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From fact to value Feimann, Victor Erwin 1965

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FROM  FACT  TO  VALUE  by Victor Erwin Feimann B.A., University of British Columbia, 1963  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M.A. in the Department of PHILOSOPHY  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 1965  iii  In the  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an  British  mission  for reference  for extensive  p u r p o s e s may  be  cation  of  written  Department  of  and  by  for  M  a  r  c  h  the  study.  the  /  1 9  °5  agree for  that  of •  not  per-  scholarly  Department  shall  of  make i t f r e e l y  or  t h a t , c o p y i n g or  f i n a n c i a l gain  Columbia,  fulfilment  University  shall  I further  Head o f my  PHILOSOPHY  1 7  Library  the  this thesis  permission..  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada Date  degree at  I t i s understood  this thesis  w i t h o u t my  that  copying of  granted  representatives.  this thesis in partial  advanced  Columbia, I agree  available  his  presenting  be  by publi-  allowed  i ABSTRACT It is my aim to present an argument against the view that there is a strict dualism of FACTS on the one hand and D E C I S I O N S or D E M A N D S on the other and to show that there are cases in which an O U G H T can be derived from an IS. I begin by examining the nature of facts in order to determine what they are and what connection there may be between them and events, situations or states of a f f a i r .  1 next examine the question as to whether there is warrant  to stipulate a philosophically technical sense of 'pure fact' or the 'merely f a c t u a l and give consideration to the relevance of the concepts of explanatory 1  power and objectivity to this question, concluding that these concepts do not appear to furnish such a warrant. There follows an argument in support of my opinion that statements of fact presuppose viewpoints which are shared amongst men, thus presupposing in turn some form of community.  By discussing several statements of fact and  showing their dependence upon institutions or societal arrangements I attempt to support my denial of the claim that s p e c i f i c a l l y M O R A L premisses are A L W A Y S required in order to derive demands or decisions from statements of fact. In considering several objections which a dualist might raise against my argument I deal with the question of genetic explanation of moral codes, with some of the possible OUTSIDER positions in respect of moral decisions or demands and with the requirement that rules of formal logic be observed in arriving at moral conclusions.  ii  Since I am not denying the strength in the dualist's position in insisting upon an analysis of statements of fact in an attempt to establish 'pure fact' or the 'merely factual'  I next examine a restricted form of a  dualistic view which deals with the distinction between descriptive and prescriptive contents  in statements of fact.  This shows that there  are  indeed sentences cast in the form of statements of fact which seem to have predominantly prescriptive content,  and I concede the value of a dualistic  analysis to bring this out. I claim that this does not militate against my argument as presented,  that there are objective statements of fact from which by  virtue of the viewpoint underlying them moral demands or decisions can be derived and that it would be extremely difficult to make intelligible the claim that they were not statements of F A C T . In a speculative postscript I touch upon the problem of overriding moral demands.  iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENT If it had not been for Dr. Barnett Savery's flattering comments on my assignments in the introductory course some seven years ago and if I had not enjoyed the kind interest and encouragement of every member of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia during the ensuing years, I doubt that I would have persisted in my studies.  As they know,  I had no  intention to become so involved and to earn academic degrees. I very much doubt that my contribution to the store of philosophical knowledge and insight has been s i g n i f i c a n t , but I have immensely enjoyed grappling with the problems which I encountered, my mentors s i n c e r e l y .  and for this I thank a l l of  V  TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  Quotations  page  1  I  Setting out the Problem  page  2  II  Facts and Events, Situations or States of Affairs  page  5  III  Facts and Things  page  13  IV  Relevance of Explanatory Power and Objectivity  page  16  V  Facts presuppose Viewpoints  page  26  VI  Denial of the unexceptionable requirement of  page  33  Moral Premisses (Institutional oc'Societal Facts) VII  Discussion of three Objections  page  40  VIII  Entailment and Derivation  page  49  IX  Description and Prescription  page  53  Speculative Postscript  page 56  Notes  page 59  Bibliography  page  61  1  "In every system of morality which I have hitherto met w i t h , I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establishes the being of a G o d , or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surprised to f i n d , that instead of the usual copulation of propositions, IS or IS N O T , I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an O U G H T , or an O U G H T N O T . This change is imperceptible; but it is, however, of the last consequence. For as this O U G H T , or O U G H T N O T , expresses some new relation or affirmation, it is necessary that it should be observed and e x p l a i n e d ; and at the same time that a reason should be g i v e n , for what seems altogether i n c o n c e i v a b l e , how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from i t . " David Hume: A TREATISE OF H U M A N N A T U R E , Book III, Part I, Section I.  "I believe in a dualism of facts and decisions or demands (or of IS and O U G H T ) ; in other words, I believe in the impossibility of reducing decisions or demands to facts, although they c a n , of course, be treated as f a c t s . " Karl R. Popper: THE O P E N S O C I E T Y A N D ITS E N E M I E S , Volume 1 , Note 11 to Chapter 3 .  2  I It is my aim in this thesis to challenge the view of an unbridgeable dualism of the IS and the O U G H T , which is expressed in the preceding quotations. Whether I shall be able to show that an O U G H T can be deduced from an IS, in the sense of strict logical deduction, I am not sure.  It is, I b e l i e v e , sufficient for my  purposes if it can be shown that an O U G H T can be derived from an IS, and I propose therefore to argue in favour of this r e l a t i o n , leaving the question of a strictly logical connection for subsequent consideration. I am uneasy about Popper's apparently equating the dualism of decisions or demands and facts with the impossibility of reducing the former to the latter. That he holds this view seems to be quite c l e a r , since he rephrases his thesis, after adopting L . J .  Russell's terminology, as "proposals are not reducible to facts (or to (1)  statements of facts, or to propositions) even though they pertain to f a c t s . " If the possibility of this reduction is a necessary condition for a successful argument against the strict dualism to which he and others adhere, then my purpose may well be unachievable, but I f a i l to see why the establishment of a connection between proposals and propositions must f a i l unless a proposal sentence can be reduced to a proposition sentence without losing any of its meaning, In using the terms 'proposition' and 'proposal' it must be noted that the former has a well defined use as a technical term whereas the latter is quite vague. Nevertheless, there seem to be advantages in employing the term 'proposal', as long as it is understood that I shall be using it merely as a short expression to stand for a suggestion that a certain line of conduct be adopted . As Popper  3 points out, if we use words such as 'norm , 'demand' or ' d e c i s i o n , one may be led 1  1  "to support those who say that these things are beyond discussion (either above i t , as some dogmatic theologians or metaphysicians may say, or - as nonsensical - below it, as some positivists may say). ^  O n the other hand, everyone would agree that  proposals can be discussed and p a r t i c u l a r l y , that they can be adopted or rejected. It is usually the.case, when proposals are discussed with a view towards their adoption or rejection, that such discussions are conducted in terms of facts or alleged facts.  It is c l e a r l y the aim of proponents and adversaries a l i k e to get facts  recognized and a c c e p t e d , since this is considered to be not only relevant but indeed determinant towards adopting or rejecting proposals, as it indeed very often is. dualist would deny this. facts'  No  For instance, when Popper says that proposals 'pertain to  he is thinking especially of alterable facts of social l i f e .  O b v i o u s l y it is  important to have these facts straight, as it is even more important to have the facts straight which make it possible to alter these facts of social life to those to which it is desired to alter them. That a proposal to alter some such facts is not derivable from these same facts is surely unobjectionably c l e a r .  But it seems to me that it is  one thing to say that proposals cannot be derived from certain facts or from facts in respect of which they are made or from facts which are relevant towards achieving the proposals' purposes, but an entirely different claim to say that proposals cannot be derived from any facts whatsoever, and this surely is the dualist's position. Is it not the case that, even when proposals are under discussion which are of the nature of moral demands and i m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y express a moral O U G H T , very often facts are produced or attention is drawn to them or attempts are made to have facts recognized and accepted?  C l e a r l y this is done in the  4  full expectation that something follows from such facts, and I do not believe that they are considered to be of the nature of i n i t i a l conditions from w h i c h , together with a suitable premiss containing an O U G H T relationship, the desired inference is to be drawn.  Rather they are deemed 'to speak for themselves'.  To this the dualist may object that, in order to understand his position, clarity about the term 'fact' must be a c h i e v e d .  He may not deny that it is used  in ordinary discourse, and quite i n t e l l i g i b l y so, in a wide range of cases in some of which it may be held that demands or decisions are derivable from them, but he may point out that in such cases an analysis of the facts or alleged facts would show that they were not 'pure' facts.  If this were his o b j e c t i o n , his position would  demand a technical sense of the term ' f a c t ' , and I w i l l refer in the sequel to it as 'pure fact' or the 'merely f a c t u a l ' . The dualist's thesis would then be that from 'pure facts' or the 'merely f a c t u a l ' no moral demands or decisions can be derived without an additional premiss containing a moral term.  If this is a fair presentation  of the dualist's stand, I propose to attack it by discussing two questions about facts:(1) Are facts in any sense 'things in the world' and if so what type or kind of 'things in the w o r l d ' , and if they are not, what are they? (2) A r e there differences between facts, whatever facts may be, such that it can be determinately proposed that some should be accepted as 'facts' in a technical sense of 'pure facts' and others not?  5  II  We rarely, if ever, seem to speak of particular things in the world as facts.  Such expressions as ' M r . Smith is a f a c t ' , 'this chair is a fact' or 'houses  are facts' sound forced and strange and it would appear to be very difficult to know what to make of them. This is one point made by M r . Strawson in support of his claim that facts are pseudo-entities. ^  Y e t I can imagine a meeting between Hitler and  some of his advisers discussing strategy, during which someone may have said 'but the Maginot Line is a f a c t ' .  For this to make sense there must of course be a  context, but given the context, the sentence is perfectly i n t e l l i g i b l e . draw attention to the Maginot Line's being there, that it is a fact to be taken into account.  It serves to  to its existence if you l i k e ,  so  But is it the Maginot Line which is the  fact to be taken into account, and is it not rather the fact 'that the Maginot Line is there which has to be taken into account? 1  L i n g u i s t i c a l l y , the expression 'but  the Maginot Line is a f a c t is correctly rendered by 'but it is a fact that the 1  Maginot Line is there' (and not a myth or a dream).  The use of the sentence 'but  the Maginot Line is a fact' is performative, which can be seen if it is considered that what is intended by its utterance can also be achieved by 'remember the Maginot L i n e or even simply by 'the Maginot Line! ' given the necessary tone of 1  voice and possibly some accompanying gesture. Therefore, 'but the Maginot Line is a f a c t ' does not appear to be a statement at a l l . I cannot think of any case in which one would or could say of a particular thing that it is a fact without also being able to show that no proper statement has been made.  1 somewhat  hesitantly conclude that the term 'fact' cannot be elucidated when considering its application to particular things, if by particular things we mean what we commonly  6  call single objects (including persons).  I am uneasy and hesitant about this, b e -  cause at first blush one might have been tempted to say that if there are any 'pure facts',  they would exactly be such 'objects' or something like them.  I hope that  further investigation will permit the return to this problem. M r . Strawson counts as things-genuinely-in-the-world besides things and persons also events. events?  We would ordinarily not speak of events as objects.  What are  Whatever else they may be, they are occurrences or 'things that happen'  (Concise Oxford Dictionary),  that is to say happenings in the world which can be  seen, experienced, witnessed, e t c . 'did you see this f a c t ? ' .  We can say 'did you see this e v e n t ? ' but not  However, we do on some occasion use 'did you witness  this f a c t ? ' as in some sense equivalent to 'did you witness this e v e n t ? ' .  Thus  there are occasions when an event is said to be a fact, but the IS here is not that of logical equivalence, of course. event can be said to be a fact,  Certain conditions have to be met before an  and it seems to me that on all such occasions  nothing more is implied than that it is a fact that the event took place or simply that the event took place as described. A l l this shows at the moment is that, even if it should be correct in certain circumstances to say 'this event is a fact' and even if it is granted that events are things-in-the-world (although the meaning of this is somewhat obscure and bears investigation), it does not follow that facts are thingsin-the-world. M r . Austin contends that M r . Strawson would admit that also phenomena, situations and states of affairs would be things-genuinely-in-the-world but adds significantly 'Whatever exactly that may m e a n " .  ^  Whether or not M r .  Strawson  would admit this, I do not know, but it seems to me that he might and still contend  7 that facts are not. Mr. Austin quotes Mr. Strawson thus: (*>) "What makes the statement that the cat has mange true is not the cat, but the condition of the cat, i.e. the fact that the cat has mange. The only plausible candidate for the position of what (in the world) makes the statement true is the fact it states; but the fact it states is not something in the world." On this Mr. Austin comments that it seems quite plain to him (1) that the condition of the cat is a fact; (2) that the condition of the cat is something in the world; and he seems to imply with his question "how can Strawson have come to say that the condition of the cat is N O T something in the world?",  that it follows from these two  premisses that the FACT is something in the world. Whether or not he wants this inference to be drawn,  I am not sure, but it does not seem to me to follow.  It seems to me to be Mr. Strawson's point that facts are asserted or stated about something in the world. Accordingly, it would on this view be incorrect to assert that a fact can be DESCRIBED because then a fact would presumably be something in the world which the description would more or less accurately fit.  On the  other hand, it is surely quite intelligible to consider whether or not a statement does justice to the facts, and as Mr. Austin contends, the use of the expressions 'correspond with the facts' or 'fitting the facts' does not leave either speaker or hearer with any metaphysical doubts. So, for instance, does Moritz Schlick defend his claim that statements can be compared with facrs:"l have often compared propositions to facts . . . . I found, for instance in my Baedeker the statement: "This cathedral has two spires", I was able to compare it with 'reality' by looking at the cathedral, and this comparison convinced me that Baedeker's assertion was true." (6)  But this explanation does not show that the fact is in the world in the way that the two-spired cathedral is, and 1 do not think for a minute that Schlick wanted to  8 contend that it was.  It would be straining language to say that the two-spired  cathedral is a f a c t , except in circumstances which I have tried to illuminate with the example of the Maginot L i n e .  Therefore S c h l i c k could hardly have meant that  he compared the proposition 'This cathedral has two spires' with the 'fact of the twospired c a t h e d r a l ' . What he obviously did was to look at a certain structure in order to determine whether the description 'This cathedral has two spires' fitted i t .  His  account appears to me to accord well with M r . Strawson's claim that the use of the word 'fact' is in the nature of a linguistic d e v i c e . N o w it is interesting that the question of facts arises most significantly with statements of a descriptive character.  (It may be claimed that there are other instances,  such as for example mathematical facts, or more generally, facts expressed by analytical propositions, but it may be asserted with some justification that these are facts in quite a different sense. A t any rate, my examination is not concerned with them).  Consider  the following propositions:(T) This cathedral has two spires; (2) N o cathedral has fifty spires. If these two propositions are to be compared with facts, and if the first accords with the 'fact of the two-spired cathedral' (a potion which I have tried to show to be obscure and against which I have already argued), what would be the fact-in-theworld in the second case?  N o single inspection of a fact would do, and the fact  would only emerge after every single cathedral in the world had been inspected. Then, in some manner and at a certain time, a 'fact' would be-in-the-world (if facts are to be things-in-the-world).  It is quite unplausible that the then estab-  lished fact-in-the-world is the 'fifty-spired no-cathedral'.  What would have  been established could well be c a l l e d a state of affairs, and if the proposition  9 'No cathedral has fifty spires' accurately describes that state of affairs, then that state of affairs could be said to be a fact.  And it seems to me that this is simply  another way of saying that the particular state of affairs is accurately described. It seems to be the case, as Mr. Strawson contends, that the notion of 'fact' is intimately connected with descriptions or descriptive statements or propositions.  If on the one hand facts were things-;genuinely-in-the-world-out-  there totally divorced from descriptions, and on the other hand there were descriptions which describe them, then there would be a one-to-one correlation between facts and their descriptions. An event or a state of affairs is frequently described in quite different and even divergent ways, and all of these descriptions may well be quite correct.  Now one who holds that facts are things-genuinely-in-  the-world apart from descriptions and that an event or a state of affairs is such a fact, would have to say that each of the different or divergent descriptions - if correct - must describe a different and distinct fact, whereas I would want to say that each of the different or divergent descriptions states a different fact about the event or state of affairs.  If there were these different and divergent facts-  out-there, there would also have to be different and divergent events or states of affairs somehow embodied in the one event or state of affairs which is so variously - and ex hypothesi correctly - described.  What we do, however,  |s to recognize different aspects of an event or state of affairs, hardly speaks of different aspects of q fact.  What makes a fact,  whereas one I would like  to say, is the aspect with which an event or state of affairs is viewed, becomes evident in the description given.  and this  10  I would be hard put to it to make sense of 'fact' apart from descriptions, and it is therefore that I am troubled by Mr. Austin's statement "that there may very well be facts that nobody knows or ever will know". (?)  \ g a  r e e  that there may  very well be SOMETHING in the world about which nobody may ever make a statement or which nobody may ever include in an account, but I am inclined to hold that whatever these SOMETHINGS may be, they are not FACTS. If a fact is an accurate description of something, then it has no status apart from that description, and it is how that description is made which is at least co-determinant as to what the fact is. In orger to elucidate this, let the fact that the cat has mange be considered once more. Supposing that nobody had ever looked at cats with a view towards determining something about their condition, and supposing further that no one ever will look at cats in order to find out anything about them, then the fact of the cat's having mange would be one pf which Mr. Austin might say that nobody knows or ever will know it.  This is entirely so and I agree with him. But it is  taken for granted then, I believe, that there have been or will be statements made which contain the word 'mange', such as for instance, that certain animals have it, or at least it seems to be taken for granted that some statement of medical fact has been or will be made. If we suppose, however, that no statement of medical fact has been or will ever be made, I find it difficult to make sense of the notion of there being a medical fact (and it seems to me to be clearly a medical fact that an animal has mange) that nobody knows or ever will know. In order that a statement attributing the condition of mange to an animal may be made as a statement of fact, there must be - apart from possibly many other conditions which have to be met - also a  11  medical viewpoinf.  Whatever the fact may be if there is no medical viewpoint, and  it is surely easy to think of many descriptions of the cat's c o n d i t i o n , it is N O T mange. Whatever the fact or facts may be in respect of anything, if there is V I E W P O I N T AT A L L , I cannot even imagine.  NO  I would say that whatever there might  be without a viewpoint ordering it - and I am most certainly not denying that there be anything - it is not F A C T S .  I do not find it in the least disturbing that we cannot  say anything about the world without so to speak interfering with i t , interfering in the sense of assuming or positing or creating an order.  I am not thereby claiming that we  can be simply arbitrary, and am inclined to agree with the opinion (expressed,  I  believe,  our  amongst others by M r . Popper)  that in the natural sciences at least,  descriptive statements have continuously gained in explanatory power and in this sense may be deemed to have stated ever more accurate facts. If my analysis of the logic of the term 'fact' is accepted as being plausible then in a very strong sense facts are not things-genuinely-in-the-world as some form of given raw material, but rather that they result from ordering such raw material whatever it may be - under viewpoints.  Facts are wedded to propositions because  it is through propositions or descriptive statements that a viewpoint is i m p l i c i t l y put forward.  But facts are also wedded to things-genuinely-in-the-world since  upon these that the viewpoint operates.  it is  What then are we to say of the perfectly  i n t e l l i g i b l e expression: 'correspond to the f a c t s ' ? ,  an expression for the abolition  of which I certainly do not wish to argue. O n e thing may be said, and that is that the d i f f i c u l t y about the ontological status of facts applies equally to events, situations or states of affairs. I have already remarked that a l l of these can be and are variously described.  Now  12  it may be conjectured that because an event or situation or state of affairs may have different aspects such that different descriptions can be correctly given dependent upon what particular features are picked out and included in the account, there must be OUT THERE everything making up the event, situation or state of affairs from which we select this or that item. But I contend that events, situations or states of affairs can no more be READ OFF than facts can be and that we do not simply pick out items from what-there-is to make up our account. We describe events, situations or states of affairs by bringing our conceptual apparatus to bear upon what confronts us in the world. It is pf course the case that not just any description will do of which it ca be claimed that it states or asserts a fact, and it would appear to me that what is or not accepted as a statement of fact has to do with some form of consensus of opinion among men. This may seem to put the position of the discoverer or reformer in question, because what he essentially does is - I would say - state new facts. I do not think that this need be denied at all, although I admit that  I am in consider  able doubt as to being able to assert that someone might state a fact without anyone else's EVER agreeing. I am inclined to think that this cannot be done and that this would strain the logic of the word 'fact' beyond its intelligible use. What usually does happen is that the discoverer's or reformer's statements or propositions become statements of FACTS only when they are absorbed into a body of knowledge, presupposing at least some form of community. discoverer or reformer is rescued and,  In this manner the role of the  it seems to me, indeed made intelligible.  I consider myself justified to say now that there is nothing wrong or spurious with the expression: 'correspond to the facts' and that the use of this  13  expression does not commit one to having to accept an ontological status of facts as genuinely-in-the-world.  ln the same sense that facts are not genuinely-in-the-  w o r l d , events, situations or states of affairs are not genuinely-in-the-world. What counts for a fact also counts for a correct description of some event, situation or state of affairs, and what counts fpr such a correct description presupposes a SHARED V I E W P O I N T .  If, not counting myself, one half of the people on earth  held that the sun revolves around the earth and the other half held that the earth revolves around the sun  ana" a l l other things being equal (which in this context  may mean that it l i t e r a l l y made no difference which view were held) - then I would be at a complete loss to make any sense of the question: 'which is the f a c t , or.-TRUE f a c t ? . 1  But I would be in an equally bad f i x to describe the event or  state of affairs of the relative motions of sun and earth.  O f course, it is just  because it DOES make a difference that statements asserting something come to be stating F A C T S . If the analysis so far has succeeded in throwing some light on the connection between fqcts and events, situations or states of affairs, can something now be said about what 'pure facts' might b e ? ,  and towards this end it may be  fruitful to revert to particular things or single objects. Ill I have already remarked that the concept of 'fact' does not appear to be applicable to particular objects. Facts, as I have tried tp argue, are wedded to propositions, and words are not propositions. But when a proposition asserts a fact then it purports to, and when it states a fact then it does, say something about the world which holds of certpin things.  Even 'no cathedra) has fifty spires' states a  14  fact about cathedrals and spires even though there be no fifty-spired cathedrals. 'The p o l i t i c a l climate is unfavourable for the passage of this piece of legislation' states a f a c t , although a very complicated one, about certain people at a certain time, whatever else it may be about.  I think it is relevant to the question of what  it is to know facts to consider at least briefly the relation of language to the w o r l d . Christopher Blake draws attention to the "fundamentally erroneous idea that something which is known corresponds to something else which it is known a b o u t " , that  so  "thinking about such notions as factual truth seems to be dogged by a certain  picture of the things which are said truly somehow mirroring that (the physical aspect of the world) to which they refer.  (8)  It is possibly too dogmatic a claim  to speak of fundamental error, but that there is a genuine question, I should like to bring out in the form of a very brief story. A very long time ago there lived in a forest a group of not-quite-yethuman beings. They were frequently attacked by beasts of the forest, and the fear this engendered was given vent in shouts or y e l l s , which for a long time were quite involuntary and unintentioned, but following which the entire group always ran for their l i v e s .  Then at some stage (and the necessary p h y s i o l o g i c a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l ,  evolutionary and other pre-conditions for this to happen are here disregarded)  a  specific sound, let us say 'beast', was shouted purposefully whenever an animal of the forest approached, and the group scattered. This, we may say, was then a w o r d . What did this word stand f o r ?  W e l l , in a way it stood for animals of some kind or  maybe animals of a l l kinds, but it also stood for a complex situation signifying what we would now c a l l 'danger'; it might also have stood for 'run' or ' f l e e ' . take our story a little further.  Let us  It was found that running away upon hearing the  15  shouted word 'beast' did not always prevent disaster. (Some animals could run faster!). A c c i d e n t a l l y at first, some of the group climbed trees, others ran into a c a v e , and it was found that the former saved them from some animals, the latter from others.  Now  the language changed, and the shouts became either 'beast-tree' or 'beast-cave', but the language consisted of only the compound words 'beast-tree' and 'beast-cave ; 1  in other words  'tree' and 'cave' by themselves were never used at this stage.  what did 'tree' and 'cave' stand f o r ?  Now  in the compound expressions 'beast-tree' and 'beast-cave'  W e l l , in a way they stood for some things like trees and caves, but only  in a very special way, as the invariable conjunction with 'beast' shows. They could have stood for 'escape route' or 'sanctuary' in our present-day language.  The point  I wish to make is that quite plausibly 'tree' and 'cave' by themselves stood for nothing at a l l and hence were never used as independent words. If we were to comment on this story that trees and caves were there then as they are now, whether or not our not-quite-yet-human beings used the words 'tree' and 'cave' ,  then we would be quite correct, but the intended point of the  story is to make i n t e l l i g i b l e and persuasive the notion that to them the things 'tree' and 'cave' were not what they are to us, and that in this sense they were N O T trees and caves.  Although this brief digression does by no means deal even remotely  in  anything approaching an adequate manner with the problem of the correspondence theory of language,  it does indicate the relevance of a conceptual framework  towards the use of words even for naming particular things or single objects.  It  furthermore seems to me to show that the attempt to elucidate the concept of 'pure fact' somehow or other in connection with such single objects f a i l s .  Even for  naming particular things we cannot do without a viewpoint and also particular  16 things do not seem to me to be SIMPLY THERE.  Rather, they can be very different  things, dependent upon viewpoints. I may now extend my conclusion regarding the status of facts and say that to know facts does not appear to me to be essentially different from knowing things, events, situations or states of affairs in the world, and that it is therefore that we may quite legitimately use the term 'fact' in discourse as we do, without creating an ontological problem. If facts then are what propositions state when they are correct descriptions, could the dualist now argue convincingly that there are propositions which state pure facts or the merely factual and that for the purpose of clarity a philosophically technical application of the term 'fact' should be restricted to this class of propositions? In order to examine this I propose to consider two criteria which may be advanced as distinguishing such merely factual propositions. These criteria are explanatory power and objectivity, and the claim may be:(1) that certain descriptive statements have in the course of time gained immeasurably in explanatory power; (2) that these statements are distinguished by being OBJECTIVE.  IV Since the science of Physics has been singularly successful in explaining physical events and since its explanations are deemed to be specifically objective, it may be fruitful to consider some aspects of physical explanation. Ernst Cassirer coined what I consider to be a felicitous phrase when he.said that the system of M  physical knowledge is distinguished from a mere rhapsody of perceptions."  ^  Even in the simplest physical experiment, universal conditions are presupposed  17  which cannot be READ OFF.  The very concept of measurement implies a serial order  which it would appear to be impossible to observe as a self-evident feature in no matter how many individual instances in a manifold. In order to measure we have to work with certain constants and these do not appear to be given, they are not copiable from sense impressions. "Each change in the system of scientific concepts places in a clear light the permanent structural elements to be ascribed to this system, as it is only under the assumption of these elements that it can be described. If we take as given the whole of experience, as it is represented in any definite stage of knowledge, this whole is never a mere aggregate of perceptual data, but is divided and unified according to definite theoretical points of view . . . . " ,  without which . . . "no single  assertion concerning facts, in particular no single concrete measurement, would be possible."  ( ) 10  In order to understand and to explain, then, we employ rules of connection, and the laws of physics are such rules of connection. They are formulated, but this is of course not to say that they are arbitrary. ful use in explaining physical events.  Their validity rests with their success-  Little as I grasp Einstein's General Theory of  Relativity, it seems to me that its central import as a law lies in its holding for every observational point of view.  It achieves this in part, so I believe, by replacing  substantive elements previously held to be irreducible by the unity of certain functional relations. physical events.  It is these functional relations which determine OBJECTIVELY  It seems to be this objectivity in physical explanation which gives  the explanation such convincing force, but then this objectivity is of a very special kind.  It is not in terms of things or objects in space and time, but might be  described as 'determinability according to law from any observational position'.  18  What is expressed in the law(s) is a rule of the understanding, and this in my opinion is grounded in a particular viewpoint, in this case the viewpoint shared by community of physical scientists.  the  A rule of the understanding is not arbitrary since  it cannot be independent of what is to be understood, and this (in physical science) is in the worjd out there, but already in determining what is to be understood a viewpoint is implied, involving some selection from amongst data and a demand to adopt one intellectual representation rather than another. find it difficult to make clearer, decision.  In a manner which  I  a judgement is involved here, possibly even a  A n d it appears to me to be unobjectjonably clear that from a sufficient  number of statements of physical facts I can validly derive the laws which have been employed in making these statements, and therefore the rules of understanding expressed in the laws and the viewpoint in which these rules are grounded. And if I am right in claiming that in the adoption of a viewpoint there is implied some form of judgement, maybe some form of exercising a preference, then from statements of physical facts I can derive judgements about the nature of the physical world. Now if the dualist wishes to insist that the term 'fact' in the sense of pure fact be restricted to descriptive statements having the nature of statements of physical facts, and in particular having the same criteria for explanation and objectivity, then we are in a bad fix indeed when it comes to making statements of fact about the behaviour of human beings.  But before discussing this, let it be  observed that we are also in somewhat of a fix when it comes to making statements of fact about physical T H I N G S , because  - if my account is correct - the peculiar  objectivity attained in physical description is possible only through abstracting  19  everything P H Y S I C A L from things and replacing it by functional relations. four-dimensional space-time manifold  is certainly no T H I N G ) .  descend into the world of things, even the physical scientist  (A  A n d as soon as we  has to introduce a  different concept of objectivity, brought out by terms such as 'position of the observer , 1  'normal conditions prevailing'  now contrasted with SUBJECTIVITY,  etc.  In other words, O B J E C T I V I T Y is  and I suspect that the warrant for speaking  in the world of things of objectivity without any particular doubts and reservations is, that it is relatively easy to secure general consensus about a N E U T R A L observational position. A t any rate, the dualist does not object  - I believe - to  statements about physical things in some relation to each other being statements of f a c t . When it comes to statements about human behaviour, some hold that it is impossible to be objective.  It is my opinion that they must be clearly wrong.  What they claim is that objectivity can never be attained because the observer is himself human and therefore can never get himself out of the picture.  This claim  uses the contrast of objective versus subjective but in such a manner that there is no true alternative.  In other words, if objectivity is ruled out ab initio we have  a classical example of offending the principle of non-vacuous contrast.  I am  inclined to believe that when it is claimed that statements about human behaviour cannot be objective, what is meant is that they cannot have scientific objectivity, and that the model for scientific objectivity  is that of the physical sciences.  But  we have seen that the objectivity of pure physics is of a peculiar nature and that, if facts are stated about things, a shift in the use of 'objective' occurs.  In this  shift the concept of neutrality is relevant, a sort of I M P E R S O N A L attitude.  Now  20  some such attitude is also relevant in being objective about human behaviour, and if this is more difficult, it nevertheless is not ruled out in principle.  If it were, then  for instance the judgement that some reporters are more objective than others would be entirely unwarranted.  In fact, we know very well what it means to be objective  in many areas of discourse about the behaviour of human beings and we can cite criteria to support our c l a i m .  These are not essentially different from the criteria  for neutrality in the observation of physical events as happening with and to things. In neither case can one be neutral in the sense of having no viewpoint, and it is clearly the case that some shared viewpoints prevail with regard to human behaviour. The real difficulty seems to me to lie in the implicit claim in the view of the d u a l ist that the rule of the understanding applied in the physical sciences has some sort of privileged status, in other words that this is in some sense the SUPREME rule. What I believe he has in mind is the powerful sort of explanation which is achieved in pure physics by abstracting from all things and'objects.  O n this view  no REAL explanation about human behaviour is possible until we reach a similar state of affairs in accounting for human behaviour. Peter Winch points out that whereas in the physical sciences the explainor sets out to explain the extra-human world around him (and the physical events to be explained are not deemed to have viewpoints), when we come to explain human behaviour, we have to deal with two sets of rules (or at least two rules),  those or that adopted by the explainor for his understanding, and those or  that governing the behaviour to be explained. dilemma!  We are now faced with a  If we want to say that human behaviour is to be explained under rules  of the understanding expressed in laws of the physical science model with their  21  convincing forcefulness, con we avoid subsuming the rules governing the behaviour to be explained under such laws?  A n d if we are prepared to do this, then what  becomes of the argument that there is an element of choice or decision involved in the concept of 'viewpoint ? 1  It seems to me that we will be driven, if we insist on  only one SUPREME type of rule of the understanding, namely that employed in explaining physical events, to have to hold as illusory any explanation which contains terms which we consider specifically applicable to human action, such as 'choice',  'decision',  'alternative',  'obligation' e t c .  It may be argued that this  conclusion need not be drawn, that if only we K N E W M O R E we could satisfactorily explain human action under rules of the understanding expressed in laws of the physi-j' " cal science model which do not contain these specifically anthropomorphic terms, whilst still retaining explanations which do contain these terms as limiting cases under the more general laws.  This seems to me to be very unplausible.  Everyone knows what a joke is (if he has a sense of  humour, that is!)  and sometimes, when a hearer does not get the point, an attempt is made to explain the joke.  However, whenever a joke is explained it ceases to be a joke.  Somehow,  whatever it was that made it a joke disappears in the process of explanation. one thing, the element of surprise is gone.  For  Is the element of surprise then illusory?,  but was it not just that (at least in part) which made the joke? 'De gustibus non est disputandum! ' ,  - a saying which is distinguished  by being largely ignored, since do we not ceaselessly argue about taste and try mold taste and make others see as we see?  to  Unless we are completely deluding our-  selves, it must be possible to look at something in one way rather than in another, that is to change viewpoints.  In what sense can we say that viewpoints are  22  determined?  Obviously on the one hand by what there is to be seen, but surely also  by how it is looked at, and whilst there are limits to this, there are alternatives among which one can choose. If science were to establish that what we call choice is in every case inevitable, then I submit that we could not use the word 'choice' any longer s i g n i ficantly, at least not in its present meaning, but what meaning it could then possibly have, escapes me.  I cannot see how explanations with the term 'choice'  in them could continue as limiting cases under rules of the understanding which eliminate just exactly what making a choice now means to us, namely the possibility of alternatives.  As Dostoevsky has the underground man say it:  "Indeed, if there really is some day discovered a formula for all our desires and caprices - that is, an explanation of what they depend o n , by what laws they arise, how they develop, what they are aiming at in one case and another and so o n , that is a real mathematical formula - then, most likely, man will cease at once to feel desire, indeed, he will be certain to Besides, he will at once be transformed from a human being into an organ-stop or something of the sort; for what is a man without desires, without freewill and without c h o i c e , if not a stop in an organ? What do you think? Let us reckon the chances - can such a thing happen or n o t ? " 02)  It is as though the difficulty with explaining human behaviour were one of lifting oneself by his bootstraps.  He who tries to explain human behaviour is  himself human, and when he tries to understand he must concede understanding to others, and when he explains according to principles and rules he must concede to others the faculty to formulate rules.  This is perfectly true, but from this it does  not follow that one can in principle not explain human behaviour nor render an objective account.  That the explanations may be different, employing different  terms (in particular what we may call 'mentalistic' terms),  and that the objectivity  may be more difficult to achieve, may be conceded, but we do know what constitutes  23  the one and we do have criteria for claiming the other.  Furthermore, if one were to  make the claim that human behaviour is in principle not explainable because of the recognition that human beings are rule-making beings, and this cla|m may be seen to be implied in juxtaposing the physical scientist's standing so-to-speak outside his subject and the explainer's of human behaviour standing so-to-speak on the inside, then one would be involved in an absurd position.  Because, if the fact that human  beings think for themselves makes it impossible to render objective explanations of what they do then that same fact makes it also impossible to render objective explanations of the physical world around us.  As I have tried to show, it takes a  SHARED V I E W P O I N T to do so and this implies knowing something about the rules of the understanding adopted by others. I therefore claim that on the grounds  of . explanatory power and  objectivity there is no warrant to restrict the term 'fact' in philosophical investigation to correct descriptions of things, events, situations or states of affairs not involving human beings.  This would amount to a claim that correct  descriptions cannot be given as soon as a human being is placed in an event, situation or state of affairs;  in fact one could not make any description at a l l .  This is plainly absurd, and no dualist would hold this view. 'Chinese New Year is debt-settlement time',  'John is Bill's father',  'He is a Chang from Fatshan' are  statements of fact if it is indeed the case that John is Bill's father, that debts are settled at Chinese New Year and that such and such a man is named Chang and his native city is Fatshan.  We know  how these facts can be checked and v e r i f i e d .  I  have chosen these particular facts because I propose to deal with them, and I do not suppose that anyone would claim that these are not facts.  Before doing so, however,  24  1 wish to refer to some facts (or perhaps better:  alleged facts) which cause trouble.  For instance, Karl Popper claims that "the decision to oppose slavery does not depend upon the fact that all men are born free and e q u a l , and that no man is born (13) in c h a i n s . "  I feel that the word 'depend' in this sentence is ambiguous.  If  the sense is that the. decision to oppose slavery cannot be derived from the fact (if it is a fact) that o 11 men are born free and equal e t c . , I will want to argue against this, and this will be my aim in the following, but here^ 1 merely wish to draw attention to his apparently having no hesitation to call it a F A C T that all men are born free e t c . description  If he had argued that this is not a fact, in other words that the  (if it is a description):  "all men are born free and equal e t c . " is not  a correct description, or perhaps that it is not a description at a l l , then the onus would be on an objector to argue convincingly that it is a description and furthermore a correct o n e .  But when it here is a question of whether or not something is  a fact, it is not whether it is or is not so in a technical sense of the term 'fact' but simply whether it is or is not a fact plain and simple. Whereas in the instance just discussed the denial that the statement is a proper statement or that it correctly states a fact can be buttressed by strong arguments, I am in considerable doubt as to whether the fact that 'there is evil in the world'  can be similarly attacked.  I would want to argue that  'there is evil  in the world is a statement and that it correctly states a fact, but am not at all 1  sure that I can do so satisfactorily. states a  Let me try!  If 'there is evil in the world'  fact, then it must be possible to make statements of fact that such and  such an action or state of affairs is e v i l .  The emotivist holds that whenever we say  'this (whatever it may be) is e v i l ' , we are not making a statement at all but merely  25 express something like 'I do not like this (whatever it may be), - please do not you like it either!  1  ment either.  But if that is so, then 'there is evil in the world' cannot be a state-  However, what it then would be, the emotivist does not seem able to  explain at a l l .  If he were to say that it means simply something like 'I do not like  e v i l , - please everyone else, do not you like it either! ' ,  then this makes sense  only if something IS e v i l , that is, IS evil as q matter of fact, and this the emotivist denies.  He is driven - I believe - to hold that 'there is evil in the world' has no  meaning or sense, and this I find extremely unconvincing. I would want to reply. ' O f course there is evil in the world, and furthermore you know it! ' . Here is another attack! - The statement 'this (whatever it may be)  is  e v i l ' is not q statement of fact, but rather a value judgement. Well and good; let it always be a value judgement by somebody about a certain action or state of affairs. what?  Then 'there is evil in the world  1  is also a value judgement, but about  Would it be convincing to claim that 'there is evil in the world' simply is  short for 'people judge all kinds of actions or states of affairs to be e v i l ' ?  Surely  'there is evil in the world' is a much stronger claim than t h i s ! , in fact it claims to state a F A C T ,  and I cannot for the life of me see how it can be denied to be a  statement of fact.  If it is a statement of fact then something follows from it, but  this - of course - is the argument which I shall now have to attempt to make convincing.  In order to do so I wish to start with the (possibly) more straight-  forward facts mentioned earlier.  26  V Until some thirty-oddyears ago it was an established practice in the Chinese business community that at Chinese New Year in each year debts were settled.  (I do not know whether this still is the custom in Chinese business  communities wherever they may b e .  As a matter of fact this was even then not a  hard and fast rule buttressed by legal sanctions, and so many exceptions occurred that it could probably be asserted at some time that the rule was no longer being followed, or that it was an unreliable guide, or that a particular system was being replaced by another one, or that the G o o d O l d Days were over).  But let  us  assume - and this is probably correct - that for a substantial period of time this practice was followed and the rule furnished a reliable guide.  During that period  of time from the proposition that 'Chinese New Year is debt-settlement time'  I - as  a trader in C h i n a - could validly derive numerous proposals, such as: Met us not deliver these goods to Chang Yen until after Chinese New Y e a r ' .  Why not? -  Because he is heavily in debt and may not be able to weather Chinese New Y e a r . It is easy to imagine a great number of proposals for action to be taken or not to be taken because 'Chinese New Year is debt-settlement time'.  This appears to me to  be a clear and unobjectionable example showing that from some statements of fact I can validly derive some decisions or demands. To use Hume's terminology: From the propositions:(1)  Chinese New Year IS debt-settlement time;  (3)  It IS now two weeks before Chinese New Year;  (2)  Chang Yen IS heavily in debt;  I can derive the new relation or affirmation:(4)  We O U G H T N O T now deliver these goods to Chang Y e n .  Admittedly the list of propositions may be incomplete but if so, then more IS-  27 statements are required.  I claim that a missing premiss is not likely to be: 'When-  ever there is danger of losing money, we ought not . . . ' because very often we do just this in spite of the danger of losing money, because of other reasons.  A correct  premiss with an O U G H T might well be: 'Whenever there is danger of losing money, we ought to be c a r e f u l ' ,  but the decision to deliver or not to deliver the goods is  only made after we have been careful, and the demand for care is a demand to take qll facts into account when deliberating,  it is not a demand for a particular a c t i o n .  If the O U G H T premiss is quite general then it is only trivially pertinent to a decision, e . g .  'we ought to maximize our profits'.  This is not to cjaim that  triviality ipso facto rules out a premiss as irrelevant, and perhaps it would have been more correct to call this premiss otiose since it does not tell me anything which the statement of fact that 'we are engaged in the enterprise of business' does not tell me. I hope to clarify and substantiate this claim in the course of my argument. In any event, if an O U G H T - c o n t a i n i n g premiss were to state all of the general conditions which together with certain initial conditions would yield by strictly logical inference the specific action demanded, impossible to devise such an O U G H T premiss.  then it is probably quite  In trying to formulate such a  sufficient premiss I would in fact do exactly what I am doing when trying to arrive at a sound business decision from the facts given me.  What I am doing is using my  knowledge of a certain business climate including rules observed therein,  my  knowledge of the character or habits of a certain customer; I assess the risks of a certain transaction to him and to me, I might venture upon a measure of prediction concerning  his likely actions under certain circumstances,  I consider possible  consequences, ana then make a decision. The one thing I do not do is to examine 1  28 an O U G H T premiss, subsume all the facts under it and then deduce a decision.  But  I most certainly derive my decision from numerous facts, and when it turns out that I made the wrong decision, it will be so because some fact or facts were overlooked or not taken into account, either through lack of care or lack of possibility to know them.  I can ex post facto explain what went wrong by pointing out these facts;  I can  ex post facto justify my decision by pointing out that I could not have known these facts.  I cannot either explain or justify my decision with the help of logical rules of  deduction. The claim that a schema such as I have considered is an enthymeme seems to me to break down if it is not possible to cite the O U G H T premiss which it is presumed to be missing, or if this can only be produced after the decision has been made.  It may now be claimed that I have after all shown that decisions are autono-  mous and must be independent (to use Popper's term) of facts because I cannot show that a particular decision MUST follow from the facts.  Be it noted that the demand  that a decision must logically follow may possibly be a mistaken demand. decision must follow from anything,  If a  it is no longer a decision, one might say.  What plausible account can I g i v e , then, of the relation between facts and decisions? I have already pointed put that, given more or different facts my decision might have been different.  This could not be the case if decisions were independent of facts,  but is not very helpful because a wrong decision would also result if under a general O U G H T premiss some factual IS premisses stating specific initial conditions were missing or were mistaken. require an O U G H T premiss?  But given correct and complete IS premisses, do I still The dualist contends that I do, but he seems not to be  able to make this contention convincing as I have tried to show.  W e l l , he might say  29 that this must be so in principle, even though it can possibly not ever be actually done.  But then this would begin to look to me like a case of petitio principii.  He assumes what he is trying to prove, because - as 1 have contended - I can always construct a sufficient OUGHT premiss after I have made my decision, but I am in grave doubt that this can be done beforehand.  On the other hand, under-  lying all of my business decisions there is something like the general purpose of doing business at a l l , some concept of the nature of the enterprise which embodies broad guidelines to action (e.g. 'we ought to maximize our profits'), and obviously this affects my decisions which are made so-to-speak in a specific climate.  It seems  to me to be the case that the nature of the enterprise is exhibited in the way in which the FACTS are stated.  'Chang Yen is heavily in debt' is a statement of a business  fact, if you like, and so is 'Chinese New Year is debt-settlement time', and the viewpoint exhibited in these and numerous other business facts limits the range of possible decisions and accounts for reasonable or warranted decisions in certain circumstances. I should like to draw an interim conclusion to the effect that I can derive decisions from facts because in stating the facts and selecting the facts I have applied a viewpoint which not only conditions the possible range of decisions but also provides a guide towards warranted decisions. About thirty years ago I was the Branch Manager in Canton of a HongKong trading concern. It was my first position of independent responsibility and being quite young, I was very anxious to make a go of it.  Very shortly after assuming this position,  the principal Chinese member of our staff who carried a post with considerable financial responsibility became involved in a complex situation with the result that there was some question as to whether company funds had or had not been misused. This was  30 extremely embarrassing to me, particularly since I considered myself to be so-tospeak on trial as a manager, and I was quite unsuccessful in my attempts to get the Chinese gentleman concerned to give an accounting of the funds in question. His name was not C h a n g , and he did not come from Fatshan, but the name Chang and the home-city Fatshan will do tp illustrate my point.  After some searching I came  to know of a gentleman of considerable reputation who lived with his family in one of the suburbs of Canton and who was a Chang from Fatshan;  in other words there  were the two facts of his coming from the same city as my Chang and his being somehow related to him. I approached this gentleman, probably through some introduction of which I no longer recall  the details, and I also can no longer  remember just exactly how our conversation went, but I am sure that the essentials are included in the following abbreviated dialogue:V . E . F . : Permit me to introduce myself; my name is V. E . F . , I am the Canton manager of B & C o . and M r . Chang is our Compradore. There seems to be some trouble about some collection of funds (and here Chang  followed an account of what happened).  : This is most unfortunate, and I presume that there is some good reason why you are telling me all this.  V . E . F . : Y e s ; you see, he is a Chang from Fatshan! Chang  : O h ; I see!  and to make a long story short, suitable arrangements ensued, face was saved all round and my position was secured.  The point of the story is that the statement of  fact that 'he is a Chang from Fatshan' was deemed sufficient to carry in its wake a number of actions.  31  I made the statement of the fact that 'he is a Chang from Fatshan' in  the  full expectation that this fact would establish an obligation for the man I approached, and he acknowledged his position of involvement forthwith.  Note that he may  not  have known my Chang too well and that the kinship may have been quite distant;  I  do not recall these details, but I do know that I considered no other fact relevant than the one that both gentlemen were Changs from Fatshan.  I have related  incident which I experienced, but in order to get the Issue clearer,  an  I now wish to  state that in many cases it would have been sufficient to say: 'he is from your village! ' , and that this fact alone would have established an obligation-pregnant situation. Now if someone came to me, relating circumstances in which a fellow-villager of ,mine (assuming 1 had been born in a village) was culpably involved and then capped his story with the statement  'but he is a fellow-villager of yours! ' , I might consider  this intelligence with interest, possibly even with sorrow and compassion such that I might be inclined to make some ex gratia contribution, but I would not consider myself to be under any particular obligation. from your v i l l a g e  1  If then the statement of fact that 'he is  is a statement of the same fact (mutatis mutandis) whether made by  me to M r . Chang or by someone to me, then indeed there is another premiss (or other premisses) required such that in the one case an obligation-pregnant situation obtains but not in the other.  I agree that for ME to expect that pointing out the fact to M r .  Chang that 'he is from your v i l l a g e would have certain consequences, it was necess1  ary that I should know more, such as Chinese customs, habits, moral convictions or the like,  and call these additional premisses if you l i k e .  But for HIS recognizing  the obligation-pregnant situation, no further premisses were required, nor for that matter would they be for another Chinese.  32  Now is this so, because in M r . Chang's case or that of other Chinese such other premisses must be considered to be tacitly presupposed?, so that they could not possibly consider the stated fact as grounds for some particular action without  sub-  suming it under a maxim, rule or principle as a major premiss, whether actually stated or not?  Admittedly such a schema would explain the conclusion, but it is not  the simplest explanation and I do not see why it should be considered to be the only acceptable o n e .  If one were to apply the principle of Occam's Razor, it  would  certainly be simpler to say that the fact: 'he is from your village' is a different fact for M r . Chang or his Chinese fellow-men than it is for me, that amongst other differences which there may b e , it includes for him or them an obligation-pregnant situation, but not for me.  A n d this is indeed my opinion.  If M r . Chang were to come to me with a problem similar to the one which I brought to him, if he were to cap it with the statement of fact 'but he is from your village' and if I knew what this fact meant for him, but he did not know that we look upon the matter differently, what would I then tell him?  It would certainly be  an explanation of my refusal to do anything about the matter simply to point out that we do not hold that one ought to assume obligations for a fellow-villager.  If,  how-  ever, I wanted to make clear to him that I recognized the discussion as being a M O R A L one, I would have to do more, and I do not think that it would necessarily constitute a sufficient explanation to cite customs, rules or convictions, since might well question them as to being M O R A L .  he  But if on the other hand I took the  time to give him a number of facts about our way of life, that is if I gave him a sufficient number of true propositions about us, without using any sentence including an O U G H T , I could - I firmly believe - get him to see our V I E W P O I N T , and if he  33 came to acknowledge it as a M O R A L viewpoint I would have given him a full explanation.  If, however,  1 am able to render a full explanation for an action or  the refusal to undertake an action, by doing nothing else but making statements of fact, then it seems to me that from statements of fact there ARE derivable decisions or demands. I want to support this claim by now considering the statement of fact that John is Bill's father or put otherwise, that John and Bill are father and son. following, parts of my argument are similar to those advanced by M r . A . I .  If in the Melden,  then this is because I have held views similar to his for some time and have  been  impressed by his exposition.  (14) VI M r . Melden coined a felicitous expression when he wrote of actions which are obligation-meeting. This permits him to show that a number of actions may be obligation-meeting without any particular one of them being obligatory.  A t the risk  of making an artificial distinction between duties and obligations, which are frequently  used as interchangeable terms, I propose to use the term 'duties' for the whole  body of possible actions which in M r . Melden's terminology would be obligationmeeting.  I would then wish to say that DUTIES are complementary to RIGHTS, and  that RIGHTS and DUTIES are inherent in certain positions, situations or states of affair.  If then a C L A I M is made that a particular action be performed, it is made  pursuant to a RIGHT, and if someone is O B L I G E D to perform the action it is because he has a D U T Y to do so.  O n e result of such a distinction is that in principle  I can  have rights without ever making a specific claim thereunder and that in principle I can have duties without any particular action pursuant thereto being obligatory.  34 Nothing more hinges on my use of 'rights' and 'duties' than to make plausible that RIGHTS and DUTIES are inherent in societal arrangements and that they are implicit in certain statements of f a c t .  In order to develop and support this thesis I want to  consider the statement that 'John and Bill are father and son' which I claim to be such a statement.  John has certain rights vis-a-vis Bill because he is his  father,  and Bill has certain duties to John because he is his son, and on the same grounds Bill has duties and John has rights.  I believe that these are full and  complete  explanations, and because they are, a claim under such rights for certain action and the corresponding obligation to perform it needs no connection via a general moral premiss.  O n this point M r . Melden writes:-  "Surely such a premise is otiose; it remains unstated not because as in an enthymeme it is obvious enough, but because the connection has already been established by understanding that his parents would be distressed. To say that one's father would be distressed is not to say that one's immediate male ancestor (or the individual who provided the necessary means of fertilizing the ovum from which he developed) would be distressed; although unless some such account were true of the person referred to, he would not be described properly as his father. To be one's parent, whether mother or father, is to be a good deal more than one's immediate forbear (indeed, any item of biology pertaining to embryological development is not part of the meaning of 'parent'), and if by 'parent' one meant simply what is meant by 'immediate forbear , then so far there is no connection between the wishes of one's parent and what one is morally required to do. Indeed, so understood, there must rerr)ain an unbridgeable gap between these descriptions. " (15) 1  Supposing we found somewhere a group of people having the custom that babies were named upon birth, that a record were kept showing which man had fathered which offspring, but that the babies were immediately removed and subsequently brought up communally and there were no family life whatever.  Would it be possible in  that community to say 'John and Bill are father and son', presuming of course that the birth records showed that John had fathered B i l l ?  In what context could such a  35  statement be possibly made? - I cannot think of any, although I can think of occasions when Bill might say 'John was my father', that is when he was called upon to indicate his lineage (in a strict biological sense). difficult to think of Bill's saying 'John IS my father'. it seems to be very difficult  I find it much more  Now it is significant that  - if indeed possible - to think of contexts or o c c a s -  ions in which certain statements of fact can be made in certain systems of societal life.  At the very least we can say that 'father and son does not mean for them 1  what it means for us.  A n d this is merely again a reminder about the difficulty  inherent in what 'matters of fact' might b e . "Moral philosophy has no monopoly on the misconception concerning the use of the term 'matter of f a c t ' , namely, the supposition that there is some absolute or intrinsic matter-of-factness about some matters and that the descriptions given of these pure matters of fact enjoy this same privileged status as proper descriptions Further, the matter of genealogical fact cannot be the unblemished or pure matter of fact we are looking for, since the lineal relations represent complex matters of social fact  Should we not go  one step further and speak about the matters of purely embryological fact in order to obtain the required purity of f a c t ? But if we do this, we shall gain a matter of fact only at the expense of changing the subject, for we shall no longer be discussing fathers and sons, nor rights and obligations . . . . A n d while this embryological account applies no doubt to persons we call fathers. . . this is not the matter pf fact with which we, as distinct from embryologists, are concerned when we describe a person as a father." (lo) I have already argued that no matter of fact can be stated without a viewpoint underlying the description g i v e n , and what is a matter of fact in one context may not only be not so in another but may well be entirely unstatable context.  in such other  I claim that when we say 'John and Bill are father and son' we are stating  a matter of fact in a context and presupposing a viewpoint, in which being father and son does not only mean a biological relationship but also includes a relationship of rights and duties, and that from this there can be derived claims and  36 obligations, or decisions and demands. In his paper 'How to derive 'ought' from ' i s ' , John R. Searle draws attention to DIFFERENT TYPES of 'descriptive statements'. (17) He gives examples of these twp types:First type:  my car goes eighty miles an hour; Jones is six feet t a l l ; Smith has brown hair.  Second type:  Jones got married; Smith made a promise; Jackson has five dollars; Brown hit a home run.  He points out that both types are statements of objective facts, but that statements of the second type "state facts whose existence presupposes certain institutions: a man has five dollars, given the institution of money.  Take away the institution and a l l  he has is a rectangular bit of paper with green ink on it  S i m i l a r l y , a man  gets married or makes a promise only within the institutions of marriage and prom is.-.' ing."  A similar point is made by Maurice Mandelbaum when he aims to show  "that one cannot understand the actions of human beings as members of a society unless one assumes that there is a group of facts which I shall term 'societal facts' which are as ultimate as are those facts which are 'psychological' in character.  In  speaking of 'societal facts' I refer to any facts concerning the forms of organization present in a s o c i e t y . "  A n d again: "In a l l cases of this sort, the actual behaviour  of specific individuals towards one another is unintelligible unless one views their behaviour in terms of their status and roles, and the concepts of status and role are  37  devoid of meaning unless one interprets them in terms of the organization of the society to which the individuals b e l o n g . " 0 9) Note that he refers to these 'societal facts' as being as ultimate as 'psychological facts', and I daresay he would have no objection to consider them to be as ultimate as 'physical facts'.  (His use of the  term 'ultimate fact' is unfortunate in that the concept of 'ultimacy' introduces u n necessary complications.  If we replace 'ultimate' by 'objective' and speak of ' o b -  jective facts' instead, such complications are avoided.  I have already dealt with  the concept of 'objectivity' in the relevant sense which is the same sense in which M r . Searle speaks of his two types of statements as being statements of objective facts.)  Note also that he draws attention to status and roles and compare this with  my claim that rights and duties are inherent in certain positions, situations or states of affair, and that they are implicit in certain statements of fact.  I would want to  say that the statement 'John and Bill are father and son' is an 'institutional fact' (in M r . Searle's terminology) or a 'societal fact' (in M r . Mandelbaum's terminology), and that it is a statement of objective fact. Now I find it extremely interesting to see M r . Popper, the professed and confirmed dualist, argue for the priority of man as a social being such that he c o n siders it to be not only an historical but also a methodological myth to cling to a theory of a pre-social human nature explaining the foundations of society.  He deems  this to be hardly worthy of discussion because "we have every reason to believe that man or rather his ancestor was social prior to being human (considering, for example, that language presupposes society).  But this implies that social institutions  . . .  must have existed prior to what some people are pleased to call 'human n a t u r e ' . . "(20) I am not concerned at the moment with a consideration of this line of argument,except  38 to point out that Popper himself draws the conclusion from his view thus:-  " O n e of  the consequences of this is that the moral values of a society - the demands and proposals recognized by a l l , or by very nearly a l l , of its members - are closely bound up with its institutions and traditions, and that they cannot survive the destruction of the institutions or traditions of a s o c i e t y . " (21)  It seems to me that with  this line of argument, M r . Popper breaches his own wall of separation between 'propositions' and 'proposals'.  I see but a short step in explanatory power from  'closely bound up with institutions and traditions' (disregarding the extreme vagueness of the notion of something's being 'closely bound up' with something else) to 'derivable from statements of institutional or societal facts'. this, then the dualist's position becomes somewhat shaky.  A n d if I am correct in  I have already argued  against the position that some statements of fact deserve a privileged status.  I still  have to examine more closely the argument that granted the objective status of statements of fact, no evaluative statements can be derived therefrom, although my line of reasoning so far probably implies reasonably clearly my view on the matter. I would first like to summarize my conclusions from my arguments up to this point. There are no 'pure facts' in the sense that there is something definite and unquestionable out there in the world of which a description is a R E A D I N G O F F . N o fact can be stated without applying a viewpoint to whatever may be  GIVEN.  What counts for a statement of fact also counts for a correct description of some event, situation or state of affairs, and what counts for such a correct description presupposes a shared viewpoint; therefore a statement of fact presupposes some form of community amongst men.  There is no warrant for considering certain statements  of fact as being privileged in respect of objectivity and explanatory power merely  39 because such statements are about physical or psychological events deemed to lie PASSIVELY before the observer. The notion of viewpoint implies some form of judgement or preference in the adoption of an intellectual representation and the selection of d a t a .  From a sufficient number of statements of fact there is derivable  the viewpoint which underlies these propositions and therefore the judgement implied in i t . A great many statements of fact about the behaviour of human beings and about the relations in which they stand to each other presuppose positions in some form of organized community amongst men without which such statements of fact cannot be made.  They are nevertheless statements of objective facts.  The v i e w -  point underlying such statements of fact about human beings implies the notions of status and role and therefore of rights and duties from which claims and obligations arise.  From a sufficient number of such statements of fact it is possible to derive  the viewpoint which underlies these propositions and therefore the judgement as to status and role and thus rights and duties which in turn furnish the rationale for demanding certain types of a c t i o n .  In this manner I claim that it is possible to  derive O U G H T from IS, to derive P R O P O S A L S from P R O P O S I T I O N S , to derive D E C I S I O N S and D E M A N D S from FACTS and to derive E V A L U A T I V E STATEMENTS from F A C T U A L S T A T E M E N T S .  This is not because we argue l o g i c a l l y from moral  premisses v i a factual i n i t i a l conditions to moral demands, but rather because a moral viewpoint is built into the statements of certain facts about human beings and that such statements of fact cannot otherwise be made.  This is not in principle  different from a view of the physical world being built into the statements of fact about the physical universe around us.  40 VII I now wish to deal with the objection that whereas all I have argued about facts may be accepted, nevertheless a moral demand can never be derived from facts without an intervening or a superimposed specifically M O R A L premiss. It is my opinion that this view hides an inconsistency, in other words I deny that my argument about the nature of facts can be accepted and the derivation of demands or decisions from them denied, without being inconsistent.  M r . Popper  writes that " . . . t o put this matter more precisely, if we consider a fact as alterable - such as the fact that many people are suffering from diseases - then we can always adopt a number of different attitudes towards this fact: more especially, we can decide to make an attempt to alter it; or we can decide to resist any such attempt or we can decide not to take any action at a l l . "  (22)  I agree that we can make these three types of decisions and that there may be cogent reasons for any one of them in given circumstances.  There may be  many and weighty reasons why we would resist an attempt to do something about specific diseases or about some diseases in specific circumstances, but what would the reasons be which would support an attempt to resist doing something about any and all diseases?  The only case I can think of would be the belief held by  certain groups of people that diseases are visited upon us by a supernatural being whose command it may be that they are to be accepted without any attempt t o wards changing the state of affairs.  This may then be a specific attitude adopted  towards diseases from which a decision to do nothing about them can only follow because the premiss is implied: ' G o d has so commanded . It is my point that the . -s 1  specific premiss is required precisely because without it, not only could the  41  conclusion not be drawn but precisely the opposite one W O U L D be drawn.  This  is so, I maintain, because our common attitude towards diseases is not something which we have so-to-speak whilst standing apart from the phenomenon of disease; it is rather already implied in our calling anything a disease and a forteriori when we say (as M r . Popper also does) that people SUFFER from diseases.  If the belief  which I have just described were universally held, then the word disease would have a different meaning from the one it now has, if it were used at a l l .  The  reason for the group's being able to propound its specific belief is that a sufficient number of other people are using the term 'disease' with the meaning it has and th|s includes our ordinary attitude towards it from which in turn it follows that something should be done about it.  It is when someone urges that nothing should  be done about it that we want to know 'why?' I propose to develop my argument more clearly by using the statement of fact that 'John and Bill are father and s o n ' . to feed, house, clothe and educate Bill  I then claim that John has a duty  and has a right to demand from Bill  certain behaviour, that conversely Bill has a right to being f e d , housed, clothed and educated and a duty to act in certain ways;  that on certain occasions specific  claims can be made pursuant to these rights and that specific actions become obligatory pursuant to these duties.  Furthermore I claim that all of this is implied  in stating that 'John and Bill are father and son and that therefore I can derive 1  the requisite demands or decisions from this F A C T .  The dualist objector as a rule  has little to say about rights and duties in this context and his objection may be rendered thus:- From the statement of fact that "John and Bill are father and son' no such decisions or demands can be derived without major premisses stating that  42  fathers ought to act in a certain manner vis-a-vis their sons and sons ought to act in a certain manner vis-a-vis their fathers.  Be it noted in passing that whereas it  is relatively easy to formulate a major premiss for the father, such as 'fathers ought to f e e d , house, clothe and educate sons', the son.  Sons ought to do ' w h a t ? ' ,  of a qualification), the question),  it is much more difficult to do this for  obey their fathers?  (this requires quite a bit  behave dutifully towards their fathers?  be good sons? ( e x a c t l y ! ) .  (this may be begging  Be that as it may, let us analyze the  dualist's position. I am taking my dualist friend for a walk in the middle of the winter and we encounter the five-year old son, B i l l , of a mutual acquaintance of ours, John, walking in the street, inadequately dressed and obviously distressed by the c o l d . We have seen this happen many times before and we know that John is not in f i n a n cial trouble, in fact we know that he can afford to dress Bill so as to protect him adequately from the winter's c o l d . I :  The following dialogue ensues:-  What a father that fellow John is, letting his son walk around in the winter like this!  D:  It looks as though John has no feelings at a l l .  I :  What has that got to do with; surely he ought to clothe  Bill  adequately whatever he may or may not f e e l . D:  O h , - why?  I :  Because he is the father, isn't he?  D:  Look, - I feel sorry for the child too, but just because John is Bill's father does not entail that he has to clothe him adequately. You must be of the opinion that fathers their young sons adequately.  ought always to clothe  43  I :  O f course! , that is in part what being a father means, isn't i t ?  D:  I disagree.  From the fact that John is Bill's father, you cannot  possibly derive anything about what John should or should not do for B i l l . I :  What do you mean then, when you speak pf fathers and sons?  D:  These words simply denote a biological fact, namely that John was - let me say - co-instrumental in bringing Bill into the world.  I :  W e l l , all right, let us accept that for the moment; but who should then look after young children? Here my dualist friend may give a number of different answers of which I  wish to consider the fpllowing:D (1): I was really only drawing a logical error to your attention;  I happen  to hold that fathers ought to look after their young children. A l l I wanted to make clear to you was, that unless one did hold this, one could not say of fathers that they ought to do anything for their sons. D (2): The Government should look after them. D (3): N o one O U G H T to look after them, Apart from the fact that answer D(3) is incomplete, let me concede that it is unfair to put D(2) and D(3) into my friend's mouth.  Fortunately he is at my  mercy, and I wish to bring out some points which may shed some sidelight unto the problem. D(l) makes a logical point about language, in fact it states the dualistic position as a demand for logical entailment.  Now if it is deemed necessary that the  conclusion 'John ought to look after B i l l ' be established as logically deducible from  44  suitable premisses, and if 'John and Bill are father and son' means nothing beyond John's having been co-instrumental in bringing Bill into the world, then indeed it is necessary to add a premiss, e . g . 'fathers ought to look after their sons'.  I have  argued that 'John and Bill are father and son' simply is not merely a statement of biological or genealogical f a c t .  I would point out to my dualist friend that in his  use of the terms he could not convey that any kind of relation obtained between fathers and sons beyond a strictly genealogically linear one, without adding further descriptions and that, if he added a sufficient number of descriptions fully to account for the intricate relationship obtaining between fathers and sons, I could derive from this set of descriptions such concepts as status and role, interdependence, and rights and duties, and this without his giving me any sentence containing an O U G H T . If he then argued that from rights and duties there is still an unbridgeable gap to a demand for actions of a certain kind, then I would wonder what possible sense one could make of the concepts of rights and duties unless they included the notion that under the appropriate circumstances  ( and by this I do N O T mean the uttering of  O U G H T - c o n t a i n i n g sentences) they gave rise to and support obligatory a c t i o n . I might ask my friend whether 'father and son' and 'sire and colt' have in every way the same meaning excepting only that we use the one set of words for human beings and the other for horses.  If he were to reply in the affirmative, what  are we to make of the perfectly intelligible sentence 'he is like a father to him' (where he is not his father), and what would we say to the unintelligible sentence 'he is like a sire to him' (where he is not the sire who co-produced the colt)? Admittedly this argument may not be accepted by my friend as conclusive, and he could still claim that I had not shown a logical entailment from IS-containing  45  to O U G H T - c o n t a i n i n g sentences.  I defer a consideration of this objection until  after having dealt with answers D(2) and D(3). D(2) does not touch upon the core of our problem at all since the answer simply recommends a new set of relationships. that it has at least one interesting implication.  I am dealing with it because I think Relationships, statuses and roles do  change and may at times be changed deliberately.  Since this is undoubtedly so and  since such deliberate changes are probably at least sometimes initiated by someone's (the moral reformer's!) recommending them by the use of O U G H T - c o n t a i n i n g sentences, the conclusion may be plausible that O U G H T - c o n t a i n i n g sentences are logically prior in A L L cases of rights-duties relationships. Now a genetic explanation of at least some codes or rules of behaviour which would insist upon positing as necessary a codifier or rule maker prior in time to such codes or rules, would appear to me to be quite unplausible and unconvincing. I would hold this to be quite an unwarranted importation from the present into the past, similar possibly to Hobbes account of 'man in nature'. 1  The claim that it IS  necessary to do so strikes me simply as a pre-judgement of the issue at stake. imagine easily genetic accounts of equal if not superior explanatory power.  I can This,  of course, does not render invalid a L O G I C A L priority, but I cannot escape the very strong inclination to hold that the insistence upon such logical priority is in the nature of a petitio p r i n c i p i i . Why - I ask myself - do we have to insist on a scheme which permits us to draw a neat logical conclusion by a process of logical inference, and why do we insist that, unless we arrive in this manner at O U G H T - s e n t e n c e s , we simply cannot arrive at them?  The admittedly speculative hypothesis appeals to me  that if we cannot arrive at OUGHT-sentences ex post facto so-to-speak, we most  46  probably could hardly conceive of the possibility of their being posited before the fact.  Since the dualist holds to his position on logical grounds, I merely have to  point out to him that in the use of language there is presupposed at least some r u d i mentary form of community of men, and that this means that there must be some form of interrelationship, and if it makes any sense to say so, then this is logically prior to language. pronounced?  A t what stage then does there an OUGHT-sentence come to be  It seems to me plausible that, before this can be done there must  already be in use some IS-sentences stating facts about relationships between men, and the very concept of such relationships embodies status or position. D(3) has been put down in incomplete form because it can be completed in a variety of ways.  Depending upon how it is completed it states one of the  possible positions taken by the OUTSIDER with respect to moral decisions or demands. The various avenues of escape open to the outsider have been explored and carefully analyzed by M r . R. M . Hare in his book F R E E D O M A N D R E A S O N , ( ) 23  and I wish  to confine my remarks to the position which he formulates in the following manner: "He either refrains altogether from making moral judgements, or makes none except judgements of indifference (that is to say, he either observes a complete moral silence, or says 'Nothing matters morally'; either of these two positions might be called a sort of amoralism). (24) M r . Hare continues that obviously there is no possibility for a moral argument against this position and. that this should not disturb us because, as we cannot win a game of chess against an opponent who will not play chess so moral argument is impossible with a man who will make no moral judgements at a l l .  This is quite so,  but I should like to consider briefly what is involved in holding this particular outsider position of which I shall mention three cases. In the first case the outsider understands moral language and knows when  47  and how others use it and wishes to remain in the community of men in which he finds himself but firmly holds the opinion that 'nothing matters morally'.  He may  be able to PASS in the community in the sense that it is said of a Negro with light skin colour that he PASSES as a W h i t e .  But in order so to PASS, the outsider's  behaviour must be similar to others within reasonable limits.  In other words he  must APPEAR to be using moral language more or less as others do. Now if he does so, mind you strictly for prudential reasons, I do not find the case particularly interesting, although it may be so for a psychologist.  He may be leading what  one may call a different inner life, but his case does not bear upon our problem of deriving moral decisions or demands from statements of f a c t . In the second case the outsider also understands moral language and decides rigorously  and consistently to refrain from making moral judgements.  He  realizes and accepts that he is compelled to abjure the protection of morality for his own interests, to use M r . Hare's words.  If it is plausible, as I think it is, that  at some stage and in some circumstances - provided he wishes to remain in the community of men in which he lives - he must find himself in a position of making demands of others without the possibility of morally justifying such demands,  he  would be reduced either to employ power which he may be in no position to do, or to limit his demands to those to which it would always be in the self-interest of others to a c c e d e .  Apart from employing power, he could not in the strict meaning  of the word D E M A N D at a l l , he could only B E G .  Now I am assuming this man to  be completely consistent so that he practises his rule of making no moral judgements in every situation, and by every situation I mean "every situation in which a moral question arises for him, whether about his own actions or about somebody else's" (25)  Without going into the argument in detail, it appears to me that this  48 man would have to observe silence on a great many occasions; I doubt that he could remain in the community of men in any significant sense and I believe that he would be reduced to the life of a hermit.  In fact,  I am inclined to say that  this man is not dissimilar to the man who holds some moral  IDEAL by which he  governs his life rigorously and with no exception for himself even in situations where in conforming action to his ideal he brings suffering upon himself. man would be leading a different life from ours, our problem, because the fact that he REFUSES  This  and his case does not bear upon to derive  demands or  from certain statements of fact does not show that these C A N N O T  decisions  be derived.  In the third case the outsider does not understand moral language.  If  we assume a man living among us who uses the same words and sentences as we do but for whom no sentence has moral import, then I believe it to be clearly the case that he would be speaking at least in part a language different from ours.  Further-  more I would say that it would be entirely impossible to translate from our language to his in the area of moral discourse.  It may well be true that we could teach him  logical inference, so that given 'fathers ought to do such and such for their sons' and 'John and Bill are father and son' he could deduce 'John ought to do such and such for B i l l ' , but if there were no way in which we could get him to understand a moral viewpoint, we also could not teach him the full meaning of the sentence 'John and Bill are father and s o n ' .  I would therefore conclude that the statement  'John and Bill are father and son' could then not possibly assert the same fact for him as it does for us, and were he to say that from no such statement demand or decision can be derived,  of fact a  he would be quite correct but this only b e -  cause he would not be stating the same fact.  I do not propose to speculate about  49  what this man's life in a community of men such as ours would be like even if it were conceivable that he could remain in the community in any i n t e l l i g i b l e sense, but I do hold that this case bears upon my argument and sheds further light on a class of statements of fact having to do with the interrelationship between men in community. What is significant about this class of statements of fact is that a moral viewpoint is built into them and that without a moral viewpoint underlying them, these statements can simply not be made such as to state the facts which they do state.  It is my contention that with respect to a considerable range of statements  of f a c t , it is possible to derive demands and decisions from them because upon analysis these statements disclose - whatever other viewpoints may underlie t h e m a moral viewpoint, and that without this the stated facts would be different.  If  now my dualist f r i e n d , having forgiven me for having placed into his mouth responses which qua dualist he did not have to make, were still to insist that I have not shown a connection of logical entailment from IS-containing sentences to O U G H T - c o n t a i n i n g sentences, what more does he want and can I satisfy him?  VIII His claim would then seem to me to rest in the demand that the conclusion be reached l o g i c a l l y by taking into account only the F O R M of sentences, as can be done for instance by constructing a syllogism.  I would then assert that I can abstract  an O U G H T - c o n t a i n i n g sentence from the statement of fact that 'John and Bill are father and son because of the nature of the fact which the proposition states and 1  which it has been my aim in this thesis to elucidate and make plausible. With this O U G H T - c o n t a i n i n g sentence I could then set out a syllogism which would satisfy  50  my friend's demand for F O R M A L I T Y .  He might then deny me the right to make  that abstraction and what this denial may amount to I shall try to elucidate in the sequel.  In the meantime I should like to set down two quotations which bear  upon the impasse with which we are here confronted: "The concept G R A M M A R , supported by related concepts, is important in Wittgenstein's attack upon the claim of formal logic to be the sole arbiter of propriety in discourse and argument. The case against the view that logic, in this broad sense, must operate according to strict rules, with no vagueness or imprecision, is presented in a series of remarks in the I N V E S T I G A T I O N S (I. 65-103). In the place of the mathematical precision of formal logic Wittgenstein emphasizes 'grammar', which rests upon an agreement in the way people act, upon a form of l i f e . " (26) "If language is to be a means of communication there must be agreement not only in definitions but also (queer as this may sound) in judgements. This seems to abolish logic, but does not do so. It is one thing to describe methods of measurement, and another to obtain and state results of measurement. But what we call 'measuring' is partly determined by a certain constancy in results of measurement. " (27) I do not propose to deal with the difficulties posed by the juxtaposition of G R A M M A R in the Wittgensteinian sense and L O G I C ,  but it seems to me that both  quotations accord with and support my account of viewpoints underlying statements of fact.  It has been my contention that IS-sentences are not PURE in the sense of  being judgement-free and that no statement of fact can be made nor the stating of facts rendered intelligible unless the notion of a viewpoint is presupposed. Whilst it may be perfectly true that not all viewpoints are consciously A D O P T E D in the sense that a deliberate choice is exercised, this can be and is done.  It is then not strain-  ing language to claim that some form of judgement is embodied in the notion of 'viewpoint'.  If, for instance, the community of scientists in a particular field accepts  statements of fact which presuppose d viewpoint either wider or in some other sense different from one which was previously underlying other statements of fact, then one  51  may quite clearly assert that some form of judgement has taken p l a c e .  This, I am  sure, defeats any claim - and I do not say that such a claim has ever been put f o r ward - that statements of fact, i:f;^tfiteyi*vdif»e"•: clear and unquestioned statements of fact, are free from judgement.  If my dualist friend concedes this but claims that  one has to distinguish between various types of judgements, e . g . descriptive and value judgements, then he makes a valid point, but if he goes on to claim that statements of fact embodying value judgements are spurious and should be denied what for the moment I shall somewhat vaguely call F A C T U A L status, then he may have a point-with some such statements but not with all of them.  I deny for i n -  stance that he can make this point against the statement of fact that 'John and Bill are father and s o n ' .  This and a great number of other statements of fact seem  to be clearly and unobjectionably statements of F A C T and my argument has been that there is no warrant to deny them this status, and yet these statements of fact cannot be rendered intelligible without admitting that they imply value judgements. I have not made the claim nor do I make it, that A L L statements of fact stating something about human beings are thus value-impregnated nor have I claimed or do I claim that the account of demands or decisions, moral or others, is exhausted by discussing their derivability from statements of fact.  M y thesis has been c o n -  cerned with denying, that N O demand or decision can be derived from A N Y statement of fact.  I am of the opinion that I have supported this denial through valid  arguments, and if it is now claimed that I have not been able to show a logical entailment even in the cases of those statements of fact which I have put forward as supporting my thesis, then it may just be the case that I may have to do without L O G I C A L validity for my derivation, but I insist then upon the validity of my  52  derivation nevertheless.  I may not have satisfied the demands of F O R M A L logical  entailment, but if it is intelligible ENTAILMENT  - as I think it would be - to use the concept of  to include a process of valid reasoning in which nothing is contained  in a conclusion which is not also contained in the premiss or premisses used in order to arrive at the conclusion, then I claim to have shown E N T A I L M E N T .  Be it noted  that I am using the term 'contained' here in quite a broad sense so that it includes more than just the actual presence of the word 'ought' in the premiss or premisses, specifically that it includes an implicit value judgement in a statement by virtue of the viewpoint underlying it.  If this is too vague for the formal logician, in parti-  cular if the concept of being 'contained' is too vague,  then I am quite  prepared  to agree with him to use the word 'entailment' only for the process of F O R M A L L Y logical entailment and I would then suggest that what I have shown is a  DERIVATION,  an intelligible and valid one. From the manner in which I have stated the dualist's position so far I believe many dualists  - and  do state it thus - it seems to me that the only warrant for  his denial of a derivation of demands or decisions from statements of fact rests upon an insistence upon certain rules in the use of language.  In a speculative and  possibly metaphysical vein I should like to point out to him that it is M E N who use language! ,  and that it is they who, in a sense and at least in part - as I have  tried to show - create the IS.  Even if they create the O U G H T in toto,  it seems  to me that the creative part of the IS is not an activity totally and irreconcilably different from that of producing the O U G H T .  After apologizing for this outburst  I propose now to deal briefly with a more restricted manner in which a dualistic position could be set out,  one of obvious merit.  53  IX I have mentioned briefly the possibility to distinguish between various types of judgement embodied in statements, e . g . descriptive and value judgements.  Since the term 'value' may be too broad in that there are other than  M O R A L values, I shall use 'prescriptive' instead. C l e a r l y sentences containing a moral O U G H T are prescriptive. M r . Hare has analyzed these terms very thoroughly and I shall restrict myself to a consideration of descriptive and prescriptive judgements underlying STATEMENTS and speak of descriptive and prescriptive contents in statements.  There are statements of which it may be said  that they have only descriptive content, and any scientific statement of physical fact may be taken as a paradigm case for expressing merely descriptive judgement. It may well be possible to make statements involving human beings which also may be held to express merely descriptive judgement and have therefore only descriptive content.  I b e l i e v e , however, that the number of statements of this kind with  respect to human beings is far smaller than it may be thought to be, and that a number of words which often are used in such statements should strictly speaking not be used. M y discussion of the word 'disease' may be a case in point. theless  Never-  I am prepared to concede that there are statements of fact involving human  beings which have substantially only descriptive content.  It seems to me to be  quite clear that from such statements no demands or decisions can be d e r i v e d .  If  this were the dualist's claim I would readily concede it but would also point out to him that he is not left with as much as the dualistic position in the usually expressed form implies, in particular that he could not include a great number of statements of fact for which it would be extremely difficult to make i n t e l l i g i b l e the claim that  54  they were not statements of F A C T . Nevertheless there is great merit in analyzing statements with a view towards attempting to distinguish between their descriptive and prescriptive contents.  If one were to analyze in this manner the statement that 'John and Bill  are father and son',  one could presumably proceed in a number of ways.  For  instance, one could abstract the embryological, genealogical or biological facts and would then be able to make statements which would have substantially only descriptive content.  Whilst it is my opinion that M r . Melden is quite correct in  holding that we have then been able to make statements of merely descriptive content only by changing the subject, nevertheless it is important that we can make these statements, and there are probably many others which can so be made in respect of 'John and Bill are father and s o n ' .  Now all of such statements with  merely descriptive content taken together will not, I venture to say,  render the  full sense of the statement that 'John and Bill are father and son', and it seems to me to be the case that the expression of the full sense of the interrelationship between fathers and sons simply cannot be achieved in statements with only descriptive content.  O n the other hand, however, the statement clearly has  descriptive content (possibly a variety of descriptive contents), and I would say that a statement such as 'John and Bill are father and son' is one of a substantial class of statements, in which the prescriptive content is so closely wedded to the descriptive content, that on the one hand there is no intelligible sense to be made of any'Vclaim'that"the statement -even in its full sense -  is N O T a statement of F A C T ,  and on the other hand there is clearly a prescriptive content from which demands or decisions can be derived.  55 Let us employ the same method of analysis to the statement that ' a l l men are born free and equal and no man is born in chains' which is also cast in the descriptive form.  I do not think that it would be very helpful to consider the bit  about no man's being born in chains and I do not wish to engage in a discussion of the d i f f i c u l t and controversial subject of freedom . simply be that ' a l l men are . . equal . . ' .  Therefore let the statement  Now if one were to try to abstract  the descriptive content from this statement, how would one begin?  To start with  some unit of measurement is required in terms of which to elucidate how one man is to be equal with another.  This, it appears to me, w i l l defy any attempt as long  as it is demanded that a purely descriptive judgement be employed.  I do not claim  that there is N O sense in which a descriptive judgement of equality may be i n t e l l i gible and a c c e p t a b l e , but the kind of 'equality' which then results is substantially that of belonging to the same class of beings whose described characteristics must be such that they are general and broad and a l l o w for substantial individual variation and thus inequality.  I submit that 'all men are •••equals.".••' cannot be  given descriptive content in the manner that 'John and Bill are father and son' can be given descriptive content.  It is true that the prescriptive content is placed in a  descriptive form but the form is substantially empty of descriptive content. it is still stated to be a F A C T that ' a l l men are . . equal . . ' , 'fact'  If then  then this kind of  may have to be q u a l i f i e d and I readily concede the merit of the dualist's  analysis to bring this out, as I admit that there are probably many similar statements cast in descriptive form which upon such an analysis turn out to be predominantly prescriptive. What I do not admit is that one can accept this type of statement as stating facts without qualification and then also claim that no demands or decisions  56  can be derived from them.  If they are accepted as stating facts such as 'John and  Bill are father and son' does, then in my view demands or decisions can be clearly derived from them, as I have tried to show in this thesis.  SPECULATIVE POSTSCRIPT  A n y consideration of man's actions and in particular any attempt at explanation must presuppose a concept of the nature of the human being.  Amongst  the criteria which have been suggested to distinguish man from the rest of the world, the outstanding one has been R E A S O N .  It may be unplausible, particularly in view  of evolutionary theories, that reason should have sprung ex nihilo in man,  and I  believe that natural scientists have advanced opinions to the effect that at least some form of reasoning is discernible in animals. is to be salvaged as a distinctly human faculty,  If this is accepted and if R E A S O N then it must be defined such as to  preclude the application of the concept to animals.  This, however,  purely a priori postulation which may well turn out to be untenable.  would be a LANGUAGE  has also been proposed as the distinctive accomplishment of the human being.  Now  as far as language as C O M M U N I C A T I O N is concerned, some doubt has been thrown upon this notion by the claim of some scientific investigators that animals probably also communicate with each other through the utterance of sounds. I would like to propose that a particular use of language may well be distinctively and exclusively human, and the likeliest candidate appears to me to be the S T A T E M E N T  OF FACTS.  To make assertions about the world including  57  the human being therein may well be a distinctively human accomplishment.  I  have argued that no assertions can be made without imposing an ordering concept upon the G I V E N ,  and there seems to be no evidence, so far at least, that any but  the human being has engaged in this a c t i v i t y .  Now it appears to me to be the case  that in the imposition of an ordering concept upon the raw material available to us, we are clearly expressing a viewpoint, and it is my opinion that the central notion in this viewpoint is what is to count for THE S A M E . In a great many statements of fact concerning the human being (and I am even inclined to say, in A L L of them) there is presupposed a way of life of man in some form of community.  I believe that any attempt to say something about man in  complete abstraction from a community of men must fail and that it can be shown that in any such attempt some notion is implicit which can only derive from the fact that men live together in some form of society or other.  I therefore agree with  Kurt Baier when he says that " . . outside society, the very distinction between  (28) right and wrong vanishes. "  K  1  In my view the notion of having duties to oneself  is derivative from having duties to others.  As I have argued the notions of right  and wrong are intimately connected with the notions of status and role in a community of men, in fact that they are derivable from them.  To make statements of fact  about man as part of a community presupposes an ordering concept which implies the application of what is to count for THE S A M E or E Q U A L I T Y . If there are overriding moral demands which are held to apply in any type of community or societal arrangement, and I have no doubt that most men do r e c o g nize such demands, then it seems to me to be required that one accept the fact that human beings are in some fundamental sense one equal with the other.  In view of a  58 dualistic analysis such as I have outlined in the preceding section we may have to say that IN SPITE of it we accept such fundamental equality as a fact - and I do not mean a qualified fact - and we are therefore making a D E C I S I O N to do so. If I have been able to show in this thesis that there are at least a number of statements of fact  (and I think that the number is considerable) which  fully deserve of unqualified status as stating facts criptive content,  then it seems to me that I have been able to throw some doubt  upon the claim that it is necessary necessity)  although having in part pres-  (and I take it that it is to be a logical  of positing two human natures lodged in us,  the one describing and  the other prescribing. The merit I see in the dualistic analysis which I have described, is to put us on guard in accepting statements of fact such that we distinguish clearly those cases in which we deliberately SUBSCRIBE to them.  59  NOTES Karl R. Popper, THE O P E N S O C I E T Y A N D ITS ENEMIES  (New York  and Evansfon: Harper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated, 1963), Volume 1, Note 5(3) to chapter 5, page 235.  i b i d . , page 234. S Y M P O S I U M O F TRUTH, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume X X I V , 1950. J . L. Austin, P H I L O S O P H I C A L  PAPERS (London: Oxford University  Press, 1961), page 104. ibid. Moritz S c h l i c k , F A C T S A N D P R O P O S I T I O N S , reprinted in PHILOSOPHY A N D ANALYSIS,  edited by Margaret MacDonald  (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1954), page 232. J . L. Austin, o p . c i t . , page 116. Christopher Blake, C A N HISTORY BE O B J E C T I V E ? , reprinted in THEORIES O F HISTORY, edited by Patrick Gardiner (The Free Press of G l e n c o e , 1963), page 339 . Ernst Cassirer, S U B S T A N C E A N D F U N C T I O N and EINSTEIN'S T H E O R Y O F RELATIVITY (New York: Dover Publications Inc.,  page 4 2 9 .  1953),  i b i d . , pages 266-267. Peter W i n c h , THE IDEA O F A S O C I A L S C I E N C E (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960), page 8 7 . F . M . Dostoevsky, N O T E S F R O M U N D E R G R O U N D , reprinted in EXISTENTIALISM F R O M D O S T O E V S K Y T O SARTRE, edited by Walter Kaufmann (Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company, 'Meridian Books', 1963), page 72. Karl R. Popper, o p . c i t . , Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section III,  page 62.  A . I . M e l d e n , RlGHTS A N D RIGHT C O N D U C T (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1959). i b i d . , page 3 9 . i b i d . , pages 72-74.  60  John R. Searle, H O W T O DERIVE " O U G H T " F R O M "IS",  printed in  THE P H I L O S O P H I C A L REVIEW (Ithaca, New York: Cornell  University, Volume LXXIII, Number 1, January 1964), page 54.  i b i d . , pages 54-55. Maurice Mandelbaum, S O C I E T A L F A C T S , reprinted in THEORIES O F  HISTORY, edited by Patrick Gardiner (The Free Press of G l e n c o e , 1963), pages 478-479.  Karl R. Popper, o p . c i t . , Volume 2, Chapter 14, page 9 3 . i b i d . , page 94. Karl R. Popper, o p . c i t . , Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section III,  page 6 2 .  R. M . Hare, F R E E D O M A N D R E A S O N (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), Part II, Chapter 6, pages 86-111 . i b i d . , page 1 01 . ibid. Newton Carver, W I T T G E N S T E I N A N D CRITERIA, printed in K N O W L E D G E A N D EXPERIENCE, Proceedings of the 1962 O b e r l i n Colloquium in Philosophy, edited by C . D. Rollins (University of Pittsburgh Press), page 5 6 . Ludwig Wittgenstein, P H I L O S O P H I C A L I N V E S T I G A T I O N S , translated by G . E . M . Anscombe (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958), Part I, paragraph 242, page 8 8 . Kurt Baier, THE M O R A L P O I N T O F VIEW, (Ithaca, N . Y . : Cornell University Press, 1963), page 315.  61  BIBLIOGRAPHY BOOKS  Austin, J .  L.  1961  PHILOSOPHICAL  PAPERS, London, Oxford University Press.  Baier, Kurt 1963  THE M O R A L P O I N T O F VIEW, Ithaca, N . Y . , Cornell University Press.  Binkley, Luther J . 1961  C O N T E M P O R A R Y ETHICAL THEORIES, New Y o r k ,  Philosophical Library, Inc., The Citadel Press.  Cassirer, Ernst 1953  S U B S T A N C E A N D F U N C T I O N & EINSTEIN'S T H E O R Y O F RELATIVITY, New York, Dover Publications,  Gardiner, Patrick 1963  Inc.  (ed.)  THEORIES O F HISTORY,  U.S.,  The Free Press of G l e n c o e .  In particular: Christopher Blake, C a n History be O b j e c t i v e ? and Maurice Mandelbaum, Societal Facts. Hare, R . M . 1961  THE L A N G U A G E O F M O R A L S , London, Oxford University Press.  1963  F R E E D O M A N D R E A S O N , London, Oxford University Press.  Hume, David 1956 A TREATISE O F H U M A N N A T U R E , in two volumes, London, J . M . Dent & Sons Ltd. (Everyman's Library). Kaufmann, Walter (ed.) 1963 EXISTENTIALISM F R O M D O S T O E V S K Y T O SARTRE, C l e v e l a n d and New Y o r k , The World Publishing Company (Meridian Books). In particular: F. M . Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground. M a c D o n a l d , Margaret (ed.) 1954  PHILOSOPHY A N D ANALYSIS,  O x f o r d , Basil Blackwell.  In particular: Moritz S c h l i c k , Facts and Propositions. Melden, 1959  A.I. RIGHTS A N D RIGHT C O N D U C T , O x f o r d , Basil Blackwell.  62  Popper, Karl R. 1963  THE O P E N S O C I E T Y A N D ITS E N E M I E S , in two volumes,  New York and Evanston, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.  Rollins, C D . 1962  (ed.)  K N O W L E D G E A N D EXPERIENCE, Proceedings of the 1962 O b e r l i n Colloquium in Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh Press.  In particular: Newton C a r v e r , Wittgenstein on C r i t e r i a . Sellars, Wilfrid and Hospers, John (eds.) 1952  R E A D I N G S IN ETHICAL T H E O R Y , New York, AppletonCentury-Crofts,  Inc.  W i n c h , Peter 1960  THE IDEA O F A S O C I A L S C I E N C E , & Kegan Paul.  London, Routledge  Wittgenstein, Ludwig 1958  P H I L O S O P H I C A L I N V E S T I G A T I O N S , translated by G . E . M . Anscombe, O x f o r d , Basil Blackwell.  ARTICLES Black, Max  THE G A P BETWEEN 'IS' A N D ' S H O U L D ' , Review, A p r i l 1 964.  Searle, John R. H O W T O DERIVE ' O U G H T ' F R O M 'IS', Review, January 1964. Strawson,  The Philosophical  The Philosophical  P.F. in S Y M P O S I U M O F TRUTH, Proceedings of The Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume X X I V , 1950.  


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