Against Absolute Goodness

Overview


Are there things we should value because they are, quite simply, good? If so, such things might be said to have "absolute goodness." They would be good simpliciter or full stop - not good for someone, not good of a kind, but nonetheless good (period). They might also be called "impersonal values." The reason why we ought to value such things, if there are any, would merely be the fact that they are, quite simply, good things. In the twentieth century, G. E. Moore was the great champion of absolute goodness, but ...
See more details below
Hardcover (New Edition)
$45.34
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$53.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $12.50   
  • New (7) from $13.43   
  • Used (2) from $12.50   
Against Absolute Goodness

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$33.99
BN.com price
(Save 24%)$44.99 List Price

Overview


Are there things we should value because they are, quite simply, good? If so, such things might be said to have "absolute goodness." They would be good simpliciter or full stop - not good for someone, not good of a kind, but nonetheless good (period). They might also be called "impersonal values." The reason why we ought to value such things, if there are any, would merely be the fact that they are, quite simply, good things. In the twentieth century, G. E. Moore was the great champion of absolute goodness, but he is not the only philosopher who posits the existence and importance of this property.

Against these friends of absolute goodness, Richard Kraut here builds on the argument he made in What is Good and Why, demonstrating that goodness is not a reason-giving property - in fact, there may be no such thing. It is, he holds, an insidious category of practical thought, because it can be and has been used to justify what is harmful and condemn what is beneficial. Impersonal value draws us away from what is good for persons. His strategy for opposing absolute goodness is to search for domains of practical reasoning in which it might be thought to be needed, and this leads him to an examination of a wide variety of moral phenomena: pleasure, knowledge, beauty, love, cruelty, suicide, future generations, bio-diversity, killing in self-defense, and the extinction of our species. Even persons, he proposes, should not be said to have absolute value. The special importance of human life rests instead on the great advantages that such lives normally offer.

"When one reads this, one sees the possibility of real philosophical progress. If Kraut is right, I'd be wrong to say that this book is good, period. Or even great, period. But I will say that, as a work of philosophy, and for those who read it, it is excellent indeed." --Russ Shafer-Landau, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The obligatory joke -- this book is very good, but not absolutely so -- has essentially been made already in a blurb on the cover. In the blurb, Russ Shafer Landau says the book is excellent, and I have to agree it is. It is also very well written. With its lucid prose -- rare in a philosophy book -- it can be read in one sitting."--Nomy Arpaly, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199844463
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/2/2011
  • Series: Oxford Moral Theory Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,314,947
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Kraut was educated at the University of Michigan and Princeton University. He has taught in the Philosophy Departments at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University, where he is Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor in the Humanities.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments
1. Moore and the Idea of Goodness
2. Goodness Before and After Moore
3. An Argument for Absolute Goodness
4. Absolute Evil, Relative Goodness
5. Recent Skepticism about Goodness
6. Being Good and Being Good for Someone
7. Non-Instrumental Advantageousness
8. The Problem of Intelligibility
9. The Problem of Double Value
10. Pleasure Reconsidered
11. Scanlon's Buck-Passing Account of Value
12. Moore's Argument Against Relative Goodness
13. Goodness and Variability
14. Impersonality: an Ethical Objection to Absolute Goodness
15. Further Reflections on the Ethical Objection
16. Moore's Mistake About Unobserved Beauty
17. Better States of Affairs and Buck-Passing
18. The Enjoyment of Beauty
19. Is Love Absolutely Good?
20. Is Cruelty Absolutely Bad?
21. Kant on Suicide
22. Future Generations
23. Bio-Diversity
24. Is Equality Absolutely Good?
25. The Value of Persons and Other Creatures
26. Euthanasia
27. The Extinction of Humankind
28. The Case Against Absolute Goodness Reviewed
29. The Problem of Intelligibility Revisited
30. Attributive and Predicative Uses of "Good"
Appendix A: Killing Persons
Appendix B: J. David Velleman on the Value Inhering in Persons
Appendix C: Robert Merrihew Adams on the Highest Good
Appendix D: Thomas Hurka on the Structure of Goods
Appendix E: Jeff McMahan on Impersonal Value
Appendix F: Other Authors and Uses
1. Plato
2. Aristotle
3. John Rawls
4. John Broome
Bibliography

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)