546R. H. B. W. Joseph to Harrod, 24 April 1936 [a]

Replies to a letter not found, follows on from 545 R. Joseph fears there is a definite difference of opinion between himself and Harrod, if Harrod thinks he could write his paper without reference to desire. Joseph does not think the rules of algebra apply to choices, and believes that Harrod's account does not correctly describe the fact that people also act under thought of obligation. Joseph admits that one can discover by induction what state of affairs a man seeks to bring about in his acts just as one can discover how insects behave, but comments that "that doesn't lead us to ethics of insect life". [1] Continues at 548 R.

  1. 1. In his previous letter, Joseph had disputed Harrod's claim in his paper that the ends to which a system of moral philosophy should be directed can be established inductively ("Utilitarianism Revised", Harrod 1936:5 , p. 156). In his reply, which was not found, Harrod must therefore have defended the use of the inductive process. This eventually became a recurrent theme of Harrod's thought (see in particular "Scope and Method of Economics", 1938:15 , letter 789 to Robertson of 5 July 1938, [jump to page] , and especially Foundations of Inductive Logic, 1956).
    1. a. From New College, Oxford # , ALI, five pages, in HPBL Add. 72730/54-56.


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