Good and Evil / Edition 1

Good and Evil / Edition 1

by Richard Taylor
     
 

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

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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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573927529
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
11/28/1999
Series:
Great Minds Series
Edition description:
REVISED
Pages:
325
Sales rank:
964,055
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.74(d)

Meet the Author

Richard Taylor (Interlaken, NY) has held professorships in philosophy at Brown University, the graduate faculty of Columbia University, and the University of Rochester. He is the author of Restoring Pride; Love Affairs: Marriage & Infidelity; and Freedom, Anarchy, and the Law.

Table of Contents

Preface13
Pt. 1The Background: Reason and Will
1Ethics and Human Nature17
2Nature vs. Convention33
3The Issue Joined: True vs. Pragmatic Morality52
4Socratic Ethics68
5Is Justice Good for Its Own Sake?86
6Hedonism, the Doctrine of Pleasure101
7A Modern Version of Hedonism121
8Kantian Morality139
Pt. 2Good and Evil
9Good and Evil159
10The Common Good177
11Some Fundamental Questions Revisited189
Pt. 3Human Goodness
12Casuistry207
13Judicial Casuistry228
14The Incentives of Action238
15The Virtue of Compassion262
16Love and Friendship284
17Love and Aspiration305
18The Meaning of Life319
Index335

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