Integrity is one of the most hotly debated topics in applied philosophy today. In this new work, men and women of varied practical and theoretical experience engage in rigorous debate in an effort to better understand the specific demands of integrity in their respective professions.
In Goodness and Justice, Joseph Mendola develops a unified moral theory that defends the hedonism of classical utilitarianism while evading utilitarianism's familiar difficulties by two modifications. His theory incorporates a new form of consequentialism. When, as is common, someone is engaged in conflicting group acts, it requires that one perform the role in that group that is most beneficent. The theory holds that overall value is distribution-sensitive, ceding maximum weight to the well-being of the worst-off sections of sentient lives. It (...) is properly congruent with commonsense intuition and required by the true metaphysics of value, by the unconstituted natural good found in our world. (shrink)
Introduction: to the student -- Ethics and Christian ethics -- An overview of ethics -- Definitions -- Subject matter -- Assumptions -- Cautions -- Alternatives to Christian ethics -- Religious systems -- Judaism -- Islam -- Hinduism -- Buddhism -- Humanism -- Objectivism -- Behaviorism -- Alternatives within Christian ethics -- Obedience to external authority -- In Roman Catholicism -- In Protestantism -- Responsibility for personal decisions -- What am I to do? -- What am I to be? -- Transforming (...) society -- Reinhold Neibuhr's "impossible possibility" -- Paul Ramsey's "obedient love" -- James Gustafson's "theocentric ethics" -- Liberation theology -- Ethics and the Christian faith -- Sources of guidance -- The Bible -- The Christian community -- The nature of the church -- The function of the church -- The Christian in the church -- Personal experience -- The use of the mind -- The prompting of the conscience -- The leadership of the spirit -- Biblical ethics -- The Hebrew Scripture -- General characteristics of Hebrew morality -- The law, the prophets, and the writings -- Jesus and the Gospels -- Jesus and Judaism -- Characteristics of Jesus's ethical teachings -- Basic concepts in Jesus's ethical teachings -- The example of Jesus -- The ethical teachings of Paul -- Theology and ethics -- An ethic of responsible freedom -- An ethic of love -- An ethic of a new life -- Faith working through love -- Theological premises -- Beliefs about God -- Beliefs about humankind -- Beliefs about history -- Faith -- Faith and salvation -- Life in the Christian community -- The instruction of Scripture -- Worship and morality -- Love (agape) -- The nature of love -- The source of love -- The demands of love -- The relationship between love and justice -- Decision -- Christian ethics and contemporary issues -- Human sexuality and the marriage relationship -- The current scene -- A Christian interpretation of sexuality -- A theological perspective -- Questions about the relationship -- A Christian interpretation of marriage -- Homosexuality and the Christian faith -- Contemporary social perspective -- A biblical perspective -- Varying Christian interpretations -- Homosexuality and the Christian way of live. (shrink)
The basic relationship between people should be care, and the caring life is the highest which humans can live. Unfortunately, care that is not thoughtful slides into illegitimate intrusion on autonomy. Autonomy is a basic good, and we should not abridge it without good reason. On the other hand, it is not the only good. We must sometimes intervene in the lives of others to protect them from grave harms or provide them with important benefits. The reflective person, therefore, needs (...) guidelines for caring. Some contemporary moralists condemn paternalism categorically. This work examines weaknesses in their arguments and proposes new guidelines for paternalism, which it calls "parentalism" to avoid the patriarchal connotations of the old term. Its antiparentalism is more moderate than standard antipaternalism based on an exaggerated respect for autonomy. The work explores implications for both the personal sphere of interactions between individuals, such as friends and family members, and the public sphere of institutions, legislation, and the professional practices. (shrink)
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)
In Moral Animals, Catherine Wilson develops a theory of morality based on two fundamental premises: first that moral progress implies the evolution of moral ideals involving restraint and sacrifice; second that human beings are outfitted by nature with selfish motivations, intentions, and ambitions that place constraints on what morality can demand of them. Normative claims, she goes on to show, can be understood as projective hypotheses concerning the conduct of realistically-described nonideal agents in preferred fictional worlds. Such claims differ from (...) empirical hypotheses, insofar as they cannot be verified by observation and experiment. Yet many, though not all, moral claims are susceptible of confirmation to the extent that they command the agreement of well-informed inquirers. With this foundation in place, Wilson turns to a defense of egalitarianism intended to address the objection that the importance of our non-moral projects, our natural acquisitiveness and partiality, and our meritocratic commitments render social equality a mere abstract ideal. Employing the basic notion of a symmetrical division of the co-operative surplus, she argues that social justice with respect to global disparities in well-being, and in the condition of women relative to men, depends on the relinquishment of natural and acquired advantage that is central to the concept of morality. (shrink)
Ethics: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives offers students a unique introduction to ethics by integrating the historical development of Western moral philosophy with both feminist and multicultural approaches. Engaging and accessible, it provides an introductory sampling of several of the classical works of the Western tradition in ethics and then situates these readings within feminist and multicultural perspectives so that they can be better understood and evaluated in our contemporary environment. While some of the non-Western works parallel (...) the views defended in the Western works (e.g., Confucius's work echoes that of Plato or Aristotle), others question the Western perspectives (e.g., American Indian works provide an interesting challenge to Western moral philosophy). Confucius, Jorge Valadez, Ward Churchill, Moshoeshoe II, and Eagle Man present multicultural perspectives to the works of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Sartre, Rawls, MacIntyre, Korsgaard, and others. Noted feminists Christine de Pizan, Simone de Beauvoir, Carol Gilligan, Annette Baier, Susan Okin, and Rosemarie Radford Ruether also offer alternative views. Ideal for courses in introduction to ethics, history of ethics, and feminist ethics, Ethics: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives is also intriguing reading for interested general readers. (shrink)
Recent and rapid technological developments on many fronts have created in our society some extremely difficult moral predicaments. Previous generations have not had to face the dilemmas posed by, for example, the availability of safe abortions, sperm banks and prostoglandins. They have not had to come to terms with an unchecked exploitation of natural resources heralding imminent ecological crisis, or, worst of all, with the recognition that only in this current generation have people the capacity to destroy themselves and their (...) environment. This book seeks to show how, and why, Seventh-day Adventism has addressed these moral issues, and that the ethical questions arising from these issues are especially relevant to the Adventist church and its development. Dr Pearson looks specifically at the moral decisions Adventists have made in the area of human sexuality, on such issues as contraception, abortion, the role and status of women, divorce and homosexuality, from the beginnings of the movement to 1985. He seeks to put such decision-making in perspective by providing the general social context in which it took place, and shows how Ellen White (whose charismatic leadership held the movement together in its first fifty years) has been a major source of moral authority in the Adventist church - her writings continuing to exercise authority in a contemporary society of turmoil and change. This important book, which conveys something of the general ethos of Adventism, is the first to investigate the ethics of the movement, ans so fill a notable gap in the literature. (shrink)
Fred Feldman is an important philosopher, who has made a substantial contribution to utilitarian moral philosophy. This collection of ten previously published essays plus a new introductory essay reveal the striking originality and unity of his views. Feldman's version of utilitarianism differs from traditional forms in that it evaluates behaviour by appeal to the values of accessible worlds. These worlds are in turn evaluated in terms of the amounts of pleasure they contain, but the conception of pleasure involved is a (...) novel one and the formulation of hedonism improved. In Feldman's view pleasure is not a feeling but a propositional attitude. He also deals with problems of justice that affect standard forms of utilitarianism. The collection is ideally suited for courses on contemporary utilitarian theory. (shrink)
Contractarianism in some form has been at the center of recent debates in moral and political philosophy. Jean Hampton was one of the most gifted philosophers involved in these debates and provided both important criticisms of prominent contractarian theories plus powerful defenses and applications of the core ideas of contractarianism. In these essays, she brought her distinctive approach, animated by concern for the intrinsic worth of persons, to bear on topics such as guilt, punishment, self-respect, family relations, and the maintenance (...) and justification of the state. Edited by Daniel Farnham, this collection is an essential contribution to understanding the problems and prospectus of contractarianism in moral, legal and political philosophy. (shrink)
Appiah explores how the new empirical moral psychology relates to philosophical ethics. He elaborates a vision of naturalism that resists both temptations and traces an intellectual genealogy of the burgeoning discipline of 'experimental philosophy'.
Self love is an inescapable problem for ethics, yet much of contemporary ethics is reluctant to offer any normative moral anthropologies. Instead, secular ethics and contemporary culture promote a norm of self-realization which is subjective and uncritical. Christian ethics also fails to address this problem directly, because it tends to investigate self love within the context of conflicts between the self's interests and those of her neighbors. Self Love and Christian Ethics argues for right self love as the solution of (...) proper self-relation that intersects with love for God and love for neighbor. Darlene Fozard Weaver explains that right self love entails a true self-understanding that is embodied in the person's concrete acts and relations. In making this argument, she calls upon ethicists to revisit ontological accounts of the self and to devote more attention to particular moral acts. (shrink)
The case for dialogue -- Increasing moral capital through moral imagination -- The art of ethical dialogue -- Intelligent spirituality in business -- Spirituality in (and out) of the classroom -- Listening to the anxious atheists -- Beyond the flat world metaphor -- Dialogue as a restraint on wealth -- The limits of dialogue.
Deontology brings together some of the most significant philosophical work on ethics, presenting canonical essays on core questions in moral philosophy. Edited and introduced by Stephen Darwall, these readings are essential for anyone interested in normative theory.
To what degree should we rely on our own resources and methods to form opinions about important matters? To what degree should we depend on various authorities, such as a recognized expert or a social tradition? In this provocative account of intellectual trust and authority, Richard Foley argues that it can be reasonable to have intellectual trust in oneself even though it is not possible to provide a defense of the reliability of one's faculties, methods, and opinions that does not (...) beg the question. Moreover, he shows how this account of intellectual self-trust can be used to understand the degree to which it is reasonable to rely on alternative authorities. This book will be of interest to advanced students and professionals working in the fields of philosophy and the social sciences as well as anyone looking for a unified account of the issues at the center of intellectual trust. (shrink)
In this controversial new book O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining human behavior in terms of evolution. He contends that while the theory of evolution is successful in explaining the development of the natural world in general, it is of limited value when applied to the human world. Because of our reflectiveness and our rationality we take on goals and ideals which cannot be justified in terms of survival-promotion or reproductive advantage. O'Hear examines the nature of human (...) self-consciousness, and argues that evolutionary theory cannot give a satisfactory account of such distinctive facets of human life as the quest for knowledge, moral sense, and the appreciation of beauty; in these we transcend our biological origins. It is our rationality that allows each of us to go beyond not only our biological but also our cultural inheritance: as the author says in the Preface, "we are prisoners neither of our genes nor of the ideas we encounter as we each make our personal and individual way through life.". (shrink)
Gabriele Taylor presents a philosophical investigation of the "ordinary" vices traditionally seen as "death to the soul": sloth, envy, avarice, pride, anger, lust, and gluttony. In the course of a richly detailed discussion of individual and interrelated vices, which complements recent work by moral philosophers on virtue, she shows why these "deadly sins" are correctly so named and grouped together.
What does it take to follow and not merely admire Jesus? How do religious affections reshape the practice of Christian values like love, peace, justice, and compassion? How can they possess both universal truth and local meaning? What role can they play in public life? In Fidelity of Heart Gilman answers these questions, while showing, in an innovative and provocative approach, how Christians can practice these values in ways continuous with the life of Jesus.
Leading contemporary Jewish thinker David Novak has here compiled ten of his essays on a variety of issues in Jewish ethics. Drawing constantly on classical Jewish tradition, Novak also looks at a wide range of modern critical scholarship on the ancient sources. He aims to point out certain common features of Jewish and Christian ethics and the normative implications of this overlapping of traditions; he assumes the reality of a "Judeo-Christian ethic," while refusing to minimize the doctrinal differences between the (...) two traditions. The essays address such major normative issues in social justice as ecology, war and peace, the treatment of minorities, and the approach to AIDS patients. This combination of theoretical reflection and practical application, along with careful and detailed analysis of classical Jewish texts, makes the book a welcome contribution to contemporary ethical theory and normative ethics as well as a work of original Jewish theology. (shrink)
In so-called Christian countries an increasing number of people openly reject Christian morality. It is a commonplace that they do this for values that can be shown to be Christian. How did this state of affairs come about? An examination of the beginning of Christian ethical thought shows that, within great personal variety, certain patterns or concepts remain constant. Righteousness, discipleship, faith and love are traced in this book from the New Testament through to Augustine. There is a necessary tension (...) between high ideals and practical performance, or between perfection and contingency. When this tension is lost, Christian ethics can easily go wrong. The amoral perfectionism of second-century Gnostics is remarkably similar to the mysticism of communal movements; the opposite threat of legalism has always been present in conservative forms of Christianity. Dr Osborn is concerned to explain rather than to defend, to look at the way conclusions are reached, and to show the rich diversity of early Christian thought. Successive chapters deal with the New Testament, Clement of Alexandria, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and Augustine. (shrink)
Too many parts of the world testify to the difficulties religions have in tolerating each other. It is often concluded that the only way tolerance and plurality can be protected is to keep religion out of the public sphere. Ian Markham challenges this secularist argument. In the first half of the book, he advances a careful critique of European culture which exposes the problem of plurality. His analysis of the Christendom Group is contrasted with the outlook found in the USA, (...) where a religiously informed culture may be seen to be tolerant. In the second half of the book, the author argues that plurality is better safeguarded by a theistic, rather than a secularist, foundation. He submits that too often secularists use relativist arguments, while theists want to appeal to the complexity of God's world. He concludes that in our post-modern world the religious affirmation of diversity offers genuine political possibilities for cultural enrichment. (shrink)
Over the past decade much significant new work has appeared in the field of Jewish ethics. While much of this work has been devoted to issues in applied ethics, a number of important essays have explored central themes within the tradition and clarified the theoretical foundations of Jewish ethics. This important text grew out of the need for a single work which accurately and conveniently reflects these developments within the field. The first text of its kind in almost two decades, (...) Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality presents wide-ranging and carefully organized recent essays on Jewish ethical theory and practice. Serving as an introduction to Jewish ethics, it acquaints the student with the distinctive methodological issues involved and offers a sampling of Jewish positions on contemporary moral problems. The book features work from both traditionalist and liberal contributors, making this the only volume which encompasses the full range of contemporary Jewish ethical perspectives. Writers such as Harold Schulweis, Judith Plaskow, David Novak, David Hartman, and Blu Greenberg discuss law and ethics, natural law, humility, justice, sex and the family, euthanasia, and other vital issues relating to modern Judaism. Many of the readings appear here for the first time, making this important text the most timely sourcebook in its field. Uniquely qualified to reflect the high level and depth of contemporary work in this area of study, Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality is an essential contribution to any course dealing with Jewish ethics. (shrink)
In Taking Christian Moral Thought Seriously--the first book in the Christian Ethics series--editor Jeremy A. Evans establishes that the separation of church and state is not a principle of the U.S. Constitution (or any other founding ...
From Bishop Wilberforce in the 1860s to the advocates of "creation science" today, defenders of traditional mores have condemned Darwin's theory of evolution as a threat to society's values. Darwin's defenders, like Stephen Jay Gould, have usually replied that there is no conflict between science and religion--that values and biological facts occupy separate realms. But as James Rachels points out in this thought-provoking study, Darwin himself would disagree with Gould. Darwin, who had once planned on being a clergyman, was convinced (...) that natural selection overthrew our age-old religious beliefs. Created from Animals offers a provocative look at how Darwinian evolution undermines many tenets of traditional philosophy and religion. James Rachels begins by examining Darwin's own life and work, presenting an astonishingly vivid and compressed biography. We see Darwin's studies of the psychological links in evolution (such as emotions in dogs, and the "mental powers" of worms), and how he addressed the moral implications of his work, especially in his concern for the welfare of animals. Rachels goes on to present a lively and accessible survey of the controversies that followed in Darwin's wake, ranging from Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism to Edward O. Wilson's sociobiology, and discusses how the work of such influential intellects as Descartes, Hume, Kant, T.H. Huxley, Henri Bergson, B.F. Skinner, and Stephen Jay Gould has contributed to--or been overthrown by--evolutionary science. Western philosophy and religion, Rachels argues, have been shaken by the implications of Darwin's work, most notably the controversial idea that humans are simply a more complex kind of animal. Rachels assesses a number of studies that suggest how closely humans are linked to other primates in behavior, and then goes on to show how this idea undercuts the work of many prominent philosophers. Kant's famous argument that suicide reduces one to the level of an animal, for instance, is meaningless if humans are, in fact, animals. Indeed, humanity's membership in the animal kingdom calls into question the classic notions of human dignity and the sacredness of human life. What we need now, Rachels contends, is a philosophy that does not discriminate between different species, one that addresses each being on an individual basis. With this sweeping survey of the arguments, the philosophers, and the deep implications surrounding Darwinism, Rachels lays the foundations for a new view of morality. Vibrantly written and provocatively argued, Created from Animals offers a new perspective on issues ranging from suicide to euthanasia to animal rights. (shrink)
Richard Brandt is one of the most eminent and influential of contemporary moral philosophers. His work has been concerned with how to justify what is good or right not by reliance on intuitions or theories about what moral words mean but by the explanation of moral psychology and the description of what it is to value something, or to think it immoral. His approach thus stands in marked contrast to the influential theories of John Rawls. The essays reprinted in this (...) collection span a period of almost 30 years and include many classic pieces in metaethical and normative ethical theory. The collection is aimed at both those moral philosophers familiar with Brandt's work and at those philosophers who may be largely unfamiliar with his work. The latter group will be struck by the lucid unpretentious style and the cumulative weight of Brandt's contributions to topics that remain at the forefront of moral philosophy. (shrink)
The essays in Daring to Be Good challenge the private/public split that assumes ethics is a private, individual concern and politics is a public, group concern. This collection addresses philosophical issues and controversies of interest to feminists, including prostitution, the ethics of the Human Genome research project as it impacts Native Americans, and reproductive technology. Contributors include:Bat-Ami Bar On, Sandra Lee Bartky, Chris Cuomo, Ann Ferguson, Jane Flax, Lori Gruen and Maria Lugones.
This scholarly synthesis of biblical studies and Christian social ethics is designed to provide a biblical argument for intentional institutional change on behalf of social justice. Stephen Charles Mott provides a biblical and ethical guide on ways to implement that change. The first part of the book, providing the biblical theology of intentional social change, deals with the central concepts in biblical and theological ethics: grace, evil, love, justice, and the Reign of God. Christian social change must be rooted not (...) only in justice, but in the grace received through the death and resurrection of Christ. The second part evaluates ethical and theological methods for carrying out that intentional social change. It offers a study of evangelism, counter community, civil disobedience, armed revolution, and political reform. It shows the contribution of each as well as the strong limitations of each used in isolation. A recurring theme of the book is the scriptural insistence on the priority of justice as taking upon oneself the cause of the oppressed. Justice is understood on bringing back into the community those who are near to falling out of it. Political authority has a vital role in social change for justice. It is essential that a Christian use all available and legitimate means of meeting basic needs by providing for all what is essential for inclusion in society. In this revised edition, Mott updates the contemporary illustrations and includes his own further reflections in the last thirty years on this topic. (shrink)
The distinguished philosopher David Gauthier examines Rousseau's evolving notion of freedom, particularly in his later works, where he focuses on a single quest: Can freedom and the independent self be regained? Rousseau's first answer is given in Emile, where he seeks to create a self-sufficient individual, neither materially nor psychologically enslaved to others. His second answer comes in the Social Contract, where he seeks to create a citizen who identifies totally with his community, so that he experiences his dependence on (...) it only as a dependence on himself. Implicitly recognizing the failure of these solutions, his third answer is one of the main themes of the Confessions and Reveries, where he creates himself as the man made for a kind of love that merges with another's into a self-sufficient unity. (shrink)
In this anthology, distinguished scholars--Thomas Nagel, T.M. Scanlon, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Samuela Scheffler, Conrad D. Johnson, Bernard Williams, Peter Railton, Amartya Sen, Philippa Foot, and Derek Parfit-- debate arguments for and against the moral doctrine of consequentialism to present a complete view of this important topic in moral philosophy.
Donald Broom argues that morality and the central components of religion are of great value, and presents two central ideas. He asserts that morality has a biological foundation and has evolved as a consequence of natural selection, and that religions are essentially the structures supporting morality. Many philosophers and theologians write about morality and its origins without reference to biological processes such as evolution. Likewise, biologists discuss phenomena of importance to human morality and religion without taking account of the thoughts (...) of others on these subjects. (shrink)
This collection of essays explores two competing views of practical rationality. How do we think about what we plan to do? One dominant answer is that we select the best possible option available. However, a growing number of philosophers would offer a different reply. Since we are not equipped to maximize, we must often choose the next best alternative--one that is no more than satisfactory. This strategy choice is called "satisficing" (a term coined by the economist Herb Simon).
In contemporary philosophy, substantive moral theories are typically classified as either consequentialist or deontological. Standard consequentialist theories insist, roughly, that agents must always act so as to produce the best available outcomes overall. Standard deontological theories, by contrast, maintain that there are some circumstances where one is permitted but not required to produce the best overall results, and still other circumstances in which one is positively forbidden to to do. Classical utilitarianism is the most familiar consequentialist view, but it is (...) widely regarded as an inadequate account of morality. Although Professor Scheffler agrees with this assessment, he also believes that consequentialism seems initially plausible, and that there is a persistent air of paradox surrounding typical deontological views. In this book, therefore, he undertakes to reconsider the rejection of consequentialism. He argues that it is possible to provide a rationale for the view that agents need not always produce the best possible overall outcomes, and this motivates one departure from consequentialism; but he shows that it is surprisingly difficult to provide a satisfactory rationale for the view that there are times when agents must not produce the best possible overall outcomes. He goes on to argue for a hitherto neglected type of moral conception, according to which agents are always permitted, but not always required, to produce the best outcomes. (shrink)
How do we determine whether an action is right or wrong? Until recently, philosophers assumed that this question could be answered by means of a theory of morality, which set forth clearly established rules for moral behaviour. More recently, however, a number of philosophers have challenged a theory of morality in this sense. Porter is sympathetic to their criticisms but questions whether they go far enough in offering a positive alternative to a modern view of the moral act. She argues (...) that the work of Aquinas offers an alternative account of moral rationality, in terms of which moral reasoning is understood as dialectical rather than deductive, and questions are resolved in a wider context of ethical thought. Aquinas's account of the moral virtues and prudence is seen to offer unexpected insights into the relationship between moral rules and the practice of the virtues, thus contributing to our own moral reflection. (shrink)
Conventional wisdom and commonsense morality tend to take the integrity of persons for granted. But for people in systematically unjust societies, self-respect and human dignity may prove to be impossible dreams.Susan Babbitt explores the implications of this insight, arguing that in the face of systemic injustice, individual and social rationality may require the transformation rather than the realization of deep-seated aims, interests, and values. In particular, under such conditions, she argues, the cultivation and ongoing exercise of moral imagination is necessary (...) to discover and defend a more humane social vision. Impossible Dreams is one of those rare books that fruitfully combines discourses that were previously largely separate: feminist and antiracist political theory, analytic ethics and philosophy of mind, and a wide range of non-philosophical literature on the lives of oppressed peoples around the world. It is both an object lesson in reaching across academic barriers and a demonstration of how the best of feminist philosophy can be in conversation with the best of “mainstream” philosophy—as well as affect the lives of real people. (shrink)
Global dynamics and the integrity of life -- Pluralism in creation -- Reconsidering greed -- Timing moral cosmologies -- Love in the end times -- From toleration to political forgiveness -- Sacred texts and the social imaginary -- Comparing religions, comparing lives -- On moral madness -- Presenting theological humanism.
Ethics Done Right examines how practical reasoning can be put into the service of ethical and moral theory. Elijah Millgram shows that the key to thinking about ethics is to understand generally how to make decisions. The papers in this volume support a methodological approach and trace the connections between two kinds of theory in utilitarianism, in Kantian ethics, in virtue ethics, in Hume's moral philosophy, and in moral particularism. Unlike other studies of ethics, Ethics Done Right does not advocate (...) a particular moral theory. Rather, it offers a tool that enables one to decide for oneself. (shrink)
This stimulating collection of essays in ethics eschews the simple exposition and refinement of abstract theories. Rather, the author focuses on everyday moral issues, often neglected by philosophers, and explores the deeper theoretical questions which they raise. Such issues are: Is it wrong to tell a lie to protect someone from a painful truth? Should one commit a lesser evil to prevent another from doing something worse? Can one be both autonomous and compassionate? Other topics discussed are servility, weakness of (...) will, suicide, obligations to oneself, snobbery, and environmental concerns. A feature of the collection is the contrast of Kantian and utilitarian answers to these problems. The essays are crisply and lucidly written and will appeal to both teachers and students of philosophy. (shrink)
The power of new medical technologies, the cultural authority of physicians, and the gendered power dynamics of many patient-physician relationships can all inhibit women's reproductive freedom. Often these factors interfere with women's ability to trust themselves to choose and act in ways that are consistent with their own goals and values. In this book Carolyn McLeod introduces to the reproductive ethics literature the idea that in reproductive health care women's self-trust can be undermined in ways that threaten their autonomy. Understanding (...) the importance of self-trust for autonomy, McLeod argues, is crucial to understanding the limits on women's reproductive freedom. -/- McLeod brings feminist insights in philosophical moral psychology to reproductive ethics, and to health-care ethics more broadly. She identifies the social environments in which self-trust is formed and encouraged. She also shows how women's experiences of reproductive health care can enrich our understanding of self-trust and autonomy as philosophical concepts. The book's theoretical components are grounded in women's concrete experiences. The cases discussed, which involve miscarriage, infertility treatment, and prenatal diagnosis, show that what many women feel toward themselves in reproductive contexts is analogous to what we feel toward others when we trust or distrust them. -/- McLeod also discusses what health-care providers can do to minimize the barriers to women's self-trust in reproductive health care, and why they have a duty to do so as part of their larger duty to respect patient autonomy. (shrink)
Robin Gill argues that once moral communities (such as churchgoers) take centre stage in ethics - as they do in virtue ethics - then there should be a greater interest in sociological evidence about these communities. This book examines recent evidence, gathered from social attitude surveys, about church communities, in particular their views on faith, moral order and love. It shows that churchgoers are distinctive in their attitudes and behaviour. Some of their attitudes change over time, and there are a (...) number of obvious moral disagreements between different groups of churchgoers. Nonetheless, there are broad patterns of Christian beliefs, teleology and altruism which distinguish churchgoers as a whole from non-churchgoers. However, the values, virtues, moral attitudes and behaviour of churchgoers are shared by many other people as well. The distinctiveness of church communities in the modern world is thus real but relative, and is crucial for the task of Christian ethics. (shrink)
In this unique work, James P. Sterba argues that traditional ethics has yet to confront the three significant challenges posed by environmentalism, feminism, and multiculturalism. He maintains that while traditional ethics has been quite successful at dealing with the problems it faces, it has not addressed the possibility that its solutions to these problems are biased in favor of humans, men, and Western culture. In Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Sterba examines each of these challenges. In the (...) case of environmentalism, he argues that traditional ethics must incorporate conflict resolution principles that favor nonhumans over humans in a significant range of cases. In terms of feminism, he maintains that traditional ethics should rule out gendered family structures and implement an ideal of androgyny. In regard to multiculturalism, he contends that traditional ethics must endorse an ethics that is secular in character and that can survive an extensive comparative evaluation of both Western and non-Western moral ideals and cultures. The only textbook devoted to this topic, Three Challenges to Ethics is an engaging text for introductory courses in ethics and moral problems and is also interesting and provocative reading for scholars and general readers. (shrink)
Where do our moral beliefs come from? Theologians and scientists provide often conflicting answers. Robert Hinde resolves these conflicts in offering a groundbreaking, multidisciplinary response, drawing on psychology, philosophy, evolutionary biology and social anthropology. Hinde argues that understanding the origins of our morality can clarify the debates surrounding contemporary ethical dilemmas such as genetic modification, increasing consumerism and globalization.
Father Williams explains how the conscience is formed through our training and experiences and informed by the Holy Spirit, making it an essential tool for daily living. He uses familiar and surprising characters to illustrate the positive choices conscience can direct--and the disaster that results when a conscience is undeveloped or ignored. Questions he tackles include "Is it more important to be smart or good?""Is there a morally right thing to do in every situation?" and "Is the Christian moral life (...) an exciting adventure, or a necessary burden?" Rich, provocative, and practical for everyday decision making, KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG is a must-read for all who hunger for personal holiness. (shrink)
Frames of Deceit is a philosophical investigation of the nature of trust in public and private life. It examines how trust originates, how it is challenged, and how it is recovered when moral and political imperfections collide. In politics, rulers may be called upon to act badly for the sake of a political good, and in private life intimate attachments are formed in which the costs of betrayal are high. This book asks how trust is tested by human goods, moral (...) character, and power relations. It explores whether an individual's experience of betrayal differs totally from that of a community when it loses and then seeks to recover a vital public trust. Although this is a work of political philosophy it is distinctive in examining three literary texts--Sophocles' Philoctetes, Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, and Zola's The;rèse Raquin--in order to deepen our understanding of the place of trust in morality and politics. (shrink)
This stimulating and wide-ranging book mounts a profound enquiry into some of the most pressing questions of our age, by examining the relationship between biological science and Christianity. The history of biological discovery is explored from the point of view of a leading philosopher and ethicist. What effect should modern biological theory and practice have on Christian understanding of ethics? How much of that theory and practice should Christians endorse? Can Christians, for example, agree that biological changes are not governed (...) by transcendent values, or that there are no clear or essential boundaries between species? To what extent can 'Nature' set our standards? Professor Clark takes a reasoned look at biological theory since Darwin and argues that an orthodox Christian philosophy is better able to accommodate the truth of such theory than is the sort of progressive, meliorist interpretation of Christian doctrine which is usually offered as the properly 'modern' option. (shrink)
Morals from Motives develops a virtue ethics inspired more by Hume and Hutcheson's moral sentimentalism than by recently-influential Aristotelianism. It argues that a reconfigured and expanded "morality of caring" can offer a general account of right and wrong action as well as social justice. Expanding the frontiers of ethics, it goes on to show how a motive-based "pure" virtue theory can also help us to understand the nature of human well-being and practical reason.
Table of Contents: Politics, morality, and pluralism -- Liberal morality and political legitimacy -- Political legitimacy and social justice -- Williams's concept of the political -- Legitimacy, stability, and morality -- The politics of morality -- A moral point of view -- Manners and morality -- Morality and conflict -- Moral conflict and political theory -- The morality of politics -- Feminism and multiculturalism -- A defense of culture -- Politics and normative conflict -- The political as moral viewpoint -- (...) Morality and politics: a review -- Political unity and pluralism -- The liberal archipelago -- Loose linkage and political legitimacy -- Political unity and the body politic -- Social justice and political unity -- The bonds of civility -- Nationhood and the liberal polity -- The nature of nationhood -- Pluralism and nationalism -- Nationalism and social justice -- Deliberative democracy and the liberal polity -- Liberalism and democracy -- Democracy and deliberative discourse -- The terms of deliberative discourse -- Normative discourse and political legitimacy -- Deliberative democracy and intragroup politics -- Group autonomy and intergroup discourse -- Politics, history, and reason -- Principle and justice in the liberal polity -- Liberal institutions and liberal ideals -- Stopping history -- Rationalism and politics. (shrink)
We often speak of a person's character--good or bad, strong or weak--and think of it as a guide to how that person will behave in a given situation. Oddly, however, philosophers writing about ethics have had virtually nothing to say about the role of character in ethical behavior. What is character? How does it relate to having a self, or to the process of moral decision? Are we responsible for our characters? Character answers these questions, and goes on to examine (...) the place of character in ethical philosophy. Both the Kantian and utilitarian traditions, Kupperman argues, have largely ignored the ways in which decisions are integrated over time, and instead provide a "snapshot" model of moral decision. Kupperman demonstrates the deficiencies of a number of classic and contemporary ethical theories that do not take account of the idea of character, and offers his own character-based theory. Along the way he touches on such subjects as personal identity, the importance of happiness, moral education, and the definition of a valuable life. (shrink)
Wisdom defined (sort of) What is wisdom? ; The wisest man in the world : the philosophical roots of wisdom ; Heart and mind : the psychological roots of wisdom -- Eight neural pillars of wisdom. Emotional regulation : the art of coping ; Knowing what's important : the neural mechanism of establishing value and making a judgment ; Moral reasoning : the biology of judging right from wrong ; Compassion : the biology of loving-kindness and empathy ; Humility : (...) the gift of perspective ; Altruism : social justice, fairness, and the wisdom of punishment ; Patience : temptation, delayed gratification, and the biology of learning to wait for larger rewards ; Dealing with uncertainty : change, "meta-wisdom," and the vulcanization of the human brain -- Becoming wise. Youth, adversity, and resilience : the seeds of wisdom ; Older and wiser : the wisdom of aging ; Classroom, board room, bedroom, back room : everyday wisdom in our everyday world ; Dare to be wise : does wisdom have a future? (shrink)
There has been much attention devoted in recent years to the question of whether our moral principles can be related to our biological nature. This collection of new essays focuses on the connection between biology, in particular evolutionary biology, and foundational questions in ethics. The book asks such questions as whether humans are innately selfish, and whether there are particular facets of human nature that bear directly on social practices. The volume is organised historically beginning with Aristotle and covering such (...) major figures as Hume and Darwin down to the present and the work of Harvard sociobiologist, E. O. Wilson. This is the first book to offer this historical perspective on the relation of biology and ethics, and has been written by some of the leading figures in the history and philosophy of science, whose work stands very much at the cutting edge of these disciplines. (shrink)
A Hegelian reading of good and bad luck -- In Shakespearean drama (phen. of spirit, King Lear, Othello, Hamlet, a Midsummer night's dream) -- Tearing the fabric: Hegel's Antigone, Shakespeare's Coriolanus, and kinship-state conflict (phen. of spirit c. 6, Judith Butler's Antigone, Coriolanus) -- Aufhebung and anti-aufhebung: geist and ghosts in Hamlet (phen. of spirit, Hamlet) -- The problem of genius in King Lear: Hegel on the feeling soul and the tragedy of wonder (anthropology and psychology in the encyclopaedia, Philosophy (...) of mind, King Lear) -- Richard II's mirror and the alienation of the Universal Will (of the I that is a We) (Richard II, phen. of spirit c. 5) -- Falstaff and the politics of wit: negative infinite judgment in a culture of alienation (Henry IV parts I & II, phen. of spirit c. 6, philosophy of right) -- Henry V's unchangeableness: his rejection of wit and his posture of virtue reinterpreted in the light of Hegel's theory of virtue (philosophy of right, Henry V) -- Hegel's theory of crime and evil: (re)tracing the rights of the sovereign self (aesthetics, phen. of spirit, phil. of right, Richard II through to Henry V) -- Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth and Henry V: conscience, hypocrisy, self-deceit and the tragedy of ethical life (phil. of right, Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry V) -- Negation of the negative infinite judgment versus sublation of it: punishment vs. pardon (phil. of right, phen. of spirit c. 6 and Henry VIII) -- Universal wit : the absolute theater of identity (phen. of spirit c. 6 and 8, Pericles, the Tempest) -- Absolute infections and their cure (phen. of spirit c. 6, the Winter's tale). (shrink)
This book is a study of ancient views about 'moral luck'. It examines the fundamental ethical problem that many of the valued constituents of a well-lived life are vulnerable to factors outside a person's control, and asks how this affects our appraisal of persons and their lives. The Greeks made a profound contribution to these questions, yet neither the problems nor the Greek views of them have received the attention they deserve. This book thus recovers a central dimension of Greek (...) thought and addresses major issues in contemporary ethical theory. One of its most original aspects is its interrelated treatment of both literary and philosophical texts. The Fragility of Goodness has proven to be important reading for philosophers and classicists, and its non-technical style makes it accessible to any educated person interested in the difficult problems it tackles. This new edition features an entirely new preface by Martha Nussbaum. (shrink)
This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of "rule" utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. The author opposes the currently more fashionable view that it is always right for the individual to do that which produces the most good. Among (...) the salient topics covered are: an account of the utilitarian function in society of generally accepted moral rules; a discussion of how we interpret existing moral rules and create new ones; and a defense of "rule" utilitarianism against the charge that it either commits one to irrational rule worship, or collapses into a form of "act" utilitarianism. (shrink)
In The Ethical Primate, renowned philosopher Mary Midgley tackles important questions about human freedom and morality. Scientists and philosophers have found it difficult to understand how each human being can be both a living part of the natural world and, at the same time, a genuinely free agent. Midgley explores their responses to this seeming paradox and argues that our evolutionary origin, properly understood, explains why human freedom and morality have come about.