Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, USA, Jan 20, 2012 - Philosophy - 616 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
In choosing between moral alternatives -- choosing between various forms of ethical action -- we typically make calculations of the following kind: A is better than B; B is better than C; therefore A is better than C. These inferences use the principle of transitivity and are fundamental to many forms of practical and theoretical theorizing, not just in moral and ethical theory but in economics. Indeed they are so common as to be almost invisible. What Larry Temkin's book shows is that, shockingly, if we want to continue making plausible judgments, we cannot continue to make these assumptions. Temkin shows that we are committed to various moral ideals that are, surprisingly, fundamentally incompatible with the idea that "better than" can be transitive. His book develops many examples where value judgments that we accept and find attractive, are incompatible with transitivity. While this might seem to leave two options -- reject transitivity, or reject some of our normative commitments in order to keep it -- Temkin is neutral on which path to follow, only making the case that a choice is necessary, and that the cost either way will be high. Temkin's book is a very original and deeply unsettling work of skeptical philosophy that mounts an important new challenge to contemporary ethics.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 Introduction
3
ManyPerson Spectrum Arguments
23
3 A New Principle of Aggregation
67
4 On the Separateness of Individuals Compensation and Aggregation within Lives
96
SinglePerson Spectrum Arguments
129
Part I
162
Part II
194
8 Expected Utility TheoryExpected Value Theory
232
Part II
401
13 Juggling to Preserve Transitivity
457
14 Conclusion
477
Appendices
522
Bibliography
575
Index
583
List of Diagrams
605
List of Cases and Examples
607

Objections and Replies
265
10 On the Value of Utility and Two Models for Combining Ideals
313
Part I
363
List of Principles and Views
611
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)


Larry S. Temkin is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Bibliographic information