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Philosophy: July 2013, Vol. 83, No. 3.

Truth, Pragmatism, and Morality, DAVID WIGGINS

Hilary Putnam's conception of ethics is not best understood as a form of "moral realism," but as a position consequent upon the pragmatist understanding of the relation between truth and rational acceptability--ideas that Putnam argues are not confined to laboratory science. Just as one's conception of the visible world is founded in reason as informed by sense perception, why cannot one's moral notions appear to reason itself as that which is shaped or informed by one's situation and one's nature, one's vital needs and one's capacity to respond to those needs through the invention and refinement of ethical notions? In following out this proposal, this paper tries to show how well Putnam's conception of rational acceptability can consist and cohere with the constraint upon enquiry that C. S. Peirce calls "secondness." Putnam writes, "we invent moral words for morally relevant features of situations, which lead to further refinements of our moral notions." Enlarging on this claim, the paper reconstructs some of the ways in which human beings can arrive through a practical reason of the unforsakeable at an ethos--a shared way of living--and at what Putnam calls "a moral image of the world." The paper then sets out some of Putnam's conclusions concerning agreement and disagreement, the supposed dichotomy of fact and value, the supposed problem of the perception of value, and the implausibility of Lionel Robbins's claim that economics and ethics can have no closer relation than mere juxtaposition. In conclusion, the paper touches upon the merits or demerits of the very idea of a "moral reality."

The Temporal Present, J.J. VALBERG

It is easy to have about the temporal present, the time that is now, thoughts that seem both true and impossible. For example, "Now is the time that matters." One may reflect that this is not just true but that "it is always like that," that is: now is always the time that matters. Yet here one seems to be generalizing the ascription to the temporal present of a property that claims uniqueness, namely being the time that matters. The present paper explores, in the case of the temporal present, the meaning and implications of this kind of impossible generalization.

Heidegger As a Post-Darwinian Philosopher, LESLEY CHAMBERLAIN

Heidegger responded to Darwin's displacement of the Created Universe by seeking value in a new materiality. His 1936 lecture "The Origin of the Work of Art" spelled out the need to get away from an Aristotelian concept of matter perpetuated by Aquinas and frame an approach more appropriate to a post-Darwinian age. The argument is not that Heidegger was a Darwinist or an evolutionist. It is that he responded to what Dewey called "the greatest dissolvent in contemporary thought of old questions."

The Moral Virtue of Doublemindedness, DONALD BEGGS

The conscientious are morally conflicted when their moral dilemmas or incommensurabilities, real or apparent, have not been resolved. But such doublemindedness need not lead to ethical disintegration or moral insensitivity. For one may develop the moral virtue of doublemindedness, the settled power to deliberate and act well while morally conflicted. Such action will be accompanied by both moral loss (perhaps "dirty hands") and ethical gain (salubrious agential stability). In explaining the virtue's moral psychology this paper shows, among other things, its consistency with wholeheartedness and the unity of the virtues. To broaden its claim to recognition, the paper shows the virtue's consistency with diverse models of practical reason. In conclusion, Michael Walzer's interpretation of Hamlet's attitude toward Gertrude exemplifies this Virtue in a fragmentary but nonetheless praiseworthy form.
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Title Annotation:PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Date:Sep 1, 2013
Words:594
Previous Article:The Philosophical Review: Vol. 122, No. 3, July 2013.
Next Article:Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: July 2013, Vol. 87, No. 1.
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