On Some Ways in Which A Thing Can be Good

Social Philosophy and Policy 9 (2):96-117 (1992)
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Abstract

I There are a great many ways in which a thing can be good. What counts as a way of being good? I leave it to intuition. Let us allow that being a good dancer is being good in a way, and that so also is being a good carpenter. We might group these and similar ways of being good under the name activity goodness, since a good dancer is good at dancing and a good carpenter is good at carpentry. Everything good at doing something D is good in a way, and for each activity D, being good at D-ing falls into the class of ways of being good which I call activity goodness. Again, let us allow that being a good hammer is being good in a way, and that so also is being a good butter knife. We might group these ways of being good under the name equipment goodness, since a good hammer is good for use in hammering nails and a good butter knife is good for use in buttering bread. Everything good for use in achieving a purpose P is good in a way, and for each purpose P, being good for use in achieving P falls into the class of ways of being good which I call equipment goodness. Again, let us allow that tasting good is being good in a way, and so also are looking good, sounding good, and so on. The class here is aesthetic goodness. Is all goodness goodness-in-a-way? Intuitively, the answer is yes: it seems right to think that everything is good only insofar as it is good in one or more ways

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Author's Profile

Judith Jarvis Thomson
Last affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Principia Ethica.Evander Bradley McGilvary - 1904 - Philosophical Review 13 (3):351.
Two distinctions in goodness.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (2):169-195.
A reply to my critics.George Edward Moore - 1942 - In Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.), The philosophy of G. E. Moore. New York,: Tudor Pub. Co..
Should the numbers count?John Taurek - 1977 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):293-316.
Utilitarianism and the virtues.Philippa Foot - 1985 - Mind 94 (374):196-209.

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