Does the ‘Incommensurability Thesis’ Imperil Common Sense Moral Judgments?


in In Defense of Natural Law

Published in print February 1999 | ISBN: 9780198267713
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683343 | DOI:
Does the ‘Incommensurability Thesis’ Imperil Common Sense Moral Judgments?

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This chapter tries to show that the ‘Incommensurability Thesis’does not imperil common sense moral judgments—such as that one ought, ordinarily, to interrupt recreational activities to save a drowning child. The integral directiveness of basic practical principles makes it possible for us to identify methodological principles of practical reasonableness (what Grisez calls ‘modes of responsibility’) whose concrete application often enables us to identify morally right and wrong answers even in circumstances requiring us to choose between or among rationally-grounded possibilities. The chapter then tries to show that application of the Golden Rule of fairness to a hypothetical case which Professor Wright proposes as a challenge enables us to see that the incommensurability thesis is fully compatible with what common sense tells us ought to be done.

Keywords: incommensurability thesis; common sense; moral judgments; practical reasonableness; Wright

Chapter.  4880 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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