Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following 3 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Absolutism Harman Vs Absolutism II 426
Truthfulness/Reason/Motive/Rationality/Harman: Thesis: Suppose a person has reasons to be truthful, then it must be possible to give a neutral assessment of their reasons in non-normative vocabulary that shows why this consideration is a reason for this person (for their truthfulness or honesty). It also seems to me that this is not always feasible.
HarmanVsMoral Absolutism: hence the absolutist will fall back to a normative specification by saying the reason that it would be wrong for this person to lie or steal is that it would be wrong for this person.
Harman: but that would not be a satisfactory answer.
Moral Relativism/Metaphysical Realism/Putnam/Harman: Putnam sees rightly that there is a connection between the two.
MR/Harman: because I believe that there is a clear causal order, all reasons for action ((s) motifs) must be localizable in this order.
Normative Facts/Standard/Harman: I’m skeptical about facts that can be exclusively normatively specified. ((s) i.e. about which you could not say nothing physicalist or then they would be no facts). Important argument:
Internal Realism/Moral Absolutism/Harman: an internal realist like Putnam who says that there is a clear causal order may allow purely normative facts which are not localized in nature.

Harman I
G. Harman
Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity 1995

Harman II
Gilbert Harman
"Metaphysical Realism and Moral Relativism: Reflections on Hilary Putnam’s Reason, Truth and History" The Journal of Philosophy, 79 (1982) pp. 568-75
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994
Kant Mackie Vs Kant Stegmüller IV 319
KantVsDeterminism: freedom is a prerequisite of our moral thinking. MackieVsKant: this yields the prerequisite of a metaphysical objectivism.
IV 320
VsDeterminism: undermines the possibility of moral judgement in general! One cannot have a conviction and at the same time assume that it is causally determined! VsVs: this reasoning is simply wrong: the determinacy does not undermine the correctness of the judgement!
Determinism/Stegmüller: today we know too little to decide whether it is true or false. But if it were true, would it undermine our moral thinking?
Def Incompatibility Thesis/morality/Stegmüller: if determinism were true, there would be no moral thinking. Responsibility, duty, benevolence etc. became meaningless.

Stegmüller IV 171
Mackie/VsKant: the categorical imperative is not of objective validity! There must be at least one premise that is not truth-apt, but expresses the fact that a decision has been made.
Stegmüller IV 323
Self/MackieVsKant: supposed to act on the basis of rational arguments. Problem: how is that possible if the self is not causally connected to its acts by its reasons for action? How can actions belong to the self and yet be only random events?
The theorist of incompatibility would have to construct an analogon to causality and deny its causal character at the same time.
metaphysical Self/Kant/Stegmüller: essential for Kant, because it is the addressee of the moral ought.
MackieVsKant: as a subjectivist he does not even need to introduce the metaphysical self.

Stegmüller IV 431
God/immortality/morality/MackieVsKant: (i) has an ambivalent position: on the one hand primacy of practical reason whose claims are to be adopted by theoretical reason. On the other hand he asks if our knowledge is truly broadened by that.
Kant: "Certainly, but only in a practical sense."
Mackie: this revokes everything. Two possible interpretations:
1. Kant wants to say that the existence of God and the immortality of the soul can be proven as facts,
2. not as facts, but as the necessary conditions for our consciousness as a rational being.
IV 432
MackieVsKant: greatest weakness: 1. the transition from "we should seek to promote the highest good" to "that must be still possible". Ought/Kant: elsewhere he had tried to show that the "Ought" presupposes a correspondent "Can." (Where?). But that had been about the obediance of the moral law.

MackieVsKant: the analogy to the summum bonum does not make sense. But that be granted.
2. then, the thesis that we should seek to promote the highest good includes that we can seek to promote it. To conclude therefrom the possibility of a full realization is ineligible.
Moral/MackieVsKant: Kant cannot even assert that the possible realization were a necessary condition for moral thinking.
IV 433
MackieVsKant: the tension between his theism on the one hand and his emphasis on the autonomy of morality on the other is irresolvable. KantVsPopular notion: neither our knowledge of God and his will nor this will itself are a rationale of the moral law, but only reason!
Therefore, "self-legislation" of practical reason.
MackieVsKant: yet, Kant speaks misleadingly of "laws of the Supreme Being". But God himself is just another rational being!
MackieVsKant: the correspondence of morality and happiness is still represented in an unconscious thinking in terms of reward and punishment.
The consistent recognition of the autonomy of morality should have brought him towards more of a Stoic conception: that morality requires no other happiness than the awareness of righteousness itself (possibly Hume, Marc Aurel, Adam Smith)..
Morality/God/Kant: Kant seems to have been aware of this difficulty. In his Metaphysics of Morals he anticipates the argument of conscience by J. H. Newman. Also, he oscillates between the idea of God as a purely intellectual construction (e.g. Adam Smith's ideal observer) and the assumption of a real existence.
V 437
MackieVsMoral proofs of God: there are better explanations for action than for the existence of a divine person. Practical decisions must be based on convictions about facts and not vice versa!
Whatever we are inclined to view as a rational act is no evidence of what is actually the case.
IV 438
MackieVsKant: problem with his moral argument: if a particular practical principle presupposes certain factual allegations, then the reason, as pure as it may be, cannot claim to have demonstrated the validity of this practical principle, if it did not prove the validity of the relevant factual allegations independently.
IV 461
Freedom/determinism/morality/Mackie/Stegmüller: other kinds of freedom are fully compatible with determinism (e.g. freedom of neurotic compulsion)!
IV 462
Will/Kant: (Metaphysics of Morals): "is a kind of causality of living beings, as long as they are reasonable, and freedom would be the property of this causality, since it can take effect independent of external determining causes." "external causes": reward, punishment, but also desires and inclinations!
Autonomy/Kant/Stegmüller: here, consistency with its own ideal of reason is an end in itself.
MackieVsKant: misapprehension: he probably even thought himself to have characterized the contra-causal free will, but in fact he distinguished between external causes and the autonomous efficacy of the will. And that is something completely different!
IV 463
autonomous activity: completely compatible with two assumptions: 1. that there are sufficient preliminary causes for the will to have a certain strength.
2. that, whatever such a will does, is dependent on the character of the person and his*her strength of will.
Will/capriciousness(Willkür)/Kant/Stegmüller: later he differentiates the two: the latter is the only one that posses contra-causal freedom; it is the free will in its usual sense.
Freedom/Kant: (late) he moves completely towards autonomy (autonomous legality of the will).
Vs: but that is not a solution to our problem.
Judgement/conviction/Kant/Stegmüller: (Metaphysics of Morals): it is not possible to render a judgement in the theoretical (speuculative) realm or to express a genuine conviction, while at the same time admitting to having been externally induced to do so.
IV 464
Judgement/conviction/MackieVsKant: whoever makes a rational judgement cannot interpret it in a way that it was reached incorrectly. However, there is no problem in seriously holding a rational conviction and at the same time acknowledging that it has been reached in an appropriate manner.

Macki I
J. L. Mackie
Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong 1977

Carnap V
W. Stegmüller
Rudolf Carnap und der Wiener Kreis
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd I, München 1987

St I
W. Stegmüller
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd I Stuttgart 1989

W. Stegmüller
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd 2 Stuttgart 1987

W. Stegmüller
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd 3 Stuttgart 1987

W. Stegmüller
Hauptströmungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie Bd 4 Stuttgart 1989
Noncognitivism McDowell Vs Noncognitivism Rorty VI 50
McDowellVsNoncognitivism/Rorty: the moral non-cognitivist is driven by an erroneous interpretation of ethical facts and ethical objectivity. For them, the same applies as for their Platonic opponents, the moral realists:
VI 51
They toil with the search for an independent position. That be impossible. (McDowellVsMoral realism).

McDowell I
John McDowell
Mind and World, Cambridge/MA 1996
German Edition:
Geist und Welt Frankfurt 2001

McDowell II
John McDowell
"Truth Conditions, Bivalence and Verificationism"
Truth and Meaning, G. Evans/J. McDowell

Rorty I
Richard Rorty
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Princeton/NJ 1979
German Edition:
Der Spiegel der Natur Frankfurt 1997

Rorty II
Richard Rorty
Philosophie & die Zukunft Frankfurt 2000

Rorty II (b)
Richard Rorty
"Habermas, Derrida and the Functions of Philosophy", in: R. Rorty, Truth and Progress. Philosophical Papers III, Cambridge/MA 1998
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (c)
Richard Rorty
Analytic and Conversational Philosophy Conference fee "Philosophy and the other hgumanities", Stanford Humanities Center 1998
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (d)
Richard Rorty
Justice as a Larger Loyalty, in: Ronald Bontekoe/Marietta Stepanians (eds.) Justice and Democracy. Cross-cultural Perspectives, University of Hawaii 1997
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (e)
Richard Rorty
Spinoza, Pragmatismus und die Liebe zur Weisheit, Revised Spinoza Lecture April 1997, University of Amsterdam
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (f)
Richard Rorty
"Sein, das verstanden werden kann, ist Sprache", keynote lecture for Gadamer’ s 100th birthday, University of Heidelberg
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (g)
Richard Rorty
"Wild Orchids and Trotzky", in: Wild Orchids and Trotzky: Messages form American Universities ed. Mark Edmundson, New York 1993
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty III
Richard Rorty
Contingency, Irony, and solidarity, Chambridge/MA 1989
German Edition:
Kontingenz, Ironie und Solidarität Frankfurt 1992

Rorty IV (a)
Richard Rorty
"is Philosophy a Natural Kind?", in: R. Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Philosophical Papers Vol. I, Cambridge/Ma 1991, pp. 46-62
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (b)
Richard Rorty
"Non-Reductive Physicalism" in: R. Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Philosophical Papers Vol. I, Cambridge/Ma 1991, pp. 113-125
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (c)
Richard Rorty
"Heidegger, Kundera and Dickens" in: R. Rorty, Essays on Heidegger and Others. Philosophical Papers Vol. 2, Cambridge/MA 1991, pp. 66-82
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (d)
Richard Rorty
"Deconstruction and Circumvention" in: R. Rorty, Essays on Heidegger and Others. Philosophical Papers Vol. 2, Cambridge/MA 1991, pp. 85-106
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty V (a)
R. Rorty
"Solidarity of Objectivity", Howison Lecture, University of California, Berkeley, January 1983
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1998

Rorty V (b)
Richard Rorty
"Freud and Moral Reflection", Edith Weigert Lecture, Forum on Psychiatry and the Humanities, Washington School of Psychiatry, Oct. 19th 1984
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1988

Rorty V (c)
Richard Rorty
The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy, in: John P. Reeder & Gene Outka (eds.), Prospects for a Common Morality. Princeton University Press. pp. 254-278 (1992)
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1988

Rorty VI
Richard Rorty
Truth and Progress, Cambridge/MA 1998
German Edition:
Wahrheit und Fortschritt Frankfurt 2000