Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence : The Nature and Normativity of Prudential Discourse

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3.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)

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Philosophers have long theorized about what makes people's lives go well, and why, and the extent to which morality and self-interest can be reconciled. However, we have spent little time on meta-prudential questions, questions about prudential discourse-thought and talk about what is good and bad for us; what contributes to well-being; and what we have prudential reason, or prudentially ought, to do. This situation is surprising given that prudence is, prima
facie, a normative form of discourse and cries out for further investigation of what it is like and whether it has problematic commitments. It also marks a stark contrast from moral discourse, about which there has been extensive theorizing, in meta-ethics.

Dear Prudence: The Nature and Normativity of Prudential Discourse has three broad aims. Firstly, Guy Fletcher explores the nature of prudential discourse. Secondly, he argues that prudential discourse is normative and authoritative, like moral discourse. Thirdly, Fletcher aims to show that prudential discourse is worthy of further, explicit, attention both due to its intrinsic interest but also for the light it sheds on the meta-normative more broadly.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 147 x 224 x 19mm | 406g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198858264
  • 9780198858263

Table of contents

PART 1: Prudence, Prudential Discourse, and Normativity
1: Prudence as a System of Categorical Imperatives
2: Is Prudential Discourse Normative?
PART 2: The Nature of Prudential Discourse
3: Prudential Language and Context (I): Good for and Needs
4: Prudential Language and Context (II): Contextualism And Pluralism
5: Prudential Judgements and Motivation
PART 3: Prudential Discourse Is Normative: What Follows?
6: Prudential Normativity, Moral Skepticisms, and Metaethics
7: Prudential Normativity: Realism and Anti-Realism
Conclusion: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead
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Review quote

The aim of this tightly argued book is to defend and explicate the view that prudential discourse, a central part of human life, is normative. This is frequently taken for granted in moral philosophy but rarely explained or defended. * S. A. Mason, CHOICE * Guy Fletcher has written an excellent and much needed book about prudence-lucid, thoughtful, and, to my mind, persuasive. He is well acquainted with all the contemporary literature on his topic, and his treatment of the contributions of others is fair, sympathetic, and helpful. While the discussion becomes increasingly subtle and complex, Fletcher remains admirably clear throughout. * David McNaughton, The Philosophical Quarterly * Those interested in theoretical issues concerning prudence or in meta-normativity outside the confines of morality would be well served by studying this book ... Fletcher is utterly successful in his primary goal of showing the importance of exploring the meta-normativity of prudence. * Christopher Fruge, Utilitas *
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About Guy Fletcher

Guy Fletcher is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests lie in well-being, metaethics, and their intersection, and practical philosophy more generally. His publications include The Philosophy of Well-Being: An Introduction (Routledge, 2016), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being (Routledge, 2016), and Having It Both Ways: Hybrid Theories and Modern Metaethics (Oxford University
Press, 2015).
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