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By P.F. Strawson

First released in 1987. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Once the relativity of these “really”s to different standpoints, to different standards of “the real” is acknowledged, the appearance of contradiction between these positions disappears; the same thing can both be, and not be, phenomenally propertied. 4. EVASION OR SOLUTION? RECONCILIATION OR SURRENDER? The parallel between my two examples of a relativizing, reconciling move is obvious enough. And to a hard-line adherent of the position which he himself will describe as objective or scientific both solutions will appear to have parallel weaknesses.

Standpoints and attitudes are not only different, they are profoundly opposed. One cannot be whole-heartedly committed to both at once. It will not do to say that they are mutually exclusive; since we are rarely whole-hearted creatures. But they tend in the limit to mutual exclusion. How natural it is, then, to ask the question: “Which is the correct standpoint? ” One the question is asked, it is natural to go on to argue as follows: If it is the standpoint of participation and involvement, to which we are so 38 MORALITY AND PERCEPTION strongly committed by nature and society, which is correct, then some human actions really are morally blameworthy or praiseworthy, hateful or admirable, proper objects of gratitude or resentment; and those who have contended for the objectivity of morals are fundamentally in the right of it, even if the particular judgments we make in this area are even more liable to error or distortion than those we make in others; and to refuse to recognize this is deliberately to blind oneself to a whole dimension of reality.

20 SKEPTICISM, NATURALISM framework, though they may be taken to include the two Humean elements, are presumptively more various. Second, the framework is, up to a point at least, dynamically conceived: what was at one time part of the framework may change its status, may assume the character of a hypothesis to be questioned and perhaps falsified—some of what we would now regard as assumptions about supernatural agents or powers presumably come into this category—whereas other parts of the framework remain fixed and unalterable.

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