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Objectivity and the Parochial$
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Charles Travis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596218

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596218.001.0001

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Morally Alien Thought

Morally Alien Thought

(p.137) 5 Morally Alien Thought
Objectivity and the Parochial

Charles Travis (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter is inspired by Hilary Putnam's The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy. It follows Putnam in seeing the work of the parochial as ubiquitous in shaping our thought, including scientific thought, and thus in rejecting certain constraints on objectivity which have been used, for example, by Hume, to exclude moral discourse entirely from the domain of judgement. It argues that questions as to the thing to do, like questions as to how things stand, may have objectively correct answers, just as much where they are clearly moral questions as where they are clearly merely prudential. It sets out some general ideas of Putnam's on ‘conceptual revision’, and shows how these might apply in some clearly moral cases.

Keywords:   Putnam, fact/value dichotomy, alien thought, Martian thought, introduction and elimination, alient thought, martian thought

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