Gewirth and Adams on the Foundation of Morality

Philosophy Research Archives 8:367-381 (1982)

In his book, Reason and Morality, Gewirth has defended the principle of generic consistency as logically and materially necessary: “Act in accord with the generic rights of your recipients as well as of yourself.” This paper argues that Gewirth can make a good response to the evaluation of Adams that Gewirth gives “no conceptual analysis of ‘X is a necessary good’ and ‘X is a right’ that reveals . . . an entailment.” The paper also argues that Gewirth has not shown that one who would claim superior rights because of superior intelligence necessarily involves himself in a logical self-contradiction. Finally, the paper considers how the positions of Gewirth and Adams could be used to provide an existentialist, assertoric foundation of morality and suggests how Gewirth would evaluate such a foundation
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0164-0771
DOI 10.5840/pra198284
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