By Professor Carl Wellman
Mr. Wellman’s hugely unique contribution to the quite new box of justification in ethics involves characterizing different ways that moral statements could be challenged and exhibiting how each one kind of problem could be met by way of a suitable reaction, allowing moderate males to correctly talk about or think of moral concerns. In constructing his distinct, systematic, method of ethics, Mr. Wellman has, first, carefully reviewed and refuted the most arguments for the view of the character of all reasoning as deductive and, moment, convincingly offered arguments for the life of nondeductive evidences in ethics. Mr. Wellman’s vast definition of reasoning and his rejection of the identity of justification with reasoning finds new dimensions of justification in order to have extensive implications in different parts of human hypothesis.
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Extra resources for Challenge and Response: Justification in Ethics
Fortunately for my argument, conductive arguments do occur outside of ethics. Wherever some descriptive predicate is ascribed on the basis of a family resemblance conductive reasoning takes place. In all such cases there are several criteria for the application of the term and each of these criteria may be satisfied to a greater or lesser degree and they may vary in importance as well. The fact that one or more of the criteria are satisfied in a particular instance is a reason for applying the term, but the inference is nonconclusive and does not appeal to the fact that the criteria have been found empirically associated with the term in other cases.
Not quite. What it does show, I think, is that the thought experiment has been incompletely described. As it stands it is a mixture of empirical prediction about what would happen in such a case together with an ethical judgment based in part upon that prediction. To have a genuine thought experiment one must make all this empirical prediction explicit in the premises. Then the thought experiment will consist in the entirely nonempirical reasoning from the premises to the ethical conclusion. But if the premises are empirical, then is not the conclusion based upon experience?
Unfortunately, certain logical and epistemological problems remain to be solved before inductive logic can claim the same systematic coherence and rational support as deductive logic. In any event, to the extent that there can be a logic of confirmation and disconfirmation it would seem -60to be as readily applicable to inductive ethical arguments as to inductive arguments of any other kind. When one turns to conductive ethical arguments the situation is much less promising. Clearly there now exists nothing like a fully developed and firmly established logic of conduction.
Challenge and Response: Justification in Ethics by Professor Carl Wellman