How to Defend Humane Ideals: Substitutes for Objectivity
James Robert Flynn
U of Nebraska Press, 2000 - Philosophy - 212 pages
One of the principal moral and psychological problems of our time is whether humane ideals can be defended. Loss of faith in the objectivity of ethics has encouraged a sense of hopelessness. The notion that no ideal is better than any other, that a humane commitment has no rational advantage over Nietzsche's contempt for ordinary people, has been accused of leaving our civilization without self-confidence or a purpose.
James R. Flynn rejects attempts to salvage ethical objectivity as futile and counterproductive. Instead, he uses philosophical analysis to demonstrate the relevance of logic and evidence to moral debate. He then uses modern social science to refute racists, Social Darwinists, Nietzsche, and the meritocracy thesis of The Bell Curve. Flynn concludes that the great post-Enlightenment project?justice for all races and classes, the reduction of inequality, and the abolition of privilege?retains its moral dignity and relevance.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
TruthTests and What We Have Lost
Plato and Thrasymachus
TruthTests and Proofs
Kant and Sister Simplice
Morality and Moral Debate
Race and Class
Superpeople and Supermen
accept humane ideals Adeimantus affirmative action agenda American analysis antihumane argue argument assertions assess basic ideals believe benevolence categorical imperative Cattell causal commitment concept of justice criteria criterion of moral darker side egalitarian empiricism entails epistemological equal eroscentrism ethical truth ethical truth-tests example favor Flynn Gatens give Glaucon happiness herd Hitler human society humane-egalitarian ideals idea of chair Irish American Kant Kant's kind merit meritocracy Metaphysics of Morals method moral concern moral debate moral facts moral principles moral realism moral rectitude Nietzsche Nietzsche's nonpartisan objective status overriding criterion Pakeha Parmenides percent perfect personal traits philosopher philosopher kings physical universe Plato political postmodern proof psychology purposive agent race racist rational realm reasons reject Republic rights-claim role sense Social Darwinists social science someone species Sumner supermen theory things thinkers Thomas Sowell Thrasymachus tion universalizability World of Forms wrong Yeatman