An Overview of R. M. Hare’s Moral Philosophy
8. An overall evaluation 231
8. An Overall Evaluation 8.1 Introduction In the previous chapter we examined Hare’s central claim that his moral theory is relevant to the practical problems we face in everyday life. We concluded that the kind of moral methodology he espouses does not seem to be so relevant to practical life as he initially thought. We also examined the way in which Hare’s two-level theory of moral thinking is related to the alternative moral ac- counts that have been developed, such as Virtue ethics, Rights based ethics, Care ethics etc. Hare had claimed that all these are first-level theories analogous to his own Intuitive level of moral thinking. Moreover, since these accounts lack a second, critical, level which will help them solve the differences that arise on the first level, Hare suggested that they have to be supplemented by his own critical level of moral thinking. But if they are to be so supplemented, they will all turn out to be compatible with the kind of Utilitarian theory that Hare pro- pounds. It is from within this frame of mind that Hare goes on to argue that a phi- losopher like Kant could have been a Utilitarian. I take Hare’s contention seri- ously. And in the present chapter I examine the consequences that follow from his claim I considered in the previous chapter. So in this chapter I examine Hare’s central idea of whether Kant’s moral philosophy, if properly formulated, can be compatible with Utilitarianism (8.2). As it must have become...
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