Ethics Without Principles

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Ethics Without Principles

Author : Jonathan Dancy
ISBN : 0199297681
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 88.20 MB
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Jonathan Dancy presents a long-awaited exposition and defence of particularism in ethics, a view with which he has been associated for twenty years. He argues that the traditional link between morality and principles, or between being moral and having principles, is little more than a mistake. The possibility of moral thought and judgement does not in any way depend on an adequate supply of principles. Dancy grounds this claim on a form of reasons-holism, holding that what is a reason inone case need not be any reason in another, and maintaining that moral reasons are no different in this respect from others. He puts forward a distinctive form of value-holism to go with the holism of reasons, and he gives a detailed discussion, much needed, of the currently popular topic of 'contributory' reasons. Opposing positions of all sorts are summarized and criticized. Ethics Without Principles is the definitive statement of particularist ethical theory, and will be required reading for all those working on moral philosophy and ethical theory.
Category: Philosophy

Ethics Without Principles

Author : Roy H. May
ISBN : 9781498225250
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 33.47 MB
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Ethics in the West too often equates morality with universal moral principles, thus imposing lifestyles and moral criteria that do not respect differences and local histories. Even Christianity proposes ethics that is based on eternal, absolute and universal truths or principles, independent of sociocultural and historical contexts. The problem is that these universal moral laws become a means of social control to exclude those who are different: non-Christian religions, nonwhite races, non-Western cultures, and poor and marginalized social classes everywhere. To these can be added minorities marginalized because of sexual orientation, physical handicaps, and women of all sectors and cultures. Another kind of ethics is urgent. For these reasons, Christians in Latin America and other parts are seeking innovative ways of envisioning ethics from their marginalized and discriminated social locations in order to find another possible ethics, an ethics that is not universal and not based on eternal truths or principles, but rather is contextual and historical and that takes into account real-life realities. Only an ethics that does this will be liberative. Important steps toward this other possible ethics have been taken by the theology of liberation by developing a contextual and intercultural morality.
Category: Social Science

The Rorty Reader

Author : Christopher J. Voparil
ISBN : 9781405198318
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 21.57 MB
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"In the last sentence of a posthumously published article, Richard Rorty wrote: "...individual men and women are more fully human when their memories are amply stocked with verses". Equally, we might say that they are more humane and wide-ranging thinkers when their minds are amply stocked with Rorty's subtle thoughts. We should be grateful for the editors of this anthology for giving us so many." Philip Kitcher, Columbia University "Pragmatist," "historicist," "literary," "anti-analytical," "postmodernist," "neo-liberal," "humanist," "ethnocentric" ù all these (and many other) terms have been applied to Richard Rorty, both as compliments and as insults. This careful selection from his writings, along with Christopher Voparil's excellent introduction, explains why. It charts Rorty's many philosophical twists and turns and it illuminates the intellectual and political commitments that provide his thinking with a deep continuity. And it brings back, for a broad audience, Rorty's characteristic voice: both simple and sophisticated, witty and passionate, light-handed and erudite, controversial and accommodating, detailed and sweeping, critical and hopeful ù above all, unmistakably individual and deeply missed." Alexander Nehamas, Princeton University "The Rorty Reader is a remarkable editorial accomplishment. By bringing together a wide variety of Richard Rorty's controversial and yet inspiring writings, Bernstein and Voparil provide an excellent introduction to this important thinker. The addition, their own insightful introductory chapter, makes the collection essential reading for everyone who wants to gain a better understanding of not just the significance of Rorty's philosophical contribution, but that of modern thought in general." Alan Malachowski, University of Stellenbosch The Rorty Reader represents the first comprehensive collection of the writings of Richard Rorty, one of the twentieth century's most influential thinkers, best known for the controversial Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979). Gathering together key essays from over four decades of writings, the volume offers an in-depth introduction to the philosopher's life and prolific body of work. Topics addressed include the continuities and transformations that span Rorty's early training in the history of philosophy, his engagement with the analytic tradition, and the 1979 publication that brought him international renown. Particular attention is devoted to his later political writings, including his turn to literature as the vehicle of moral reflection most suitable to democratic life, and his embrace of philosophy as cultural politics. With selections from The Linguistic Turn (1967), Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), Achieving Our Country (1998), and his four volumes of philosophical papers, including Philosophy as Cultural Politics (2007), as well as in-depth interviews and revealing autobiographical pieces, The Rorty Reader offers a compelling and representative view of Rorty's relationship with American pragmatism and the overall intellectual trajectory of his philosophical and political thought. Christopher J. Voparil is on the Graduate Faculty of Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, OH, where he teaches philosophy and political theory. He is the author of Richard Rorty: Politics and Vision (2006), and has published articles in Contemporary Pragmatism, Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Philosophy and Social Criticism, and Education and Culture. He is also the current Secretary of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. Richard J. Bernstein is Vera List Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, New York. His most recent book is The Pragmatic Turn (Polity, 2010).
Category: Philosophy

Ethics As Scales Of Forms

Author : Richard Allen
ISBN : 9781443867085
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52.77 MB
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This book is an important contribution to moral philosophy, and also to moral theology. It overcomes the dichotomising fragmentation of much contemporary moral philosophy which tends to take one aspect or component of moral activity, such as the consequences of actions, rules or intentions, and to make it the only one. The book employs an adaptation of Collingwood’s scheme of ‘scales of forms’ to provide a synthesis which does justice to all aspects and components by placing each aspect, or component, on a scale in which each lower one presupposes the next higher and each higher one needs to be appropriately enacted and expressed in the next lower one. The lowest of all is that of the consequences of single actions and the highest, in which all the others are fulfilled, is that of the unique person as essentially an ens amans, a loving being. That scale is itself insufficient, for it in turn presupposes a scale of values and ends to be realised and pursued, and thus overcomes another false dichotomy, that of deontological (duty) versus axiological (value) ethics, for duties without values and ends are pointless and arbitrary, and values and ends without duties are of no moral significance. The order of types of love, from mere liking and enjoyment to love of the unique person, provides an appropriate scale, integrated with one of various types of fulfilment, pleasure-happiness-virtue, whose summit, love itself, is also that of the previous scale. Thus insofar as we become what we ought to be, then, ceteris paribus, we shall also find our true fulfilment. At each point, relevant texts from Greek to contemporary European philosophy, along with mentions of some other world- and life-views, are cited to illustrate and give substance to the argument.
Category: Social Science

Moral Principles

Author : Maike Albertzart
ISBN : 9781472574220
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 88.15 MB
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The history of moral philosophy has been dominated by attempts to find and defend the correct moral principle or set of principles. However, over the last two decades the assumption that morality can and should be understood in terms of principles has come under attack from several quarters. The most radical attack has come from so-called moral particularists according to whom principles are at best useless and at worst a hindrance to successful moral reasoning and action. Why should – and how can – morality be based on principles? These are the leading questions of this book. Moral Principles offers a historically informed, in-depth examination of the current particularist/generalist debate and presents a novel account of the place of principles in our moral thought and action.
Category: Philosophy

Politics Without Principle

Author : David Campbell
ISBN : 1555873812
Genre : Political Science
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This study examines the discursive practices and political strategies that obscured the issues involved in the Gulf region and moved the crisis toward conflict. In particular, it probes the discourse of moral certitude through which the United States and its allies located with Iraq - in unambiguous ethical terms - the responsibility for evil.
Category: Political Science

The Handbook Of Virtue Ethics

Author : Stan van Hooft
ISBN : 9781317544760
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 72.17 MB
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Virtue ethics has emerged as a distinct field within moral theory - whether as an alternative account of right action or as a conception of normativity which departs entirely from the obligatoriness of morality - and has proved itself invaluable to many aspects of contemporary applied ethics. Virtue ethics now flourishes in philosophy, sociology and theology and its applications extend to law, politics and bioethics. "The Handbook of Virtue Ethics" brings together leading international scholars to provide an overview of the field. Each chapter summarizes and assesses the most important work on a particular topic and sets this work in the context of historical developments. Taking a global approach by embracing a variety of major cultural traditions along with the Western, the "Handbook" maps the emergence of virtue ethics and provides a framework for future developments.
Category: Philosophy

The Oxford Handbook Of Ethical Theory

Author : David Copp
ISBN : 9780190208202
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 71.28 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory is a major new reference work in ethical theory consisting of commissioned essays by leading moral philosophers. Ethical theories have always been of central importance to philosophy, and remain so; ethical theory is one of the most active areas of philosophical research and teaching today. Courses in ethics are taught in colleges and universities at all levels, and ethical theory is the organizing principle for all of them. The Handbook is divided into two parts, mirroring the field. The first part treats meta-ethical theory, which deals with theoretical questions about morality and moral judgment, including questions about moral language, the epistemology of moral belief, the truth aptness of moral claims, and so forth. The second part addresses normative theory, which deals with general moral issues, including the plausibility of various ethical theories and abstract principles of behavior. Examples of such theories are consequentialism and virtue theory. As with other Oxford Handbooks, the twenty-five contributors cover the field in a comprehensive and highly accessible way, while achieving three goals: exposition of central ideas, criticism of other approaches, and putting forth a distinct viewpoint.
Category: Philosophy

Sustainable Development Science Ethics And Public Policy

Author : J. Lemons
ISBN : 9789401584920
Genre : Science
File Size : 50.83 MB
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Of all the books written about the problems of sustainable development and environmental protection, Sustainable Development: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy is one of the first to examine the role of science, economics and law, and ethics as generally applied to decision making on sustainable development, particularly in respect to the recommendations contained in Agenda 21. Specifically, the book examines the role, capabilities, and certain strengths and weaknesses of these disciplines and their ethical implications in the context of sustainable development problems. Such an analysis is necessary to determine whether sustainable development problems create important new challenges and problems for government so that, where appropriate, new tools or approaches may be designed to overcome limitations or take advantage of the strengths of current scientific, economic and legal capabilities. Audience: Environmental professionals, whether academic, governmental or industrial, or in the private consultancy sector. Also suitable as an upper level text or reference.
Category: Science

Ethics And Moral Philosophy

Author : Thom Brooks
ISBN : 9789004203426
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 32.57 MB
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Ethics and moral philosophy is an area of particular interest today. This book brings together some of the most important essays in this area. Topics include practical reason, particularism, moral realism, virtue ethics, and ethics and moral philosophy more generally.
Category: Philosophy

Explaining The Reasons We Share

Author : Mark Schroeder
ISBN : 9780191022920
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 24.77 MB
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Normative ethical theories generally purport to be explanatory—to tell us not just what is good, or what conduct is right, but why. Drawing on both historical and contemporary approaches, Mark Schroeder offers a distinctive picture of how such explanations must work, and of the specific commitments that they incur. According to Schroeder, explanatory moral theories can be perfectly general only if they are reductive, offering accounts of what it is for something to be good, right, or what someone ought to do. So ambitious, highly general normative ethical theorizing is continuous with metaethical inquiry. Moreover, he argues that such explanatory theories face a special challenge in accounting for reasons or obligations that are universally shared, and develops an autonomy-based strategy for meeting this challenge, in the case of requirements of rationality. Explaining the Reasons We Share pulls together over a decade of work by one of the leading figures in contemporary metaethics. One new and ten previously published papers weave together treatments of reasons, reduction, supervenience, instrumental rationality, and legislation, to paint a sharp contrast between two plausible but competing pictures of the nature and limits of moral explanation—one from Cudworth and one indebted to Kant. A substantive new introduction provides a map to reading these essays as a unified argument, and qualifies their conclusions in light of Schroeder's current views. Along with its sister volume, Expressing Our Attitudes, this volume advances the theme that metaethical inquiry is continuous with other areas of philosophy.
Category: Philosophy

The Point Of View Of The Universe

Author : Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek
ISBN : 9780191022432
Genre : Philosophy
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What does the idea of taking 'the point of view of the universe' tell us about ethics? The great nineteenth-century utilitarian Henry Sidgwick used this metaphor to present what he took to be a self-evident moral truth: the good of one individual is of no more importance than the good of any other. Ethical judgments, he held, are objective truths that we can know by reason. The ethical axioms he took to be self-evident provide a foundation for utilitarianism. He supplements this foundation with an argument that nothing except states of consciousness have ultimate value, which led him to hold that pleasure is the only thing that is intrinsically good. Are these claims defensible? Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer test them against a variety of views held by contemporary writers in ethics, and conclude that they are. This book is therefore a defence of objectivism in ethics, and of hedonistic utilitarianism. The authors also explore, and in most cases support, Sidgwick's views on many other key questions in ethics: how to justify an ethical theory, the significance of an evolutionary explanation of our moral judgments, the choice between preference-utilitarianism and hedonistic utilitarianism, the conflict between self-interest and universal benevolence, whether something that it would be wrong to do openly can be right if kept secret, how demanding utilitarianism is, whether we should discount the future, or favor those who are worse off, the moral status of animals, and what is an optimum population.
Category: Philosophy

Virtue Ethics

Author : Nafsika Athanassoulis
ISBN : 9781441162878
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 38.12 MB
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What is 'virtue'? And how can we lead moral lives? Exploring how contemporary moral philosophy has led to a revival of interest in the concepts of 'virtue', 'character' and 'flourishing', this is an accessible and critical introduction to virtue ethics. Comprising of three parts, the first part examines the work of key contemporary thinkers such as Elizabeth Anscombe and Bernard Williams in calling for a change of direction in moral philosophy and adopting a different approach to answering questions such as 'How should I live my life?'. The second part develops a detailed account of Aristotelian eudaimonistic virtue ethics, which considers the virtuous agent to be an ideal and highlights the importance of moral perception and practical wisdom. In the final part, Athanassoulis explores new challenges to virtue ethics from psychology, discusses the practical implications of educating for the virtues and finally considers the neo-Kantian response to virtue ethics. Virtue Ethics also includes chapter summaries and guides to further reading throughout to help readers explore, understand and develop a critical perspective towards this important school of contemporary ethical thought.
Category: Philosophy

Speech And Morality

Author : Terence Cuneo
ISBN : 9780191053689
Genre : Philosophy
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Terence Cuneo develops a novel line of argument for moral realism. The argument he defends hinges on the normative theory of speech, according to which speech acts are generated by an agent's altering her normative position with regard to her audience, gaining rights, responsibilities, and obligations of certain kinds. Some of these rights, responsibilities, and obligations, Cuneo suggests, are moral. And these moral features are best understood along realist lines, in part because they explain how it is that we can speak. If this is right, a necessary condition of being able to speak is that there are moral rights, responsibilities, and obligations of a broadly realist sort.
Category: Philosophy

The Ironist And The Romantic

Author : Áine Mahon
ISBN : 9781472569523
Genre : Philosophy
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At the time of his death in 2007, Richard Rorty was widely acclaimed as one of the world's most influential contemporary thinkers. Stanley Cavell, who has been a leading intellectual figure from the 1960s to the present, has been just as philosophically influential as Rorty though perhaps not as politically divisive. Both philosophers have developed from analytic to post-analytical thought, both move between philosophy, literature and cultural politics, and both re-establish American philosophical traditions in a new and nuanced key. The Ironist and the Romantic: Reading Richard Rorty and Stanley Cavell finds the sound of Rorty's cheerful pragmatism strikingly at odds with the anxious romanticism of Cavell. Beginning from this tonal discord, and moving through comprehensive comparative analysis on the topics of scepticism, American philosophy, literature, writing style and politics, this book presents the work of its central figures in a novel and mutually illuminating perspective. Áine Mahon's unique and original comparative reading will be of interest not only to those working on Rorty and Cavell but to anyone concerned with the current state of American philosophy.
Category: Philosophy

Kant S Impure Ethics

Author : Robert B. Louden
ISBN : 0198029942
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 79.30 MB
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This is the first book-length study in any language to examine in detail and critically assess the second part of Kant's ethics--an empirical, impure part, which determines how best to apply pure principles to the human situation. Drawing attention to Kant's under-explored impure ethics, this revealing investigation refutes the common and long-standing misperception that Kants ethics advocates empty formalism. Making detailed use of a variety of Kantian texts never before translated into English, author Robert B. Louden reassesses the strengths and weaknesses of Kantian ethics as a whole, once the second part is re-admitted to its rightful place within Kant's practical philosophy.
Category: Philosophy

A Perfect Moral Storm

Author : Stephen M. Gardiner
ISBN : 9780199910458
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 63.84 MB
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Climate change is arguably the great problem confronting humanity, but we have done little to head off this looming catastrophe. In The Perfect Moral Storm, philosopher Stephen Gardiner illuminates our dangerous inaction by placing the environmental crisis in an entirely new light, considering it as an ethical failure. Gardiner clarifies the moral situation, identifying the temptations (or "storms") that make us vulnerable to a certain kind of corruption. First, the world's most affluent nations are tempted to pass on the cost of climate change to the poorer and weaker citizens of the world. Second, the present generation is tempted to pass the problem on to future generations. Third, our poor grasp of science, international justice, and the human relationship to nature helps to facilitate inaction. As a result, we are engaging in willful self-deception when the lives of future generations, the world's poor, and even the basic fabric of life on the planet is at stake. We should wake up to this profound ethical failure, Gardiner concludes, and demand more of our institutions, our leaders and ourselves. "This is a radical book, both in the sense that it faces extremes and in the sense that it goes to the roots." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The book's strength lies in Gardiner's success at understanding and clarifying the types of moral issues that climate change raises, which is an important first step toward solutions." --Science Magazine "Gardiner has expertly explored some very instinctual and vitally important considerations which cannot realistically be ignored. --Required reading." --Green Prophet "Gardiner makes a strong case for highlighting and insisting on the ethical dimensions of the climate problem, and his warnings about buck-passing and the dangerous appeal of moral corruptions hit home." --Times Higher Education "Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced - and that the problem goes even deeper than we think." --Peter Singer, Princeton University
Category: Philosophy

The Ajax Dilemma

Author : Paul Woodruff
ISBN : 9780199912414
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 64.68 MB
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We live in a world where CEOs give themselves million dollar bonuses even as their companies go bankrupt and ordinary workers are laid off; where athletes make millions while teachers struggle to survive; a world, in short, where rewards are often unfairly meted out. In The Ajax Dilemma, Paul Woodruff examines one of today's most pressing moral issues: how to distribute rewards and public recognition without damaging the social fabric. How should we honor those whose behavior and achievement is essential to our overall success? Is it fair or right to lavish rewards on the superstar at the expense of the hardworking rank-and-file? How do we distinguish an impartial fairness from what is truly just? Woodruff builds his answer to these questions around the ancient conflict between Ajax and Odysseus over the armor of the slain warrior Achilles. King Agamemnon arranges a speech contest to decide the issue. Ajax, the loyal workhorse, loses the contest, and the priceless armor, to Odysseus, the brilliantly deceptive strategist who will lead the Greeks to victory. Deeply insulted, Ajax goes on a rampage and commits suicide, and in his rage we see the resentment of every loyal worker who has been passed over in favor of those who are more gifted, or whose skills are more highly valued. How should we deal with the "Ajax dilemma"? Woodruff argues that while we can never create a perfect system for distributing just rewards, we can recognize the essential role that wisdom, compassion, moderation, and respect must play if we are to restore the basic sense of justice on which all communities depend. This short, thoughtful book, written with Woodruff's characteristic elegance, investigates some of the most bitterly divisive issues in American today.
Category: Philosophy

Challenging Moral Particularism

Author : Matjaž Potrc
ISBN : 9781135892524
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 47.87 MB
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Particularism is a justly popular ‘cutting-edge’ topic in contemporary ethics across the world. Many moral philosophers do not, in fact, support particularism (instead defending "generalist" theories that rest on particular abstract moral principles), but nearly all would take it to be a position that continues to offer serious lessons and challenges that cannot be safely ignored. Given the high standard of the contributions, and that this is a subject where lively debate continues to flourish, Challenging Moral Particularism will become required reading for professionals and advanced students working in the area.
Category: Philosophy

The Principles Of Ethics

Author : Borden Parker Bowne
ISBN : NWU:35556001314772
Genre : Ethics
File Size : 62.14 MB
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Category: Ethics