New PDF release: Promising

By William Vitek

ISBN-10: 143990409X

ISBN-13: 9781439904091

ISBN-10: 1566390524

ISBN-13: 9781566390521

William Vitek enlarges our realizing via treating the act of promising as a social perform and intricate human adventure. bringing up attractive examples of supplies made in daily life, in awesome conditions, and in literary works, Vitek grapples with the principal paradox of promising: that humans can intend a destiny to which they're principally blind. "Promising" evaluates modern ways to the subject by way of such philosophers as John Rawls, John Searle, Henry Sidgwick, P.S. Atiyah, and Michael Robbins yet go beyond their extra constrained specialize in promissory legal responsibility. Vitek's cutting edge procedure strikes past theories of language, ethics, and legislation to unveil a posh human task topic to moving interpretations and alterations in nature. writer notice: William Vitek is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Clarkson college and the co-editor of "Applying Philosophy".

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Sample text

1128 Constitutive rules create facts that do not otherwise exist.

17 Rawls is quick to point out how the practice of promising is different from other practices. First, whereas most institutions and practices are defined by a system of rules, the practice of promising appears to be governed by a single rule, which, by itself, specifies the parameters of a promise. In A Theory of Justice, he says that the rule of promise specifies the appropriate circumstances and excusing conditions. The rule states that (I) the promisor is fully conscious and in a rational frame of mind, (2) he knows the meaning of the operative rules (here Rawls uses the plural), (3) the words are spoken freely or voluntarily, and (4) the speaker must not be 42 Copyrighted Material Approaches to Promise asleep or suffering delusions.

A theory of practice covers a wide range of human activities. Examples of practices include dating, telling jokes, making tea (for example, in Britainl, booing at sporting events, walking on busy streets, standing in elevators, tipping in restaurants, standing in lines, and promising. One may be put off by seeing promising in a list with rather more mundane examples of conventional behavior, but I do not distinguish between moral and nonmoral practices. I take a wide view of the moral life. All human action is morally charged to the degree that it originates in free, responsible beings and takes place in a social or community setting.

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Promising by William Vitek


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