Good and Evil / Edition 1

Good and Evil / Edition 1

by Richard Taylor
     
 

ISBN-10: 157392752X

ISBN-13: 9781573927529

Pub. Date: 11/28/1999

Publisher: Prometheus Books

The discussion of good and evil must not be confined to the sterile lecture halls of academics but related instead to ordinary human feelings, needs, and desires, says noted philosopher Richard Taylor. Efforts to understand morality by exploring human reason will always fail because we are creatures of desire as well. All morality arises from our intense and

…  See more details below

Overview

The discussion of good and evil must not be confined to the sterile lecture halls of academics but related instead to ordinary human feelings, needs, and desires, says noted philosopher Richard Taylor. Efforts to understand morality by exploring human reason will always fail because we are creatures of desire as well. All morality arises from our intense and inescapable longing. The distinction between good and evil is always clouded by rationalists who convert the real problems of ethics into complex philosophical puzzles.
In the first part of Good and Evil, Taylor looks for a more meaningful conception by reexamining and rejecting the whole rationalistic tradition that dominates philosophical ethics. The second part provides an empirical explanation of good and evil, noting that one does not have to look too far to find prime examples of the failure of fixed moral rules.
Including important commentary on Joseph Fletcher's groundbreaking situation ethics, and Aristotle's virtues (e.g., magnanimity and pride), Taylor rounds out the book by developing a philosophy of aspiration—personal worth as an ethical ideal—to replace the morality of duty. He offers a modified form of situation ethics to fit the contemporary problems we face.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573927529
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
11/28/1999
Series:
Great Minds Series
Edition description:
REVISED
Pages:
325
Sales rank:
1,137,775
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.74(d)

Table of Contents

Preface13
Part 1The Background: Reason and Will
1.Ethics and Human Nature17
The Importance of Our Question18
Three Traditional Answers19
The Greeks and the Idea of What Is Good20
Human Goodness and Reason23
Rationalism vs. Voluntarism24
Moral Rationalism26
Moral Voluntarism30
2.Nature vs. Convention33
True Morality34
What Is and What Ought to Be35
The Emergence of Ethics in Greek Philosophy36
Nature vs. Convention37
The Problem of Morality in Sophistic Philosophy41
Thrasymachus and the Will of the Strong43
Glaucon and Adiemantus45
Polus and the Rewards of Injustice47
3.The Issue Joined: True vs. Pragmatic Morality52
The True Morality According to Callicles53
Protagoras and the Doctrine of Pragmatis56
Protagorean Ethics59
The Socratic Questions61
The Significance of Protagoras66
4.Socratic Ethics68
The Character of Socrates' Thought69
Some Socratic Questions72
Vulgar vs. Philosophical Virtue74
The Involuntary Character of Wickedness76
Virtue as Knowledge79
What Power Is80
Virtue and Happiness81
Justice as a State of the Soul84
5.Is Justice Good for Its Own Sake?86
The Test86
Is There a True or Natural Justice?93
6.Hedonism, the Doctrine of Pleasure101
Moral Empiricism102
Empiricism and the Doctrine of Pleasure103
Epicurean Empiricism104
Pleasure as the Natural Good107
The Problem of Ethics109
The Cyrenaic Philosophy110
The Epicurean Modifications113
The Moderation of Desires116
The Sources of Goodness117
Justice and Duty118
The Significance of Epicurus120
7.A Modern Version of Hedonism121
J. S. Mill's Hedonism121
The Greatest Happiness Principle123
Duty and Motive124
The Quality of Pleasure127
The Presuppositions of Hedonism129
The Double Meanings of Pleasure and Pain132
Pleasure and Happiness136
8.Kantian Morality139
The Background of Kantian Morality140
The Basic Ideas of Conventional Morality142
Laws143
Justice145
Kantian Morality147
Duty and Law149
The Good Will150
The Categorical Imperative151
Rational Nature as an End153
The Significance of Kant154
Part 2Good and Evil
9.Good and Evil159
Conative Beings160
Conation as the Precondition of Good and Evil163
The Emergence of Good and Evil167
The Emergence of Right and Wrong170
Right and Wrong as Relative to Rules172
The World as It Is174
10.The Common Good177
Conflicts of Aims180
The Nature of the Common Good182
The Moral Evaluation of Institutions184
11.Some Fundamental Questions Revisited189
Nature vs. Convention189
Justice196
Can Virtue Be Taught?200
Two Shortcomings202
Part 3Human Goodness
12.Casuistry207
The Futility of Justifying Conduct209
Samples of Casuistry211
The Significance of These Examples220
The Function of Principles221
13.Judicial Casuistry228
Moralists as Lawmakers229
Judicial Decision by Persuasive Definition234
Moral and Judicial Casuistry Compared236
14.The Incentives of Action238
The Incentive to Justice240
The Incentive of Compassion243
The Incentive of Malice246
Egoism248
The Moral Neutrality of Egoism251
The Ugliness of Egoism254
Four Possible Incentives257
Self-Hatred as an Incentive259
15.The Virtue of Compassion262
Malice: The First Class of Actions264
Compassion: The Second Class of Actions268
The Significance of These Stories273
The Scope of Compassion275
Incentives and Consequences277
Compassion and Justice280
16.Love and Friendship284
Varieties of Love and Friendship285
Philia, or Friendship287
Friendship in Aristotelian Ethics288
Eros, or the Love of the Sexes292
Absolute Love299
17.Love and Aspiration305
Possessive Love306
Love as a Duty307
Love as a Blessing310
Moral Rules and Aspirations312
Love as Aspiration315
18.The Meaning of Life319
Meaningless Existence320
The Meaninglessness of Life324
The Meaning of Life330
Index335

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >