chapter  13
16 Pages

Practical deliberation and the first person

WithDavid Cockburn

Bernard Williams suggests that general confusions about the nature of practical thinking lie behind images of the necessarily ‘impersonal’ character of morality. Similar considerations apply in the context of another kind of example that Williams discusses elsewhere: an example in which the philosophical issues at stake concern impartiality. Opposition to a consequentialist ethic may take the form of an insistence that there are restrictions on how it is permissible to act in pursuit of some end. The point is a general one, which has application beyond the specifically ‘moral’ sphere. Thus, Timothy Chappell writes: Again, to love someone is I-involving. The further these formulations move from the idea of self-reference the more one might wonder whether what we see involves a genuine contrast with thought about how things are.