Reply to My Three Critics

The Monist 63 (1):110-128 (1980)
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The Carus Lectures appear above in the form in which they were read, but with the addition of a number of passages, some longer and some shorter, which were omitted in the reading. I think that my presentation of Clause 3 is the only other important change made in the printed version. Except for this change, the lectures as here printed stand essentially as they were written in 1973. The manuscript has been out of my hands since 1974 and would not satisfy me now, even apart from the faults pointed out by my three critics. My lectures need to be both clarified and corrected. They were written in a state of some excitement, not only because I had been invited to give the Carus Lectures, but also because I thought I had hit upon certain interesting newish questions and answers. I was a bit carried away by this, and hence was not so clear or rigorous as I should have been. I therefore welcome this opportunity to rethink what I said and to make some of the needed clarifications and corrections. Because of the nature of this occasion, however, I shall limit myself almost wholly to dealing with points raised by my critics, without going on to revise what I said about Anscombe, Foot, Taylor, or others, in the ways in which I would now wish to. To the three critics I am especially grateful for their willingness to take what I said as seriously as they do. I am not so sure that I can defend my line of thought as I was six years ago, but I shall still try to say what I can about and for it, being not yet quite convinced that I should give it up.



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