of their  forhiring like  the usefulness  held...responsible  responsible  of t a k i n g  were c o n f i n e d  f o r the actions  of their  fanciful  amount o f c o n t r o l o v e r t h e i r  w o u l d be r e q u i r e d  t o say t h a t  only they  blanche  and t h e y  subordinates.  incompetent  of having  This  was  (causally)  subordinates  the p r a c t i c e i n  responsibility  and o f  t o c a s e s o f being  (causally)  Parents are held  c h i l d r e n , very  t o suppose t h a t  often  parents  c h i l d r e n ' s behaviour  they caused  often.  responsibility  the superior  no s u c h p r a c t i c e w o u l d e x i s t .  when i t w o u l d be q u i t e  could  carte  (or n o t f i r i n g )  I f the p o s s i b i l i t y  responsible,  the  subordinates  f o r things  isa  although not very  take  does n o t r e s t on t h e view t h a t  on something  force.  to prevent,  because o f the misdeeds o f those  responsible but  people responsible  they  have  which  t h e b e h a v i o u r o r even  have p r e v e n t e d i t . The  idea of taking  brought about, thus,  responsibility  f o r what one h a s n o t  i s a f a m i l i a r enough one t h a t  i t i s not  201  u t t e r nonsense t o attempt taking responsibility character  t o rescue  (and b e i n g  the p o s s i b i l i t y  held responsible)  even under t h e h y p o t h e s i s  d i s t i n g u i s h i n g among v a r i o u s  providing the  sorts of causal  of personal  second p o s s i b i l i t y ,  responsibility  of course,  This  view  acceptable  f a c t o r s and  a r a t i o n a l e f o r t r e a t i n g some o f t h e s e  possibility  f o r one's  of determinism.  c o u l d be made more s o p h i s t i c a t e d and p e r h a p s more by  o f one's  as  generating  and o t h e r s  i s the l i b e r t a r i a n  not.  The  denial of  d e t e r m i n i s m , p e r h a p s i n S a r t a r i a n f o r m , b u t I do n o t p r o p o s e to  discuss The  no  that  further  main p o i n t  here.  I have b e e n t r y i n g  absurdity or obvious conceptual  t o make i s t h a t t h e r e i s  difficulty  t h a t p e o p l e c a n c h o o s e o r be r e s p o n s i b l e some way w h i c h i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h  that  'his  into  a nihilistic  ultimate  values  source  responsibility values  f o r their values i n  the b e l i e f  have no o b j e c t i v e c l a i m t o be a d o p t e d .  without  being  Someone c a n s e e h i m s e l f  o f h i s own v a l u e s f o r being  that those  and i n t h a t  t h e p e r s o n he i s .  sense  plunged  as t h e accept  The b e l i e f  that  a r e n o t chosen f o r o b j e c t i v e r e a s o n s does n o t n e c e s s a r i l y  r e d u c e one t o c o n c e i v i n g determined  from without  over t h e meaning o f This concludes  of oneself  as a being  whose n a t u r e i s  nor does i t n e c e s s a r i l y produce  my  attempt t o provide  d e a l more w o u l d h a v e t o be s a i d articulated  despair  life. the o u t l i n e s of a  d e s c r i p t i o n o f how an a m o r a l i s t m i g h t t h i n k and s p e a k .  fully  values  Someone c a n r e c o g n i z e  lack objective v a l i d i t y despair.  i n supposing  theory  t o transform  of practical  A  great  t h e above i n t o a  reasoning.  I have n o t  202  t r i e d t o c a r r y out t h i s f u l l development but i t seems t o that there i s nothing be done.  o b v i o u s which suggests t h a t i t c o u l d  me not  203  VI  MORAL AND AMORAL SUBJECTIVISM  1  The i n d i v i d u a l In  of  moral  Chapter IV, I argued t h a t  an a c c e p t a n c e o f t h e n o t i o n  o b j e c t i v e v a l u e s and a n e s s e n t i a l l y  reinforcing  and t h a t  objectivism.  uage w i l l  strong  i n nature.  however, i n f i n d i n g o n l y adequate  moral outlook are mutually  i s a "natural d r i f t " i n that  regard  toward  only  are correct  to the extent that  sense i n which moral There i s a problem,  argued,  t h e o r y which  individual  persons could  grounds. metamoral  out the p o s s i b i l i t y  r e s i s t the appeal of objectivism  while remaining moral agents.  It i s this  I w i s h t o examine i n t h e f i r s t  latter possibility  part of this  such a p e r s o n a "moral s u b j e c t i v i s t . "  chapter. Let  I expect  that  anyone whose m o r a l c o n c e p t s a r e c o r r e c t l y  analyzable along  subjectivist  fairly  if  i s not  t o t h e d a t a o f o r d i n a r y moral d i s c o u r s e b u t which  t h e o r y c a n be f o u n d and I have n o t r u l e d  me c a l l  lang-  c a n be  o r s o I have  I have n o t shown t h a t no a c c e p t a b l e o b j e c t i v i s t  which  then  i t makes room  judgments  an o b j e c t i v i s t m e t a m o r a l  a c c e p t a b l e on g e n e r a l p h i l o s o p h i c a l  that  moral  any a t t e m p t a t an a n a l y s i s o f o r d i n a r y  seem a d e q u a t e  for some f a i r l y objective  there  I f my c o n j e c t u r e s  we c a n e x p e c t t h a t  is  subjectivist  lines will  o n l y because  hold h i s position  i t runs against  t h e more n a t u r a l  reflectively, objectivist  204  view. in  Thus t h e r e  terms which I f moral  is little  harm, I hope, i n r e f e r r i n g  suggest that subjectivism  the p o s i t i o n  i s a theoretical  i s not a v i a b l e  position,  h a v e f o u n d v e r y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d ways o f d e f i n i n g amoral  agent.  First,  the e g o i s t  t o him  two  (and t h e f a n a t i c )  b e c a u s e , w h e t h e r o r n o t he o p e r a t e s w i t h i n  one.  t h e n we sorts  an o b j e c t i v i s t  is  possible;  As  as  I will  i f moral  t r y t o show, m o r a l  and  subjectivism  subjectivism i s  i f n o t f o r a v e r y l a r g e number o f p e r s o n s i n any  situation,  then at l e a s t  the q u e s t i o n , which o f how  Secondly, the r a t i o n a l  s u b j e c t i v i s t must be a m o r a l  untenable.  view  t o t h e w e l f a r e o f o t h e r s as i s r e q u i r e d f o r  him t o c o u n t as a m o r a l a g e n t . reflective  of  i s amoral  of v a l u e s , h i s concerns are i n c o n s i s t e n t with h i s g i v i n g much c o n s i d e r a t i o n  will  for certain  I will  the a m o r a l i s t  individuals.  This  leaves  a t t e m p t t o answer i n t h e t h i r d  i s t o be d i s t i n g u i s h e d  actual  section,  from the moral  subjectivist. Later thought  sections  conception of  2  Forms o f m o r a l  my  acceptable,  are relevant  to  subjectivism f o r someone t o a c c e p t t h e s u b j e c t i v i s t  t h e n a t u r e o f v a l u e s and r e a s o n s w h i c h  i n the l a s t  assuming  t r a d i t i o n which  amorality.  i t possible  look regarding lined  c h a p t e r d e a l w i t h some s t r a n d s o f  i n the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t  my  Is  of t h i s  c h a p t e r and y e t be a m o r a l a g e n t ?  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f the moral agent c a n someone e x h i b i t  out-  I outThat i s ,  i n Chapter I  a l l of the q u a l i t i e s  t y p i c a l m o r a l a g e n t e x c e p t t h e one w h i c h r e q u i r e s  was  of the  t h a t he  view  205 his  and o t h e r s ' m o r a l  utterances? cern  judgments  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  as o b j e c t i v e l y  c a n he d i s p l a y  misleading  language  or insincere  i n a way  and d e l i b e r a t e  or  invalid  an a p p r o p r i a t e  f o r the w e l f a r e of other persons, enter  u s e m o r a l c o n c e p t s and  valid  i n t o moral  which  i s not  con-  debate,  grossly  from the moral p o i n t  of  view? Of c o u r s e , t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t m o r a l and  i s u s e d by and  saying and  l a r g e by p e o p l e who  t h i n g s which  need  subjectivist will  commit h i m s e l f  n o t be a c o n c l u s i v e  agent p r o v i d e d  It to  i s clear,  subjectivist  This,  and however,  against h i s being a moral  the misunderstandings are  I think,  that  someone m i g h t  i t will  just  close  c a n p r o p e r l y be v i e w e d  of the moral  w e l f a r e o f o t h e r s i n t h e way  deliberate  incorrect  be m i s u n d e r s t o o d  consideration  i n the s p i r i t  suggest that  the  or  o f t h e f u n c t i o n o f m o r a l d i s c o u r s e and  the moral  participating  or c o r r e c t  t h e m e a n i n g he c a n g i v e m o r a l c o n c e p t s i s c l o s e  disruptive  enough t h a t  is objectivist,  t h e m s e l v e s t o be  i n moral d i s c o u r s e .  enough t o t h e o r d i n a r y m e a n i n g t h a t not  suppose  c a n be t r u e o r f a l s e ,  so o n , t h e m o r a l  cannot f u l l y  language  life. n o t be v e r y  happen t o v a l u e  required  from the moral p o i n t o f view.  as  satisfactory (directly)  t o i n d u c e him F o r one  this  g i v e s us no a c c o u n t o f why  s u c h a p e r s o n would  l a n g u a g e and  o f what he m i g h t mean by s u c h words  in particular  as " o b l i g a t i o n , " true  that  he  "morally r i g h t , "  "ought."  i s c o n c e r n e d t o a c t i n ways w h i c h  ests of others into (and  and  presumably  account,we  use  thing,  to  moral  If i t i s just take the  inter-  have no e x p l a n a t i o n o f h i s v i e w s  as a m o r a l a g e n t he w i l l  have them) on what  206  others ought  ought  t o do, and f o r t h a t m a t t e r o f h i s v i e w s on what he  t o do.  F u r t h e r m o r e , u n l e s s some f u l l e r account i s a v a i l -  a b l e , t h e r e w i l l be no r e a s o n t o expect any p a r t i c u l a r  stability  i n such a person's v a l u a t i o n s . What we need i s something which g i v e s the r e q u i r e d "moral" v a l u a t i o n s o f a p e r s o n a s t r u c t u r e and s t a b i l i t y which makes sense of the whole range o f m o r a l a c t i v i t i e s i n which m o r a l agents engage.  One p o s s i b i l i t y would be t o suppose t h a t someone  might h o l d c e r t a i n deep o r fundamental v a l u e s which he t h i n k s v i r t u a l l y everyone e l s e s h a r e s and which u n d e r w r i t e the m o r a l enterprise. Suppose, f o r example, t h a t someone v a l u e s the e x i s t e n c e of  (and presumably h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n ) a r e l a t i v e l y o r d e r l y ,  h o s p i t a b l e and c o - o p e r a t i v e s o c i a l environment i n which p e o p l e can e x i s t s e c u r e i n the e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t they w i l l not s u f f e r extreme unhappiness o r i n j u r y a t the hands o f t h e i r Something  fellows.  l i k e t h i s can r e a s o n a b l y be a t t r i b u t e d as a v a l u e t o  the v a s t m a j o r i t y of p e o p l e and the f a c t t h a t r e a l i z a t i o n o f t h e v a l u e depends on t h e e f f o r t o f v i r t u a l l y everyone, makes i t a l i k e l y c a n d i d a t e f o r the p r e s e n t t a s k . Most p e o p l e would p r o b a b l y suppose t h a t not o n l y do they v a l u e the e x i s t e n c e o f a c o o p e r a t i v e s o c i a l o r d e r but t h a t i t i s v a l u a b l e o b j e c t i v e l y e i t h e r i n i t s e l f o r because i t l e a d s t o human w e l l - b e i n g o r a l l o w s p e o p l e t o a c h i e v e t h e i r h i g h e s t human p o t e n t i a l .  That i s , most p e o p l e do suppose t h a t m o r a l i t y  r e s t s on o r d e r i v e s from the v a l u e o f a c e r t a i n s o r t o f human existence.  The m o r a l s u b j e c t i v i s t b e l i e v e s t h a t i t i s o n l y i n  207 the  fact  resides, uable  that people  actually  s i n c e he r e j e c t s  i n any o t h e r  do v a l u e  things that their  value  t h e n o t i o n t h a t t h i n g s c o u l d be v a l -  " o b j e c t i v e " way.  B u t t h i s d i f f e r e n c e need  n o t be c r u c i a l . A  "deep v a l u e "  explanation of this  t o w a r d e x p l a i n i n g someone's d i s p l a y i n g deliberating language.  f o r others, h i s  B u t h i s engagement i n m o r a l i t y must be p r e m i s e d  share  those  a n d n o t o n l y on h i s b e l i e f  deep v a l u e s b u t on s o m e t h i n g  T h e r e must be an a p p r o p r i a t e c o n n e c t i o n values  a concern  f r o m t h e m o r a l p o i n t o f v i e w , and h i s u s e o f m o r a l  o n l y on h i s own deep v a l u e s others  s o r t may go some way  and m o r a l t h i n k i n g .  thinking  While  (and a c t i n g ) m o r a l l y  else  that as w e l l .  between t h e s e  deep  i t may be t r u e t h a t  everyone's  i s t h e o n l y means t o t h e a c h i e v e -  ment o f t h e deep v a l u e s , t h e means/end c o n n e c t i o n w i l l in particular point  cases  f o r t h e most p a r t .  o f view o f the i n d i v i d u a l ,  then,  not hold  The c o n n e c t i o n , cannot  simply  on t h e a t t a i n m e n t  from t h e  be t h a t  m o r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s have a h o l d on a c t i o n b e c a u s e t h e y directly  not  o f some u n i v e r s a l l y v a l u e d  bear  state of  affairs. The and  deep v a l u e s w i l l . c e r t a i n l y  c a s e s where m o r a l i t y  (supported,  n o t be a n y o n e ' s o n l y  a s i t were, by t h e deep  v a l u e s ) r e q u i r e s one a c t i o n and a n o t h e r happiness)  r e q u i r e s another  will  values  value  be f a i r l y  (say p e r s o n a l  common.. B e c a u s e  t h e means/end r e l a t i o n s h i p between m o r a l l y r e q u i r e d a c t i o n and the attainment  o f a deep v a l u e  i s so t e n u o u s , t h e r e  i s a problem  a b o u t how m o r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s c a n come t o be v e r y  powerful.  What i s r e q u i r e d i s t h a t an i n d i v i d u a l must r e a s o n  i n some way  208  other than the means/end one. i s r e q u i r e d of most people  He must take f a c t s about what  (which ones u n s p e c i f i e d ) f o r the  deep v a l u e s to be r e a l i z e d , and t r e a t them as reasons to  do those t h i n g s .  everyone  He must ask h i m s e l f , roughly,  (or most people)  fox  him  "What i f •  d i d t h a t ? " and take the answer as  being d i r e c t l y r e l e v a n t to what he i s to do. There i s nothing i n the s u b j e c t i v i s t account of and v a l u e s I sketched o f . r e a s o n i n g out.  reasons  i n the l a s t chapter which r u l e s t h i s  Indeed i t was  e n t i r e l y g e n e r a l as  what someone might count as a reason f o r anything.  sort  regards I think  t h a t there i s , i n the form of reasoning r e q u i r e d f o r someone to  be a moral s u b j e c t i v i s t , an important  to  understand  him.  c l u e to the best  way  The n o t i o n of a deep v a l u e e x p l a n a t i o n i s  not, I t h i n k , very h e l p f u l , i n i t s e l f , p r e c i s e l y because i t f a i l s to account  f o r the mode of reasoning r e q u i r e d to g i v e  the deep value a p r a c t i c a l f o o t h o l d . The c l u e i s t h a t the reasoning from what i s r e q u i r e d of people  i n g e n e r a l to what to do as an i n d i v i d u a l makes sense  o n l y i f the d e l i b e r a t i n g agent has a p a r t i c u l a r s o r t o f conception. whole.  He must see h i m s e l f as e s s e n t i a l l y a member  selfof the  That i s he must i d e n t i f y h i m s e l f , to a s i g n i f i c a n t  extent, w i t h the whole  (the group, s o c i e t y , mankind or whatever)  so t h a t whatever reasons member of the whole.  apply to the whole apply to him as a  T h i s i s the only way  I can see of c l o s i n g  the gap which e x i s t s i n any deep v a l u e e x p l a n a t i o n of moral subjectivism. There are o b v i o u s l y many ways of seeing o n e s e l f as a member  209  but  I have i n m i n d one p a r t i c u l a r way and i t i n v o l v e s  o f one's c o n c e p t o f s e l f .  I n an i n t e r e s t i n g a r t i c l e  E g o i s m ' s B r i e f and M i s t a k e n H i s t o r y , " argues that  " t h e c o n c e p t o f t h e ego o r s e l f  well  over a century  that  t i m e , Skorpen c l a i m s ,  a f t e r ,*Maehiavelli"  families, tribes,  "Ethical  Skorpen. (1969)' i s non-existent  (pp. 448-9) .  people tended  themselves i n e s s e n t i a l l y s o c i a l respective  Erling  strongly  Up  s o c i e t i e s , and so o n .  If this i s  o u g h t t o do t o a c h i e v e  some e n d o f " o u r s , "  The  conception  practical  self-conception moral  of self  provided  only  virtually  i n nature.  which s t r o n g l y  that  of amorality  "we"  assimilates the  i s i n h e r e n t l y moral i n the  t h e "we"  i s broad  The m o r a l s u b j e c t i v i s t who  a s members o f an o r g a n i c  either  that  t h i s way o f s e e i n g i n order  social things  correct  one, a l t h o u g h  others,  he must s u p p o s e t h e y t h i n k  i s the only  i n j u s t such terms because o f t h e s o c i a l ,  value  will  i t i s true  o f t h e ends o f t h e s o c i a l  that  i t i s only  by and l a r g e nature  will  hardly  h i s own  u n i t y which ground  stability  with  And a t  public  The s u b j e c t i v i s t ' s s u b j e c t i v i s m  f o r him, t h o s e ends g a i n  and  one o r t h e  i n s i m i l a r terms.  think  valuation  be  t o engage i n m o r a l d i s c o u r s e  o f moral d i s c u s s i o n others  since, while  that  u n i t y need n o t s u p p o s e  i n the context  noticable  enough,  sees h i m s e l f  least  be  and e v e n  assures that d e l i b e r a t i o n w i l l  others  of moral problems.  absence  i s not s u r p r i s i n g .  " I " and t h e p r a c t i c a l  sense t h a t ,  "we"  the v i r t u a l  o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l d e b a t e on t h e p o s s i b i l i t y recently  until  t e r m s a s members o f t h e i r  t o d e l i b e r a t e i n t e r m s o f what  egoism u n t i l  until  to think of  t r u e and p e o p l e tended  on  the notion  their  and a n o n - p e r s o n a l  210  appearance by b e i n g which i d e n t i f i e s  perceived  through a s p e c i a l  self-conception  t h e s e l f w i t h a group which shares those  Subjectivism,  then,  seems t o be c o n s i s t e n t w i t h a s t a b l e  m o r a l o u t l o o k b u t so f a r a s I c a n s e e i t r e q u i r e s of a p a r t i c u l a r s e l f - c o n c e p t i o n . question  ends.  the adoption  T h e r e r e m a i n s , however, t h e  o f how a m o r a l s u b j e c t i v i s t c a n u s e t h e n o t i o n s o f  o b l i g a t i o n and d u t y i n t h e absence o f t h e concept o f o b j e c t i v e , interpersonally valid is can  values.  comfortable with the idea r e f e r t o those values  concepts.  I have s u g g e s t e d that  there  that  anyone who  are objective  values  a s g r o u n d s f o r h i s own u s e o f t h o s e  Moore, f o r example, c o u l d s a y : Our ' d u t y , ' t h e r e f o r e , c a n o n l y be d e f i n e d as t h a t a c t i o n , which w i l l cause more good t o e x i s t i n t h e U n i v e r s e t h a n any p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e . And what i s ' r i g h t ' o r 'morally p e r m i s s i b l e ' o n l y d i f f e r s from t h i s , a s what w i l l not c a u s e less good t h a n any p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e . When, t h e r e f o r e , E t h i c s presumes t o a s s e r t t h a t c e r t a i n ways o f a c t i n g a r e ' d u t i e s ' i t presumes t o a s s e r t t h a t t o a c t i n t h o s e ways w i l l a l w a y s p r o d u c e t h e g r e a t e s t p o s s i b l e sum o f good. (Moore, 1903, P r i n c i p i a  One  an a c c e p t a n c e o f o b j e c t i v e v a l u e s  of  the concept o f i n s t i t u t i o n a l  Hare/Searle controversy: that obligations  Hudson  promise,  f o r example,  obligation. (1969).)  i n t h e development (See e s p e c i a l l y t h e  B a s i c a l l y the idea  or rule-governed  institutions.  i s t o invoke the r u l e s o f the promise  institution,  which r u l e s i n c l u d e  one  t o do.  promised  i s found  ( o r many o f them) a r i s e b e c a u s e o f t h e e x i s t -  ence i n s o c i e t y o f c o n v e n t i o n a l To  p . 148)  a t t e m p t t o make s e n s e o f m o r a l o b l i g a t i o n s i n t h e a b s e n c e  of  is  Ethica,  t h e r e q u i r e m e n t t h a t one do a s  P r o m i s i n g p u t s one u n d e r an o b l i g a t i o n by  211  bringing  t h e r u l e s of the promise  The m a i n l i n e obligation  concerns the question  o f whether  ( o r more g e n e r a l l y ,  a b o u t o b l i g a t i o n s w h i c h have been  it  or descriptive).  i s clear that  The d e b a t e  promise  institution  i s complex,  that  the  or  required.  institution. part  If  (and h e n c e  A subjectivist  rather  i t s rules) would  go on t o  implies  i s evala  are morally  belief justified  be t o c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e  in) the i n s t i t u t i o n  f r o m w i t h i n an see himself  as  whose r u l e s he i s  part of the i n s t i t u t i o n ,  about o b l i g a t i o n as i n v o c a t i o n s  a l l a r e bound. remains  As l o n g  as h i s o p t i o n  i n t h e background  obligations are objectively required. in  such a  t h a n a s e n d o r s i n g i t , a s i t were, f r o m w i t h o u t .  s e e h i s judgments  institution  what t h e  an i n s t i t u t i o n  moral agent might  he s e e s o t h e r s a s s i m i l a r l y  by w h i c h  One c o u l d  o f someone who makes j u d g m e n t s  o f (as i n v o l v e d  invoking  made f r o m w i t h i n  Another p o s s i b i l i t y  self-conception  t o keep  institution.  s i n c e m a k i n g t h e judgment  the i n s t i t u t i o n  but I think  a p a r t i c u l a r promise,  T h e r e a r e two ways t o go f r o m h e r e .  (or moral)  i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y , are  R a t h e r one must v i e w  s t a t e m e n t a s one made f r o m w i t h i n  uative  statements  i n t o any s t a t e m e n t about  requires.  a r g u e t h a t a judgment  whether  t h a t one o u g h t  someone o u g h t t o keep  c a n n o t be t r a n s l a t e d p r o p e r l y  these o b l i g a t i o n s  incurred  t h e (moral) judgment  promises or that  t o bear.  o f debate over the concept o f i n s t i t u t i o n a l  are moral o r non-moral  evaluative  institution  the i n s t i t u t i o n  of the r u l e s  to leave the  he c a n speak a s t h o u g h t h e I link  with h i s self-conception  he b e g i n s t o s e e h i m s e l f  he c a n  h i s involvement  because  a s soon a s  a s an i n d i v i d u a l who may c h o o s e  toopt  212  out  of the i n s t i t u t i o n ,  the o b l i g a t i o n s  appearance.  As l o n g  institution,  however, h i s o b j e c t i v e l y  seem q u i t e  a s he t h i n k s o f h i m s e l f  subjectivist  tains a certain  subjectivism  has t u r n e d o u t t h a t  subjectivist.  of  dis-  part of  i s not s t r i c t l y  but our d i s c u s s i o n of moral the amoral  o f some f a i r l y  large  social  an i n d i v i d u a l .  unit,  individuality.  because  problems.  the amoralist  Whatever t h e amoral-r a ~ strong;, s e n s e v  He d o e s n o t d e l i b e r a t e  p e r s o n p l u r a l mode n o r b y a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s l i k e  practical  subjecti-  from t h e moral  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h o t h e r p e r s o n s , he r e t a i n s  this?",  incon-  Where t h e m o r a l a g e n t s e e s h i m s e l f a s e s s e n t i a l l y  o r member  h i s unique  does  i n moral  a s an i n t e g r a l  subjectivism  sees h i m s e l f as e s s e n t i a l l y ist's  will  contrasted  s u g g e s t s a way o f d i s t i n g u i s h i n g  a part  judgments  and i t s i n s t i t u t i o n s .  s i s t e n t w i t h moral agency, vism  flavoured  of the  o t h e r m o r a l a g e n t s i f he m a i n -  conception of himself  M o r a l and a m o r a l It  as p a r t  can, then, p a r t i c i p a t e  course without g r o s s l y misleading  3  objective  natural.  The m o r a l  society  lose their  t h a t would  "What i f e v e r y o n e  not solve h i s f i r s t  Where t h e m o r a l a g e n t  i n the f i r s t  person  sees t h e laws,  instit-  u t i o n s and c u s t o m s o f h i s s o c i e t y a s p a r t o f h i s s o c i e t y ' s (and hence h i s ) attempt  to achieve certain  t h e s e as e x t e r n a l c o n s t r a i n t s through which is  a member  outsider.  ends,  and a r t i f a c t s  he must p l a n h i s own p r o j e c t s .  of society  the amoralist  sees  around which o r The a m o r a l i s t  i n many ways b u t i n s p i r i t  he r e m a i n s an  E v e n when h i s p r o j e c t s c o i n c i d e w i t h t h o s e o f o t h e r s  213 or  even  of  s o c i e t y a s a w h o l e he n e v e r q u i t e  as h i s p r o j e c t s ,  first  to trace  subjectivism  accompanied  as w e l l  the  philosophy  skepticism  (although values,  I think  and a movement away f r o m of the l a t t e r ) .  I have been  traditional  It i s inter-  the prevailing of j u s t the  imputing t o the moral that  by a g e n e r a l  the only  subject-  way t o s t o p  sympathy w i t h  not a genuine acceptance of) s u b j e c t i v i s m i n  i s t o push t h e o b j e c t i v i s m / s u b j e c t i v i s m  background  the r i s e of  h a s t a k e n t h e f o r m o f an i d e a l i z a t i o n  t o a m o r a l i s m prompted  not attempt  i n t h e w e s t e r n w o r l d h a s been  as i f i n r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e f a c t  shift  that  t h a t much o f t h e r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t  of self-conception  ivist,  among t h e i d e a s o f  and a m o r a l i s m , b u t I w i l l  (at l e a s t a questioning  moral climate kind  political  by m o r a l  moral values esting  links  them a l l h e r e . . I t i s no a c c i d e n t  individualistic  s i g h t o f them  and f o r e m o s t .  T h e r e a r e interesting, c o n c e p t u a l ^individualism,  loses  issue  b y c h a n g i n g t h e mode i n w h i c h p r a t i c a l  into the  problems a r e  perceived. The  amoralist  as s t a n d i n g his  value  unstable. and  apart  i s a conceptual from o t h e r s  There  i s always  a pressure  through a sustained  that  the self-conception  This  instability  on t h e d e v i a n t  t o conform  and c o n t i n u a l  a g e n t c a n be  to objectivism.  reflection  sustained.  s h a r e d by t h e m o r a l s u b j e c t i v i s t  o f what I have r e f e r r e d t o a s t h e n a t u r a l d r i f t  moral t h i n k i n g  himself  h i s position i s inherently  effort  o f t h e amoral  i s , however,  He s e e s  and a s c r e a t i n g and s u s t a i n i n g  framework and b e c a u s e o f t h i s  i t i s only  because  individualist.  from  214  4  Existentialism There are  two  m a i n s t r e a m s o f modern p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h o u g h t  w h i c h have t a k e n v e r y  s e r i o u s l y the  values;  existenialism.  e m o t i v i s m and  concern,  there  c o u l d h a r d l y be  more d i v e r g e n t the  styles  and  l e a d o f Hume, and  that  their  inary moral discourse in  their  on  the  other  tialist  i n spite of  have g e n e r a l l y s u p p o s e d t h a t the  outlook.  o r d i n a r y man  The  spirit  existentialist  "the  the  language  the  may,  allows,  the  he  ordinary  true nature  said  I  now  just  understand  o r may  not  understanding  changes i n the  d e s c r i p t i v e analyses  like  not  to  say  a little  form a v e r y  mistake to think a l l o f them.  thought  him  existen-  than  wants t o  them p r e t t y much on  approach to s u b j e c t i v i s m .  for  o r make  gained  outlook  of  something about e m o t i v i s t t h e o r i e s  to deal with  them as  t h i n k e r s do  nothing  man.  treating should  the  ord-  much o f t h e  (which may  and  produce s i g n i f i c a n t  I have a l r e a d y I have t r i e d  of things)  argue  of e x i s t e n i a l i s m ,  and  The  not  with  following  attempts to d e s c r i b e  academic p h i l o s o p h e r s .  reflect  emotivists  of  common  of thought  i s aimed a t a b r o a d e r r e a d e r s h i p  phenomena" and  this  Stevenson t y p i c a l l y  hand, i s much more a c t i v i s t  literature  subjectivity  schools  o f A y e r and  t h e o r i e s ought to upset  change h i s a t t i t u d e s and  the  Ethical  essentially  and  Yet  f o u n d two  methods.  later  t h e o r i e s are  idea of  i t i s the  about the  g r o u p and  notion of  is a c