The Act Itself

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Clarendon Press, 1998 - Philosophy - 238 pages
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The Act Itself offers a deeper understanding of what is going on in our own moral thoughts about human behaviour. Many of the descriptions of behaviour on which our moral thoughts are based are confused; others may be free of confusion, but still we are not clear in our minds about whatthoughts they are. That is would hurt her, it would be disloyal, it wouldn't be done with that intention, it would be dangerous, it would involve allowing harm but not Iproducing it--thoughts like these support our moral judgements and thus guide our lives. In so far as we do not deeply understandthem, this is a kind of servitude. As Locke said, 'He is the most enslaved who is so in his understanding.' Jonathan Bennett presents conceptual analysis as a means to getting more control of our thoughts and thus of our lives.
 

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Contents

ANALYSIS
1
Moralitys Grid
3
What is Analysis?
5
Objections to Philosophical Analysis
7
A Statement of Nonrealism
12
Moral Nonrealism and Entailment
16
Unifying Theory
19
Levels of Morality
22
What is the Course of Nature?
114
The Nonintervention Principle
118
OTHER ATTEMPTS 39 Changing Conditions
121
Threats and Efforts
123
Making and Causing
126
A Short Lecture on Pragmatics
130
Tighter Meanings for Cause?
134
Other Attempted Analyses
137

FACTS ABOUT BEHAVIOUR 8 How the ByLocution Works
27
Act
29
The Grammar of the ByLocution
33
n Intrinsic Behavioural Facts
35
Relational Features of Behaviour
38
Fact Causation
40
Itself
43
MORAL JUDGEMENT 15 Firstand SecondOrder Morality
46
Knowability and FirstOrder Morality
49
Concepts of Probability
52
The Probability Principle
54
Morality and Bad Luck
58
MAKINGALLOWING 20 The Difference between Making and Allowing
62
Trouble with Allow and Let
65
The Bubble Phenomenon
68
Propositional Matches
71
MORAL SIGNIFICANCE 25 Basic Moral Significance
74
Intuitions about Cases
77
Sometimes but not Always?
79
The Difficulty Excuse
82
POSITIVENEGATIVE 29 Negative Acts
85
Negative Relevance
88
A Metric for the Behaviour Space
92
The Immobility Objection
96
Doubts about the Metric
100
ACTIVEPASSIVE 34 Agency and the Course of Nature
105
The Two Distinctions as Collaborators
109
Immobility Again
112
The Neutrality of MakingAllowing
139
Tight Reins
143
The Thwarting of Desires
147
Morality of Selfinterest
150
Affections
153
The Collapse of the Selfinterest Defence
158
Arguing for MakingAllowing Asymmetry
161
ATROCITIES 52 Crises
164
Forms of Absolutism
167
Atrocity and Policy
171
Absolutism and Moral Character
176
Comparative Value of Upshots
179
Other Agents
183
Their Projects
186
Deontology
189
INTENTIONS 60 Intentions and FirstOrder Morality
194
The Principle of Double Effect
196
Intentions as Explanatory
201
Acts and Events
203
Facts
208
Intend
214
Means
218
Character
221
A Limited Success
224
BIBLIOGRAPHY
226
INDEX OF PERSONS
235
INDEX OF SUBJECTS
237
Copyright

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Ethics Without Principles
Jonathan Dancy
No preview available - 2004
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About the author (1998)

Jonathan Bennett is at Syracuse University, NY.

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