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By Stephen Edelston Toulmin

The important challenge of ethics, in response to Stephen Toulmin, is that of discovering how to distinguish strong ethical arguments from vulnerable ones, strong purposes from bad ones, and identifying even if there comes some extent during ethical argument while the giving of purposes turns into superfluous. The inquiry he undertakes in An exam of where of cause in Ethics facilities at the query of what makes a specific set of evidence that endure on an ethical choice a "good cause" for performing in a selected means. the writer contends that he has little interest in a round argument to the influence "good cause" is one who helps the type of act he could regard as a "good act"; his job is to elucidate the character of ethical reasoning and the type of good judgment that is going into it.

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B. 'That would be interesting, if true. ' A. 'He does. His old servant told me that Jones never uttered an unkind word to her, and recently provided her with 6g a luxurious pension. And there are many such instances. ).. . ' B. 'Well, I confess I do not know him intimately. '1 REASONING AND ITS USES (iv) An everyday example A. ' B. -We can't go yet. ' A. 'Don't you know? ' B. ' A. 'The boss said I could pack up early and go and celebrate. ' B. 'Fine. ' The most obvious thing that these examples have in common is the form of their dialectic.

And fancy their imagining that anyone making an ethical judgement ever does anything but exclaim! ' The point of his doctrine is (as we have seen) quite otherwise: his preoccupation is with logic, rather than with everyday matters-of-fact. If all he were saying were that in only a negligible proportion of cases do people in fact arrive at moral decisions on the basis of reason, he could not draw the conclusions he wants to. And this shows why the appearance of pessimism is deceptive. The imperative doctrine arises out of a confusion between the logical proposition, 'There are (can be) no good reasons for ejaculations', and the matter-of-fact proposition, 'There are (may be) no good reasons for ethical judgements'.

The feeling of pessimism passes off, when we realise what it is that the philosopher is really asserting: that to ask for 'good reasons for ethical judgements' is like asking for `the colour of heat', and not like asking for the moon. When, in addition, we realise that he wants us to change the use of our words reason' and `validity', our natural conservatism will assert itself, and we shall lose the temptation to take his theory too seriously—that is, at its face value. For if, as he recommends, we stop calling the facts which support our ethical conclusions ' reasons', we shall have to find another name for them; and if we are to stop talking of the ` validity' of evaluative inferences, we shall have to invent another word for that too.

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