26 Nov 2003 chalst   » (Master)

Utility and Reference
There's been an interesting discussion about act utilitarianism and what Larry Solum calls the Demandingness Objection. A couple of people have pointed out correctly that Richard Hare's 2-level utilitarianism is immune to this objection.

I'd like to draw attention to the fact, for those who follow analytical philosophy, that there is quite a close analogy between the way Hare achieves this and the structure of Frege's theory of Sinn and Bedeutung (esp. as articulated by Michael Dummett). Essentially the relation of sense to reference is somewhat analogous to the relation between Hare's common-sense obligation and utility, and it is not difficult to make the analogy very strong by means of something such as a posited notion of common-sense moral worth. Michael Dummett says of sense that it is the normal point of utterances (which have sense) to refer, but they need not be successful; likewise with the relation between common-sense moral worth and utility.

[1] Larry Solum's original post.
[2] Larry Solum's later comment.
[3] Ciceronian Review's post. This new blog is well worth watching.

Recentlog comments
salmoni: Bloody hell!
dyork: I'm iCAN, and I don't listen to the Archers. I try again, with slightly different answers and I am USENET, but I don't even remember alt.lemur.frink.frink.frink...
cerquide: Got to say, I had a much, much more positive experience with my doctorate than in Peter Burney's description. My experience of industry wasn't fractionally as good by comparison.

Rumblings in the Blogosphere
Interesting! Via the Truth Laid Bear, I see that Attention Deficit has overtaken Instapundit as most linked to weblog. Soul-laid-bare single displaces elite warblogger. TTLB is an hourly updated service; I wonder if this will last...
Update No, it was just a spike.

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