The Problem of Intelligibility
In Chapter 6 it was argued that we should not infer from something's being bad for someone that it is bad simpliciter. The example was this: smoking cigarettes might be bad for George, but it would not follow that smoking is bad (period). In addition to rejecting this inference, we should also ask a question about its conclusion: what would it even mean to say that smoking is bad? This chapter addresses this question. Doing so should make us realize that Geach, Foot, and Thomson have raised a legitimate question, and one that is not easily answered. Although their diagnosis of what goes awry in talk about absolute goodness is rejected, it is a step forward to feel the force of their argument.
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