Is Morality Necessary?

lecturer's comments

N1 0.1 In what sense an "entirely different sort of explanation"?

N2 0 Can explaining a use of language be like explaining the behaviour of matter?

N3 A1 But aren't you seeking to explain rather than advocate?

N4 A4 Do you mean analytic moral truths or analytic truths about morals? Why won't the latter get us very far?

N5 A5 Surely it is Warnock's complaint just that philosophers have considered evaluation in general and not morals in particular.

N6 A6 Some analytic truths may be such that we could alter the concepts so that they become synthetic without incoherence, but might some be such that they could not be so altered?

N7 B1 If we don't understand the meaning of the question how can we answer it? Won't our answer(s) reveal any unresolved ambiguity in the question?

N8 B2 If it is vague why do we want to know the answer?

N9 B4 This seems a considerable watering down from B1 - I would accept B4.

N10 C2 But I thought we were looking for an explanation of moral language - don't you want an answer to that? What is it to explore something without looking for anything?

N11 E1 I'm afraid I don't know what stepping beyond bounds of morality means unless it means dispensing with coercion. But the Kantian kingdom of ends is like that - yet surely it expresses a morality.

N12 E2 Why can't I consistently believe that coercion is unnecessary just because people can discipline themselves?

N13 G4 I entirely agree about the privacy of mental life. But I do not see your conclusion follows. I can understand what it is to have a moral system which one never practices or professes because one is prevented. But what does it mean to say X has a value system which he has no intention of practising or professing even in favourable circumstances. Value systems, unlike pains, do not seem the sort of thing one might have and yet never reveal, just because one didn't want to.

N14 H5 I thought it was getting really interesting here!!!

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