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By Stephen Edelston Toulmin

The critical challenge of ethics, in keeping with Stephen Toulmin, is that of discovering how to distinguish solid ethical arguments from vulnerable ones, solid purposes from bad ones, and finding out even if there comes some extent during ethical argument while the giving of purposes turns into superfluous. The inquiry he undertakes in An exam of where of cause in Ethics facilities at the query of what makes a selected set of evidence that endure on an ethical selection a "good cause" for performing in a specific approach. the writer contends that he has little interest in a round argument to the influence "good cause" is one who helps the type of act he may regard as a "good act"; his activity is to elucidate the character of ethical reasoning and the type of common sense that is going into it.

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We can be content with illustrating the force of our conclusions as they apply to a typical `theory of truth'. I shall choose, for this purpose, a theory which is at once the most fashionable, and in some ways the most plausible—the 'correspondence' theory of truth. 4 The 'Correspondence' Theory of Truth According to the 'correspondence' theory of truth, to say that a proposition is ' true ' is to say that it 'corresponds to a fact'. ) Supporters of this theory argue that the utterances as to an can only make the conclusion, ao , ' true ' if they show that it ' corresponds to a fact'.

1 REASONING AND ITS USES (iv) An everyday example A. ' B. -We can't go yet. ' A. 'Don't you know? ' B. ' A. 'The boss said I could pack up early and go and celebrate. ' B. 'Fine. ' The most obvious thing that these examples have in common is the form of their dialectic. In each case, one of the speakers, A, starts off by saying one thing (as). In each, the other speaker, B, wavers, is sceptical or positively disagrees (saying b0). A goes on to make a different remark (a1). B is, perhaps, still unconvinced, and does not yet agree (b1).

Our philosopher, therefore, condemns the form of words So-and-so is X' (` Meekness is good', Promise-keeping is morally obligatory') as a misleading one—one which gives a false idea of the part that ethical sentences play in our lives. He insists that it is not possible to find a place for such sentences in that series of statements, of which a clear-sighted man's judgement of shape is near one extreme, and an eccentric's gourmandise near the others—and not merely in fact impossible but wrong-headed, since (for him) the question ' Where on this series do ethical sentences come ?

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An examination of the place of reason in ethics by Stephen Edelston Toulmin


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