Download Critical Reasoning in Ethics: A Practical Introduction by Anne Thomson PDF

By Anne Thomson

I actually desired to like this booklet on moral reasoning. It easily does not connect to the reader - possibly it is the British method, yet there is little useful connection of the real inspiration of ethics to daily life. might be different graduate-level textbooks on ethics are not any larger, i would not comprehend. yet after examining of Thomson's books, i might say there must be.

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Sample text

Look out for important ideas upon which an argument seems to rely, and which you think need to be clarified or precisely pinned down. Moral principles A principle is a general rule or recommendation which applies to a number of specific cases. For example, a business may operate on the principle that excessive time should not be spent on making decisions, on the grounds that most decisions made fairly quickly will turn out to be profitable, and such profit will more than compensate for any losses made by an occasional overhasty decision.

Our example was of an explanation occurring as an independent piece of reasoning, but explanations can also appear as part of the reasoning in an argument. It is useful for our purposes to be aware of the role of explanations in reasoning, because an argument on an ethical issue could depend upon one or more explanations. What we need to know about explanations is whether they are the correct explanations of the facts or phenomena they seek to explain. Two strategies can help us to assess this.

If he had trained hard, he would have won the race. He didn’t win the race. So he can’t have trained hard. In both these arguments, the conclusion follows from the reasons as a matter of logic, such that, provided the reasons are true, the conclusion must be true. In the first argument, the reasons are true, and it is easy to see that the conclusion must be true. You may have thought that the second argument did not provide strong support for the conclusion, because you can imagine someone losing a race even if they trained hard.

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