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Against Absolute Goodness$
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Richard Kraut

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844463.001.0001

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The Problem of Intelligibility

The Problem of Intelligibility

Chapter:
(p.38) Chapter 8 The Problem of Intelligibility
Source:
Against Absolute Goodness
Author(s):

Richard Kraut

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844463.003.0008

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.

Keywords:   bad, simpliciter, absolute goodness, smoking

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