- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 30, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674013808
- ISBN-13: 978-0674013803
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays
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From Library Journal
Hume's and much 20th-century moral philosophy contrasted moral with factual judgments and led people to conclude that the former, unlike the latter, are subjective in the sense of not being rationally supportable. Putnam (philosophy, emeritus, Harvard) believes that the contrast is ill conceived and that the conclusion is both unwarranted and false. He acknowledges the usefulness of the fact/value distinction but denies that anything metaphysical follows from it. Indeed, he goes so far as to assert that knowledge of facts presupposes knowledge of values. He grounds his argument in Amartya Sen's discussions of non-self interested human motives and of "capabilities" people rationally value and enjoy freely exercising. Putnam covers such matters as imperative logic, economics vis- -vis ethics, and preference theory and such thinkers as V. Walsh, L. Robbins, and R.M. Hare. A fine philosophical workout for attentive readers.
Robert Hoffman, York Coll. of CUNY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Hume's and much 20th-century moral philosophy contrasted moral with factual judgments and led people to conclude that the former, unlike the latter, are subjective in the sense of not being rationally supportable. Putnam...believes that the contrast is ill conceived and that the conclusion is both unwarranted and false. He acknowledges the usefulness of the fact/ value distinction but denies that anything metaphysical follows from it...Putnam covers such matters as imperative logic, economics vis-à-vis ethics, and preference theory and such thinkers as V. Walsh, L. Robbins, and R. M. Hare. A fine philosophical workout. (Robert Hoffman Library Journal 2002-12-01)
In this bold, energetic, and extensive work, Putnam undertakes a revitalization of philosophy. He wants to put philosophy back in touch with the 'human issues which it has always been philosophy's highest goal to articulate'...This is exciting and engaging stuff, and anyone with an interest in philosophy, at whatever level, will enjoy it and learn from it. (Martha Nussbaum, The University of Chicago)
This is an excellent collection on a very important issue...These are also very useful contributions, because they guide the reader, particularly the general reader, who is not an expert in either philosophy or science or economics, around the issue, so that one sees its contours, what connects with what, how it ramifies out through different disciplines. The collection as a whole thus fulfils two rather different functions: (a) bringing new and original arguments to bear against the erroneous thesis that there is a dichotomy between fact and value, and (b) guiding the reader around the contours of the issue and pointing to interesting relevant arguments developed elsewhere by others. (Charles Taylor, Professor of Philosophy at McGill University)
Top customer reviews
Of course, there are many other things to like about this book. For one, I've gone back to Sen and to Walsh. For another, it's clarified (for me) many problems (or puzzles) in philosophy and economics.
This is a serious argument and I am rereading.