Monday, 17 June 2013

Philosophy — What's the Use?

Philosophy — What's the Use?

In addition to defending our basic beliefs against objections, we frequently need to clarify what our basic beliefs mean or logically entail.

So, if I say I would never kill an innocent person, does that mean that I wouldn’t order the bombing of an enemy position if it might kill some civilians? Does a commitment to democratic elections require one to accept a fair election that puts an anti-democratic party into power?  Answering such questions requires careful conceptual distinctions, for example, between direct and indirect results of actions, or between a morality of intrinsically wrong actions and a morality of consequences. Such distinctions are major philosophical topics, of course, and most non-philosophers won’t be in a position to enter into high-level philosophical discussions.

                                         By GARY GUTTING