Moral Absolutes: An Essay on the Nature and Rationality of Morality

Review of Metaphysics 43 (2):420-421 (1989)

Taking its title from its opposition to relativism, subjectivism, and skepticism, the book has two parts: the first seeks to determine the nature of morality, the second addresses the question, why should I be moral? "The core of morality," writes Rescher, "is benevolence". A moral code is a body of norms governing actions where the legitimate interests of others is concerned. It requires the moral agent to act in view of the genuine needs of others. These can be ascertained because claims regarding moral matters are predominantly factual and objective in character. Reasons can be given for preferring one course of action over others. Thus morality is not just about actions, but about reasons and motivations as well. For an act to be moral, the moral agent must not only be aware of the needs of others but deliberate in his attempt to take them into consideration. Acting out of habit or from custom does not make an act moral.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1989432122
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