[hist-analytic] Carnap and Grice and Absolutism

Roger Bishop Jones rbj at rbjones.com
Mon Mar 1 12:04:44 EST 2010

Here's an observation I forgot to make earlier:

On Friday 26 Feb 2010 00:48, Jlsperanza at aol.com wrote:

>I enjoyed your opinion that Carnap would have joined in a 
>game of  'deontics'.

I should mention that the rules I talked about in this 
connection were rules giving the meanings of moral terms, 
(these would be L-rules, as well as rules to capture any 
moral principles (M-rules?) which are not then analytic).
The effect of this is that if Carnap did accept this 
application of his scientific method outside its intended 
sphere of operation, he would be able to engage in moral 
reasoning as a utilitarian (for example) as well as 
indulging in deontics.

Strictly speaking, according to his delimitation of scope he 
would only be able to affirm the L-truths thus arising, and of 
the M-truths (supposing we call them that) he would have to 
confine himself to the observation that they are M-truths of 
the relevant languages. (He has to step up into the 
metalanguage).  The situation parallels that in the 
physicalistic language.

However, I confess that this is highly speculative.
I am extrapolating his methods into application areas he did 
not entertain, and imagining that he could be persuaded that 
this is a reasonable application of his analytic methods.

I would be surprised if he could not have been persuaded 
that there is more logic in moral discourse than is 
consistent with its interpretation as no more than 
expressions of emotion.


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