Re: Ethical synthesis (Was: Anti-Capitalism)

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 02:08:28 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Lee Corbin <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2001 10:50 PM
Subject: Ethical synthesis (Was: Anti-Capitalism)

> On 21 April 2001 16:02 Mark Walker wrote
> > ...consider the claim by Kant that "ought implies can". It is absurd to
> > that I ought to allievate all suffering on this earth because I can't.
> > can lend a hand, but I can't do it all by myself). What we can and can't
> > is circumscribed in part by who we are, i.e., in part by our nature. By
> > changing the scope of what we can do, by altering our natures, will
> > lead to an increase in the scope of what we ought to do.
> Excuse me, I am only a beginner in the weighty intricacies of German
> metaphysics, but Kant's claim looks right to me, just as an exercise in
> logic. Ought implies can is the same as "ought not or can". Clearly
> it's always true that I either ought not to do something, or I can do
> it (leaving further inferences, of a psychological nature, to the
> unwary). One or the other must be true. It also naturally translates
> into the supposition that if I can't do something, then it's nonsense
> to say that I should. Maybe that's all the old boy meant.
> Lee Corbin
Lee you have the wrong man. I was not disagreeing with Kant. (The sentence
above beginning with "It is absurd to say..." is intended as an example of
what Kant has in mind. I think you are right that taking the contrapositive
here: "if I can't do something, then it's nonsense
> to say that I should" is in some ways clearer. Anders was the one
disagreeing with Kant. Anders is your man.

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