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The Pragmatics of Betterment

The Pragmatics of Betterment Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 10, No. 1 (June 2013), 59­71 Editions Rodopi ©2013 Two issues are at the focus of the paper: (a) to clarify what "world improvement" is and what its achievement would require, and (b) to consider whether "world improvement" is something possible for us humans. Three conclusions emerge: (1) that we can never secure categorical assurance that something we do with the aim of improving matters will actually succeed; (2) that we are nevertheless morally obligated to try for improvement; and (3) that in one somewhat ironic regard we are bound to succeed, because even merely by trying for improvement we make the world a better place than it otherwise would be. 1. Amelioration This is not a how-to article. It provides no instructions for making the world a better place. All that it does ­ and all that it attempts to do ­ is (1) to clarify what "world improvement" is and what its achievement would require, and (2) to consider whether "world improvement" is something that is possible for us humans. Accordingly, the issues that concern us here relate to the theory of pragmatism. They represent the concerns of the philosopher, not those of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

The Pragmatics of Betterment

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 10 (1): 59 – Apr 21, 2013

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000248
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 10, No. 1 (June 2013), 59­71 Editions Rodopi ©2013 Two issues are at the focus of the paper: (a) to clarify what "world improvement" is and what its achievement would require, and (b) to consider whether "world improvement" is something possible for us humans. Three conclusions emerge: (1) that we can never secure categorical assurance that something we do with the aim of improving matters will actually succeed; (2) that we are nevertheless morally obligated to try for improvement; and (3) that in one somewhat ironic regard we are bound to succeed, because even merely by trying for improvement we make the world a better place than it otherwise would be. 1. Amelioration This is not a how-to article. It provides no instructions for making the world a better place. All that it does ­ and all that it attempts to do ­ is (1) to clarify what "world improvement" is and what its achievement would require, and (2) to consider whether "world improvement" is something that is possible for us humans. Accordingly, the issues that concern us here relate to the theory of pragmatism. They represent the concerns of the philosopher, not those of

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2013

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