Companions in Guilt: Arguments for Ethical Objectivity by H. Lillehammer

By H. Lillehammer

This can be a systematic examine of 'companions in guilt' arguments in ethical philosophy. Lillehammer distinguishes among detailed types of those, which he calls 'arguments through entailment' and 'arguments through analogy' respectively. for every technique, Lillehammer examines 3 of its such a lot favourite manifestations in modern moral suggestion.

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Extra info for Companions in Guilt: Arguments for Ethical Objectivity

Example text

In what follows, I shall interpret Davidson as holding that while there must be some convergence in desire across agents in both senses, there need not be complete convergence across agents with respect to desires for one's first personal self. 18 Davidson mentions at least two conditions where disagreement in value may occur. First, the scope of disagreement in value increases in proportion to the distance of the values in question from basic evaluative commitments the attribution of which is necessary to make coherent sense of rational agents as acting on reasons at all.

To this extent, the argument fails to establish that any unique and determinate set of particular features of the world is objectively valuable. 26 Second, and as already noted, Davidson's principle of charity must be compatible with such genuine disagreement about ethics and value as there actually is. There is evidence to suggest 38 Companions in Guilt that some such disagreements, including disagreements on matters of taste or on abstract moral issues involving justice and fairness, do obtain between rational agents who are in broad agreement about the (non-evaluative) facts.

They most certainly have. Yet the proposed criteria remain deeply and intractably contested, even among reasonably intelligent adults. The potential for indeterminacy arises also for a third reason. The issue here is that the existing criteria of application for evaluative concepts are themselves often in dispute between competent speakers. In Davidson's view, concepts are partly defined by a network of commitments that allow speakers to identify them and distinguish them from each other. This network is neither absolutely fixed nor an all-or-nothing matter.

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