SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

Papers Proceedings »

Pragmatic Consensus Theories of Morality

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Timothy Sparks
Temple University
United States

In this article, I consider two consensus theories of morality—Charles S. Peirce’s and Jürgen Habermas’. Karl-Otto Apel has demonstrated that both Jurgen Habermas and Charles S. Peirce developed consensus theories of truth, but that Peirce’s theory integrates the assumption of moral and physical reality. I argue that Habermas’ theory of discourse ethics, after one first makes the assumption of moral reality, provides a useful tool for pragmatic, fallible inquiry into moral reality. Thus, the theory of discourse ethics becomes the best tool for Peircean inquiry into moral reality.


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