How to Discuss Ethical Problems: a Vindication of Carnapian THought-Stoppers
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
13th Principia International Symposium
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According to Putnam, logical empiricism?s conception of value judgments exerted an immense and detrimental influence on economics and the general public. The notion of a dichotomy between objective facts and subjective values allegedly renders different solutions to ethical problems merely a matter of taste. Hence, any discussion about ethical problems is deemed futile. Science and humanity stop their intellectual and practical strive for societal improvements. ?The worst thing about the fact/value dichotomy is that in practice it functions as a discussion-stopper, and not just as a discussion-stopper, but a thought-stopper (Putnam 2002, 44).? Acknowledging the entanglement of factual and evaluative statements in science and society, we reconstruct Carnap?s non-cognitivism as a relativized, semantic version of the fact/value dichotomy and defend a Carnapian account of discussing ethical problems against most of Putnam?s criticisms.
We briefly recollect Putnam?s critique (I), highlight some problems with it (II), reconstruct and defend Carnap?s arguably relativized version of the dichotomy (III), and hint at challenges in the explication and application of such relativized dichotomies (IV).