In Defence of Objectivity by Andrew Collier

By Andrew Collier

This quantity addresses the interlocking subject matters of realism, objectivity, existentialism and (eco-socialist) politics, in accordance with severe realism. notwithstanding, it strikes past the in basic terms medical orientation of prior contributions to this philosophy, to extra improve the subjects. The identify essay defends objectivity in technological know-how, daily wisdom, and ethics, and examines either subjective idealism and existentialist evaluations of objectivity. the opposite essays research many of the comparable subject matters yet from diverse angles, preserving the politics of the problems on the leading edge.

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Jevons feels the need to point out the relation of economics to ethics (pp. 91–93), and adopts the following position: he accepts the modification of utilitarian ethics in terms of ‘higher’ pleasures which ought to take precedence over lower ones, and in its name rejects Paley’s dictum ‘pleasures differ in nothing but in continuance and intensity’ (p. 92). How then can his purely quantitative discipline operate with pleasure and pain, rather than simply with money values? His answer is: It is the lowest rank of feelings which we here treat.

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For instance: ‘pretend your voice is coming out of the back of your head’; ‘sing from the top of your head and make the sound come down your nose’; or ‘draw the sound in’. Taken literally, of course, these instructions would be nonsense. But they succeed in telling the singer how to make it feel, and hence what to do. However, some instructions sound plausible enough to be quite easily taken as literally true, as descriptions of what can take place in the singer’s body, though a physiologist could show that they are not.

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