The Concept of Moral Obligation


Author: Michael J. Zimmerman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521038744
Category: Philosophy
Page: 320
View: 3032

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The principal aim of this book is to develop and defend an analysis of the concept of moral obligation. What it seeks to do is generate new solutions to a range of philosophical problems concerning obligation and its application. Amongst these problems are deontic paradoxes, the supersession of obligation, conditional obligation, actualism and possibilism, dilemmas, supererogation, and cooperation. By virtue of its normative neutrality, the analysis provides a theoretical framework within which competing theories of obligation can be developed and assessed.

The Concept of Moral Obligation


Author: Michael J. Zimmerman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521497060
Category: Philosophy
Page: 301
View: 5194

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The principal aim of this book is to develop and defend an analysis of the concept of moral obligation. What it seeks to do is generate new solutions to a range of philosophical problems concerning obligation and its application. Amongst these problems are deontic paradoxes, the supersession of obligation, conditional obligation, actualism and possibilism, dilemmas, supererogation, and cooperation. By virtue of its normative neutrality, the analysis provides a theoretical framework within which competing theories of obligation can be developed and assessed.

Moral Writings


Author: Harold Arthur Prichard,Jim MacAdam
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0199250197
Category: Philosophy
Page: 298
View: 1967

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Ignorance and Moral Obligation


Author: Michael J. Zimmerman
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191002682
Category: Philosophy
Page: 176
View: 4038

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Ignorance and Moral Obligation concerns whether and how our ignorance about ourselves and our circumstances affects what our moral obligations and moral rights are. Michael J. Zimmerman begins by distinguishing three well-established views about the nature of moral obligation: the Objective, Subjective, and Prospective Views. Some philosophers have attempted to reconcile the three views in question, but these attempts are shown to fail. The question thus arises: which of the three views ought to be accepted and which rejected? Zimmerman argues that, in light of the ignorance that besets us, the Objective and Subjective Views should be rejected and the Prospective View accepted. The argument is based on close consideration of a kind of case provided by Frank Jackson, one in which an agent has deficient evidence regarding the outcomes of his options. Many objections to this argument are entertained and rebutted, by means of which the Prospective View is itself elaborated and defended. Among those who accept the Prospective View, the primary motivation for doing so has often been that of finding a useful guide to action, but Zimmerman argues that the Prospective View can be only of strictly limited help in providing such a guide. Finally, he addresses some implications that the Prospective View has regarding the nature of moral rights. Our possession of moral rights is precarious, being dependent on the evidence possessed by others. Once again, several objections are entertained and rebutted. The distinction between rights and desert is stressed, and the relevance of risk to rights is explored.

God and Moral Obligation


Author: C. Stephen Evans
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199696683
Category: Philosophy
Page: 199
View: 6735

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God and Moral Obligation defends the claim that moral obligations are best understood as divine commands or requirements; hence an important part of morality depends on God. C. Stephen Evans argues that God's requirements are communicated to humans in a variety of ways, including conscience, and seeks to show that some other approaches to ethics (natural law ethics and virtue ethics) are not rivals to a divine command view but provide complementaryperspectives. Evans raises and responds to popular objections to a divine command view of morality, and contends that this perspective has marked advantages over secular rival theories.

Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts


Author: Tracy Isaacs
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199782962
Category: Philosophy
Page: 204
View: 523

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Genocide, global warming, organizational negligence, and oppressive social practices are four examples of moral contexts in which the interplay between individuals and collectives complicate how we are to understand moral responsibility. Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts is a philosophical investigation of the complex moral landscape we find in collective situations such as these. Tracy Isaacs argues that an accurate understanding of moral responsibility in collective contexts requires attention to responsibility at the individual and collective levels. Part One establishes the normative significance of collective responsibility. Isaacs argues that collective responsibility is indispensible to providing a morally adequate account of collective actions such as genocide, and that without it even individual responsibility in genocide would not make sense. Isaacs explains the concepts of collective intention and collective intentional action, provides accounts of collective moral responsibility and collective guilt, and defends collective responsibility against objections, including the objection that collective responsibility holds some responsible for the actions of others. Part Two focuses on individual responsibility in collective contexts. Isaacs claims that individuals are not morally responsible for collective actions as such, but they can be responsible in collective actions for the parts they play. She argues that the concept of collective obligation can help to address large scale global challenges such as global warming, environmental degradation, and widespread poverty and malnutrition. Finally, Isaacs discusses cases of widespread ignorance and participation in wrongful social practice, whether it constitutes an excuse, and how to effect social change in those conditions.

The Second-person Standpoint

Morality, Respect, and Accountability
Author: Stephen L. Darwall
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674022744
Category: Philosophy
Page: 348
View: 752

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Why should we avoid doing moral wrong? The inability of philosophy to answer this question in a compelling mannerâe"along with the moral skepticism and ethical confusion that ensueâe"result, Stephen Darwall argues, from our failure to appreciate the essentially interpersonal character of moral obligation. After showing how attempts to vindicate morality have tended to change the subjectâe"falling back on nonmoral values or practical, first-person considerationsâe"Darwall elaborates the interpersonal nature of moral obligations: their inherent link to our responsibilities to one another as members of the moral community. As Darwall defines it, the concept of moral obligation has an irreducibly second-person aspect; it presupposes our authority to make claims and demands on one another. And so too do many other central notions, including those of rights, the dignity of and respect for persons, and the very concept of person itself. The result is nothing less than a fundamental reorientation of moral theory that enables it at last to account for morality's supreme authorityâe"an account that Darwall carries from the realm of theory to the practical world of second-person attitudes, emotions, and actions.

Mountains Beyond Mountains

The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
Author: Tracy Kidder
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588363343
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 336
View: 6534

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Tracy Kidder is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the author of the bestsellers The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, and Home Town. He has been described by the Baltimore Sun as the “master of the non-fiction narrative.” This powerful and inspiring new book shows how one person can make a difference, as Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who is in love with the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it. At the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life’s calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer—brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti—blasts through convention to get results. Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that "the only real nation is humanity" - a philosophy that is embodied in the small public charity he founded, Partners In Health. He enlists the help of the Gates Foundation, George Soros, the U.N.’s World Health Organization, and others in his quest to cure the world. At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope, and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb “Beyond mountains there are mountains”: as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too. “Mountains Beyond Mountains unfolds with the force of a gathering revelation,” says Annie Dillard, and Jonathan Harr says, “[Farmer] wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it.”

The Authority of Law

Essays on Law and Morality
Author: Joseph Raz
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0199573565
Category: Law
Page: 340
View: 4275

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Raz begins by presenting an analysis of the concept of moral authority. He then develops a detailed explanation of the nature of law and legal systems. Within this framework Raz then examines the areas of legal thought that have been viewed as impregnated with moral values.

The Variety of Values

Essays on Morality, Meaning, and Love
Author: Susan Wolf
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195332814
Category: Philosophy
Page: 263
View: 2300

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For over thirty years Susan Wolf has been writing about moral and nonmoral values and the relation between them. This volume collects Wolf's most important essays on the topics of morality, love, and meaning, ranging from her classic essay "Moral Saints" to her most recent "The Importance of Love." Wolf's essays warn us against the common tendency to classify values in terms of a dichotomy that contrasts the personal, self-interested, or egoistic with the impersonal, altruistic or moral. On Wolf's view, this tendency ignores or distorts the significance of such values as love, beauty, and truth, and neglects the importance of meaningfulness as a dimension of the good life. These essays show us how a self-conscious recognition of the variety of values leads to new understandings of the point, the content, and the limits of morality and to new ways of thinking about happiness and well-being.

The Right and the Good


Author: William David Ross,Philip Stratton-Lake
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199252657
Category: Philosophy
Page: 183
View: 9200

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The Right and the Good, a classic of twentieth-century philosophy by the great scholar Sir David Ross, is now presented in a new edition with a substantial introduction by Philip Stratton-Lake, a leading expert on Ross. Ross's book is the pinnacle of ethical intuitionism, which was the dominant moral theory in British philosophy for much of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Intuitionism is now enjoying a considerable revival, and Stratton-Lake provides the context for a proper understanding of Ross's great work today.

Mind, Language and Morality

Essays in Honor of Mark Platts
Author: Gustavo Ortiz-Millán,Juan Antonio Cruz Parcero
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 135120257X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 196
View: 1496

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Mark Platts is responsible for the first systematic presentation of truth-conditional semantics and for turning a generation of philosophers on to the Davidsonian program. He is also a pioneer in discussions of moral realism, and has made important contributions to bioethics, the philosophy of human rights and moral responsibility. This book is a tribute to Platts’s pioneering work in these areas, featuring contributions from number of leading scholars of his work from the US, UK and Mexico. It features replies to the individual essays from Platts, as well as a concluding chapter reflecting on his philosophical career from Oxford to Mexico City. Mind, Language and Morality will be of interest to philosophers across a wide range of areas, including ethics, moral psychology, philosophy of law, and philosophy of language.

Understanding Moral Obligation

Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard
Author: Robert Stern
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139505017
Category: Philosophy
Page: N.A
View: 9496

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In many histories of modern ethics, Kant is supposed to have ushered in an anti-realist or constructivist turn by holding that unless we ourselves 'author' or lay down moral norms and values for ourselves, our autonomy as agents will be threatened. In this book, Robert Stern challenges the cogency of this 'argument from autonomy', and claims that Kant never subscribed to it. Rather, it is not value realism but the apparent obligatoriness of morality that really poses a challenge to our autonomy: how can this be accounted for without taking away our freedom? The debate the book focuses on therefore concerns whether this obligatoriness should be located in ourselves (Kant), in others (Hegel) or in God (Kierkegaard). Stern traces the historical dialectic that drove the development of these respective theories, and clearly and sympathetically considers their merits and disadvantages; he concludes by arguing that the choice between them remains open.

Vulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied Ethics


Author: Christine Straehle
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317297938
Category: Philosophy
Page: 216
View: 347

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Vulnerability is an important concern of moral philosophy, political philosophy and many discussions in applied ethics. Yet the concept itself—what it is and why it is morally salient—is under-theorized. Vulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied Ethics brings together theorists working on conceptualizing vulnerability as an action-guiding principle in these discussions, as well as bioethicists, medical ethicists and public policy theorists working on instances of vulnerability in specific contexts. This volume offers new and innovative work by Joel Anderson, Carla Bagnoli, Samia Hurst, Catriona Mackenzie and Christine Straehle, who together provide a discussion of the concept of vulnerability from the perspective of individual autonomy. The exchanges among authors will help show the heuristic value of vulnerability that is being developed in the context of liberal political theory and moral philosophy. The book also illustrates how applying the concept of vulnerability to some of the most pressing moral questions in applied ethics can assist us in making moral judgments. This highly innovative and interdisciplinary approach will help those grappling with questions of vulnerability in medical ethics—both theorists and practitioners—by providing principles along which to decide hard cases.

The Moral Landscape

How Science Can Determine Human Values
Author: Sam Harris
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 143917122X
Category: Religion
Page: 307
View: 7055

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Calls for an end to religion's role in dictating morality, demonstrating how the scientific community's understandings about the human brain may enable the establishment of secular codes of behavior.

Humanitarian Ethics

A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster
Author: Hugo Slim
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190613041
Category: Social Science
Page: 314
View: 5053

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Humanitarians are required to be impartial, independent, professionally competent and focused only on preventing and alleviating human suffering. It can be hard living up to these principles when others do not share them, while persuading political and military authorities and non-state actors to let an agency assist on the ground requires savvy ethical skills. Getting first to a conflict or natural catastrophe is only the beginning, as aid workers are usually and immediately presented with practical and moral questions about what to do next. For example, when does working closely with a warring party or an immoral regime move from practical cooperation to complicity in human rights violations? Should one operate in camps for displaced people and refugees if they are effectively places of internment? Do humanitarian agencies inadvertently encourage ethnic cleansing by always being ready to 'mop-up' the consequences of scorched earth warfare? This book has been written to help humanitarians assess and respond to these and other ethical dilemmas.

Ancient Ethics


Author: Susan Sauvé Meyer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135948305
Category: History
Page: 192
View: 6025

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This is the first comprehensive guide and only substantial undergraduate level introduction to ancient Greek and Roman ethics. It covers the ethical theories and positions of all the major philosophers (including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) and schools (Stoics and Epicureans) from the earliest times to the Hellenistic philosophers, analyzing their main arguments and assessing their legacy. This book maps the foundations of this key area, which is crucial knowledge across the disciplines and essential for a wide range of readers.