There are many different ways of dealing with the conditions of justice. In this paper I raise some basic questions about the foundations of justice, including whatare its central requirements and, especially, what it is about justice that underlies or explains its mandatoriness: why it is that justice is regarded as so morally necessary that any violation of it calls for the most severe condemnation and correction.
The moral right to liberal education involves issues of distribution and of content. The former issue bears on the distribution of educational resources. The latter issue bears on the issue of multiculturalism. Both issues are discussed from the standpoint of equal rights.
J'examine d'abord trois sortes de fondations métaphysiques de l'éthique : ontologique (Aristote, G. E. Moore), non-cognitiviste (Stevenson, Havre), et rationnelle épistémologique (Kant). Ces théories ne donnent pas des fondations catégoriques et déterminées. Ensuite, je présente une esquisse de ma théorie selon laquelle l'action humaine donne la fondation ontologique et rationnelleépistémologique de l'éthique. First I examine three kinds of metaphysical foundations f or ethics: ontological (Aristotle, G. E. Moore), non-cognitivist (Stevenson, Hare) and rational-epistemological (Kant). These do not provide foundations that are (...) categorical and determinate.Then I briefly sketch my own theory that human action provides the ontological and rational-epistemological foundation of ethics. (shrink)
Two criticisms of my argument in "reason and morality" were presented by christopher mcmahon (in "gewirth's justification of morality," "philosophical studies", September 1986). I reply to each criticism, Showing that mcmahon has misconstrued my use of 'ought' as action-Guiding and my universalization of the agent's rights-Judgment, As well as my concept of prudential rights. A general defect is that he has not understood how central to my argument is the agent's conative and rational standpoint.
Rationality and reasonableness are often sharply distinguished from one another and are even held to be in conflict. On this construal, rationality consists in means-end calculation of the most efficient means to one's ends (which are usually taken to be self-interested), while reasonableness consists in equitableness whereby one respects the rights of other persons as well as oneself. To deal with this conflict, it is noted that both rationality and reasonableness are based on reason, which is analyzed as the power (...) of attaining truth, and especially necessary truth. It is then shown that, by the rationality involved in reason, the moral principle of reasonableness, the Principle of Generic Consistency (PGC), has a stringently rational justification in that to deny or violate it is to incur self-contradiction. Objections are considered bearing on relevance and motivation. It is concluded that, where reasonableness and egoistic rationality conflict, the former is rationally superior. (shrink)