Morality and Its Rationality : Toulmin's Standpoint
About this eBook
Morality is bonded with the concept of society. Truth of this proposition is one that we have been observing since the time of existence of any society imbedded in its culture. If a society is to continue its existence, better it be with a sense of morality. Why with morality It is because 'to be moral' is a better choice than 'to be immoral' or even 'amoral' for a good social living. If living with moral-sense is acceptable, there is a necessity for having certain norms and principles. These serve as referrals for developing criterion-for evaluation or justification of an action in the society. Employment of appropriate reasoning seems to be one ideal way for appraisal of some body's moral action. How does such a criterion work Why did Socrates, as a citizen, readily accept, without showing any opposition, to drink the poison hemlock as Stateaward for his act that he did for the sake of the then Greek youths of the society The question first arose in author's mind as a school student then in eighth standard while studying a text book of English prose. The event aroused in author the curiosity to learn more about the concept of morality involved in the philosopher's act for his society. Subsequently, as a grown up college student, it served to encourage the author to have a deep dip into arena of studies in morality so as to discover 'what can be an appropriate criterion of evaluation of moral act ' It is this idea that inspired the author later on to write the present book.
The present book aims to highlight the significance of reasoning in morality, though to be moral, reasoning is not always necessary. For justification of good reasoning in ethics, what initially is required is knowing the true meaning of ethical concepts, and their appropriate use in respective contexts. In emphasizing this point, Toulmin takes to task his predecessors' Traditional approaches. To him, they misconstrue ethical concepts either as properties of an object, or as subjective relations in terms of feelings of an individual or of a group belonging to a society, or as merely rhetorical disgu ised and pseud o expressions of im p erativ es or interjections devoid of any meanings. Being gripped with flaws, the so called Traditional theories are discarded by Toulmin. It is then maintained by him that in true sense, ethical concepts contain contextual meanings in such a way that they express the logical nature of disputes regarding judgements of 'value' based on reasoning. Framing the 'strategy of appraising moral actions by employing a reference to role of reasoning' is what Toulmin does. First, he explains the nature of reasoning, then, he goes on to 'reasoning in ethics', and subsequently, he