The structure of a moral code; a philosophical analysis of ethical discourse applied to the ethics of the Navaho Indians.

Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1957.

Location Call Number Status Consortium Loan
George Washington
Gelman stacks
E 98 .E83 L3 Available Request
WRLC Shared Collections Facility
E98.E83 L3 Off-site
Lauinger stacks
E98.E83 L3 Available Request
Subjects Anthropology, Cultural.
Indians, North American.
Navajo (Indiens) -- Morale.
Navajo ethics.
Description xv, 474 pages portrait 25 cm
Copyright Date 1957.
Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 427-436).
Contents I. The aims and methods of descriptive ethics : I. Ideology and discourse : The ideological character of a moral code ; The behavioristic approach ; Inferred beliefs ; The mentalistic approach ; The use of "statement" and other terms ; Objections ; Descriptive ethics and descriptive linguistics -- II. The method of hypothetical reconstruction : Meta-theories : Levels of discourse ; Kinds of meta-discourse. Hypotheses in descriptive ethics : Criteria of a good hypothesis ; The method of reconstruction. Natural and artificial ethical systems ; Theoretical models : Artificial ethical systems as models ; Theoretical status of these models. The method of Verstehen -- III. Scrutiny of definitions of "ethics" (I) : The problem ; Requirements of a satisfactory definition : Explication ; Justification and explanation ; Justification by explanation. Durkheim on the authority of morality ; Sanctions as a criterion of moral facts : The ethical meaning of "sanction" ; Other meanings ; Consequences anticipated by the agent ; Mechanisms of control known mostly to the observer ; Arguments against using sanctions as a criterion -- IV. Scrutiny of definitions of "ethics" (II) : Moral facts vs. values in general ; Approbation as a criterion of moral facts : Moral approval and disapproval ; Prescriptive and evaluative aspects of moral judgments ; Spectator and agent ethics. Other criteria : The intuitive approach ; The identification of ethical discourses in terms of content ; The linguistic approach ; The criteria offered by Duncan-Jones. Theoretical unsatisfactoriness of all these criteria -- V. The definition in terms of moral prescriptions : Moral discourse in general ; Prescriptions : "Oughtness" ; Explication of "prescription" ; The acceptance of a prescription ; The acceptance vs. the fulfillment of a prescription ; Linguistic analyses ; Prescriptions vs. commands ; Objections. The superiority of moral prescriptions : Autonomy ; Priority. The legitimacy of moral prescriptions ; Clues for the identification of ethical discourse
II. The structure of ethical discourse : VI. Components of a prescription: prescriptive qualities : Logical analyses of prescriptive statements : Imperatives and prescriptions ; Kinds of negation ; Immediate logical relations. Positive and negative prescriptive qualities : The notion of nonperformance ; Differences between injunctions and prohibitions ; Directive and constraining qualities. Degrees of stringency : Moral injunctions, counsels, prohibitions, and discounsels ; Immediate inferences -- VII. Components of a prescription: prescripta : The factors designating a prescriptum : Agents ; Acts ; Categorizing acts ; Patients ; Circumstances. General and particular prescriptions ; Moral rules and moral principles -- VIII. The logic of ethical discourse: validation : Validation in general : Validation and justification ; Logical form of validation ; Schematic ethical syllogism ; The notion of "basic prescription". Modes of validation : Extreme particularism ; The mode of selection ; Finding and making the law ; The mode of application ; The mode of interpretation ;Identifying characteristics of the various modes -- IX. The rhetoric of ethical discourse: justification : Ethical argumentation in general ; Description of basic prescriptions : Ground-motives ; Classification of basic prescriptions and ground-motives ; Philosophical explanations of the ground-motives ; Derivation of prescriptions of varying stringency. The vindication of basic prescriptions ; Ethical competence : Competence in general ; Ethical competence ; Criteria of ethical competence ; Authoritarianism
III. A systematic reconstruction of Navaho ethics : X. The application of the general theory : The formulation of hypotheses ; The thinker and the man of action ; Field work with the Navahos: December-January, 1951-52 : The Navaho moralist: Bidaga ; Other sources. Navaho ethics vs. the ethics of a Navaho ; Some practical difficulties in field work -- XI. Navaho ethics in general : Non-literate rationalism ; Esoteric knowledge ; The Navaho philosophy of life : General existential beliefs ; Practical concerns ; Navaho materialism and individualism: the concept of property ; Property and sex. An hypothesis about Navaho ethics : The identification of moral prescriptions ; Contexts in which moral discourse is assumed to appear ; Navaho prudentialism. Samples of ethical discourse : Father's teaching ; Talks at weddings ; Descriptions of the good and bad man -- XII. Beliefs about man and the world : Exoteric beliefs : Friendly and unfriendly powers ; Special kinds of beings. Reconstruction of Navaho categories of explanation : Mechanism ; Temporal and spatial aspects of causality ; The principle of general effects ; The principle of many reasons ; Some causal laws -- XIII. The data: negative prescriptions : The classification of prescriptions : Navaho ethical expressions ; Types of negative prescriptions. Taboos: "That's Bahadzid" : Taboos in general ; Specific taboos ; The theoretical significance of taboos. Social prohibitions: "That will put you into trouble" : Social prohibitions in general ; Specific social prohibitions. Social interdictions: "People will talk about you and laugh at you" : Social interdictions in general ; Specific social interdictions ; Relationship of social interdictions to other moral prescriptions -- XIV. The data: positive prescriptions : Rectification: "Straightening things out" : Restoration and the theory of curing ; Specific accounts of "straightening out troubles". Personal prescriptions: "Care for yourself" : Specific personal prohibitions ; Special personal injunctions. Social injunctions: "Take care of others" : Special social injunctions ; Moral counsels ; Explanation of the varying stringency of prescriptions. Traditional practices: "That's just the way they do that" ; General remarks on the data : Prescriptions and actual behavior ; Summary of ethical statements ; Two methodological problems -- XV. The structure of the reconstructed code : Outline of procedure ; Taking the informant's reasons seriously ; Nonauthoritarianism : The relation of the Holy People to morality ; The appeal to tradition. Ethical competence and Navaho moral psychology : The distribution and conditions of ethical competence ; Virtue is knowledge ; Character and responsibility. Mode of validation: application -- XVI. The content of the reconstructed code : Hypothetical reconstruction of the basic prescription : Division into two theses ; Derivation of ethical statements given as data ; Methods of testing hypothesis. The teleological thesis : Evidence which would falsify this thesis ; Probing with Western formalistic principles ; Justice ; Residual categories: possible nonteleological principles. The egoistic thesis : Definition of "atomic egoism" ; Specific tests of this thesis ; Possible difficulties -- XVII. Moral goals and moral ideals : The goals of morality : Explicit statements of these goals ; Reconstructive analysis ; Speculations on the negativity of Navaho ethics ; Kluckhohn's conception of "harmony". Egoism and altruism : The derivation of altruistic prescriptions ; The evaluation of actions. Comparison of the reconstructed code with western egoistic ethics : Epicurus ; Hobbes ; Spinoza ; Basic dissimilarities -- XVIII. Conclusion : Appraisal of the hypothesis : Reliability of the data ; The adequacy of the hypothesis ; Other possible approaches ; Comparison with Brandt's procedures. The function of a moral code : For the individual ; For society. Determinants of the content of a moral code ; Descriptive relativism : Causal dependence and descriptive relativism ; Universals. Normative relativism : The argumentum ex consensu and ex dissensu gentium ; The recognition of relativity in normative ethics. Relevance of descriptive ethics to philosophical ethics : Normative ethics ; Theoretical ethics. The role of the moralist.
Network Numbers (OCoLC)405938
WorldCat Search OCLC WorldCat
WorldCat Identities Ladd, John, 1917-
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