R.M. Hare is one of the most widely discussed of today's moral philosophers. In this volume he has collected a number of essays, including one which is previously unpublished, which fill in the theoretical background of his thought. Each essay is self-contained, but together they give a connected picture of his views on such questions as the objectivity and rationality of moral thinking, the issue between the ethical realists and their opponents, the place in our moral thought of appeals (...) to common convictions, and how to tell whether a feature of a situation is morally relevant. (shrink)
R.M. Hare is well known both for his fundamental work in ethical theory and for his applications of it to practical issues. For this volume he has selected the best of his writings on medical ethics and related topics. The book's chief theoretical interest lies in its synthesis between utilitarian and Kantian ethics, which are shown to have the same practical consequences. The main practical thesis in the book is that we can harm possible people by preventing them from (...) becoming actual people. This thesis, if understood and accepted, would radically alter the terms of the public debate about embryo experimentation and population policy, and (perhaps surprisingly) support a fairly liberal view on abortion. There are also general introductions to medical and psychiatric ethics, and essays on the concept of health, on the morality of experimentation on children, on health care policy, on free will, and on vegetarianism. (shrink)
R. M. Hare has brought together in this volume the best of his uncollected essays in moral philosophy, several of them previously unpublished or revised for this collection. They span the whole range of his ethical interests, from the most abstract to the most down-to-earth. The volume provides a compelling demonstration of Hare's commitment to bringing together the theoretical and the practical in ethics.
These essays, all written within the last decade, represent Hare's thinking on a range of contemporary issues in political morality, including political obligation, terrorism, morality and war, rights, quality, and the environment. Three of the essays are previously unpublished.
God and Morality evaluates the ethical theories of four principle philosophers, Aristotle, Duns Scotus, Kant, and R.M. Hare. Uses their thinking as the basis for telling the story of the history and development of ethical thought more broadly Focuses specifically on their writings on virtue, will, duty, and consequence Concentrates on the theistic beliefs to highlight continuity of philosophical thought.
R. M. Hare, one of the most widely discussed of today's moral philosophers, here presents his most important essays on religion and education, in which he brings together the theoretical and the practical. The book opens with an exposition of his ideas on the meaning of religious language. There follow several essays, theoretical and practical, on the relations between religion and morality, which have deep implications for moral education. The central question addressed in the rest of the volume is (...) how children can be educated to think for themselves, freely but rationally, about moral questions; and Professor Hare examines the effects on society of failure to achieve this. He argues that those who want to dispense with morality are in effect resigning from a vital educational task. Attitudes to euthanasia and to equality of educational opportunity are taken as examples of how our thinking can go wrong. -/- 'The former Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford . . . has brought together a collection of papers exploring, with his customary clarity of thought and elegance of expression, the light which moral philosophy can shed on certain religious and educational questions . . . it is illuminating to follow an eminent philosopher at work on matters of great practical importance, and in prodding theologians to think more clearly.' Church Times -/- '[a] cogent and compelling vision, enunciated with all the intelligence, elegance and vigour for which Hare is justly renowned' Times Literary Supplement -/- 'All the essays are a delight to read: clear, succinct, precisely expressed, and devoid of technical jargon. The collection will be welcomed by philosophers of education.' Theology -/- 'an important resource for persons interested in clarifying the language of moral education in a religiously pluralist society' Religious Studies Review -/- 'admirably clear and straightforward' IJournal of the American Academy of Religion -/- 'It is . . . a pleasure to receive for review a book by someone who is palpably expert in a particular discipline, and able to deploy that discipine on topics which have a demonstrably practical relevance to education. Most books satisfy neither criterion; this one satisfies both. Add Hare's well-known clarity of style and presentation, and we have something really worth reading.' Oxford Review of Education. (shrink)
R. M. Hare (1982). Plato. In R. M. Hare, Jonathan Barnes & Henry Chadwick (eds.), Founders of Thought. Oxford University Press.score: 60.0
The earliest philosopher whose work has survived extensively, Plato remains the starting-point in the study of logic, metaphysics, and moral and political philosophy. R.M. Hare provides a concise, well-connected introduction to Plato's dialogues, focusing on the central problems which led Plato to become a philosopher. He describes these problems and Plato's solutions with great clarity, and sets them in the context of Plato's life and times, and his place in the history of philosophy.
R. M. Hare writes in his Preface: 'I offer this taxonomy of ethical theories to all those who are lost in the moral maze, including many of my philosophical colleagues. They are lost because, like most of those who hold forth on moral questions in the media, they have no map of the maze. This is has been my aim to provide.' Sorting Out Ethics is a characteristically lucid and lively survey of rival ethical theories by one of the (...) most influential moral philosophers of the century. It also constitutes a definitive summary of Hare's own fundamental ethical position. (shrink)
Is morality too difficult for human beings? Kant said that it was, except with God's assistance. Contemporary moral philosophers have usually discussed the question without reference to Christian doctrine, and have either diminished the moral demand, exaggerated human moral capacity, or tried to find a substitute in nature for God's assistance. This book looks at these philosophers--from Kant and Kierkegaard to Swinburne, Russell, and R.M. Hare--and the alternative in Christianity.
This article discusses the definition of slavery as a status in society and a relation to an owner. an imaginary case in which utilitarian arguments could justify slavery. this case, just because it is highly unlikely to occur in the actual world, does not provide an argument against utilitarianism. if it did occur, slavery would be justified in this case, but that is no reason for abandoning our intuitive principle condemning slavery. the adoption of this principle has in the actual (...) world a good utilitarian justification. slavery is wrong because in the world of men as they are it will almost always cause misery. (shrink)
This is about the rights and wrongs of bringing people into existence. In a nutshell: sometimes what matters is not what would have happened to you, but what would have happened to the person who would have been in your position, even if that person never actually exists.
This paper describes and defends two arguments connecting ethics and religion that Kant makes in Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. The first argument is that the moral demand is too high for us in our natural capacities, and God's assistance is required to bridge the resulting moral gap. The second argument is that because humans desire to be happy as well as to be morally good, morality will be rationally unstable without belief in a God who can bring (...) happiness and virtue together. The paper states and replies to three objections to each argument. (shrink)
This paper is an account of Kant’s view of the passions, and their place in the structure of moral motivation. The paper lays out the relations Kant sees between feelings, inclinations, affects and passions, by looking at texts in Metaphysics of Morals, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, Anthropology, and Lectures on Education. Then it discusses a famous passage in Groundwork about sympathetic inclination, and ends by proposing two ways in which Kant thinks feelings and inclinations enter into moral (...) judgment, and two ways in which this can go wrong. This analysis involves responding to Karl Ameriks on the question of whether Kant is an internalist about moral motivation. (shrink)
I had a strange dream, or half-waking vision, not long ago. I found myself at the top of a mountain in the mist, feeling very pleased with myself, not just for having climbed the mountain, but for having achieved my life's ambition, to find a way of answering moral questions rationally. But as I was preening myself on this achievement, the mist began to clear, and I saw that I was surrounded on the mountain top by the graves of all (...) those other philosophers, great and small, who had had the same ambition, and thought they had achieved it. And I have come to see, reflecting on my dream, that, ever since, the hard-working philosophical worms have been nibbling away at their systems and showing that the achievement was an illusion. True, their skeletons, indigestible to worms, remained, and were surprisingly similar to one another. But I was led to think again about what one can, and what one cannot, achieve in this direction. (shrink)
Kant both says that we should recognize our duties as God’s commands, and objects to the theological version of heteronomy, ‘which derives morality from a divine and supremely perfect will’. In this paper I discuss how these two views fit together, and in the process I develop a notion of autonomous submission to divine moral authority. I oppose the ‘constitutive’ view of autonomy proposed by J. B. Schneewind and Christine Korsgaard. I locate Kant’s objection to theological heteronomy against the background (...) of Crusius’s divine command theory, and I compare Kant’s views about divine authority and human political authority. (shrink)
Should we be time-biased on behalf of other people? 'Sometimes yes, sometimes no'—it is tempting to answer. But this is not right. On pain of irrationality, we cannot be too selective about when we are time-biased on behalf of other people.
Here's one piece of practical reasoning: "If I do this then a person will reap some benefits and suffer some costs. On balance, the benefits outweigh the costs. So I ought to do it." Here's another: "If I do this then one person will reap some benefits and another will suffer some costs. On balance, the benefits to the one person outweigh the costs to the other. So I ought to do it." Many influential philosophers say that there is something (...) dubious about the second piece of reasoning. They say that it makes sense to trade-off costs and benefits within lives, but not across lives. In this paper I make a case for the second piece of reasoning. My case turns on the existence of morphing sequences—sequences of possible states of affairs across which people transform smoothly into other people. (shrink)