Perfectionism

Perfectionism

by Thomas Hurka
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195101162

ISBN-13: 9780195101164

Pub. Date: 01/04/1996

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Perfectionism is one of the great moralities of the Western tradition. It holds that certain states of humans, such as knowledge, achievement, and friendship, are good apart from any pleasure they may bring, and that the morally right act is always the one that most promotes these states. Defined more narrowly, perfectionism identifies the human good by reference to…  See more details below

Overview

Perfectionism is one of the great moralities of the Western tradition. It holds that certain states of humans, such as knowledge, achievement, and friendship, are good apart from any pleasure they may bring, and that the morally right act is always the one that most promotes these states. Defined more narrowly, perfectionism identifies the human good by reference to human nature: if knowledge and achievement are good, it is because they realize aspects of human nature. This book gives an account of perfectionism, first in the narrower sense, analyzing its central concepts and defending a theory of human nature in which rationality plays a central role. It then uses this theory to construct an elaborate account of the intrinsic value of beliefs and actions that embody rationality, and applies this account to political questions about liberty and equality.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195101164
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/04/1996
Series:
Oxford Ethics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.13(h) x 0.72(d)

Table of Contents

1Introduction3
IThe Perfectionist Idea
2The Concept of Human Nature9
2.1Distinctiveness and Essence10
2.2Essence and Life14
2.3Nature: Objections18
3Accretions and Methods23
3.1Accretions23
3.2Perfectionist Naturalism28
3.3Defending Perfectionism31
3.4How Are Essences Known?33
4The Human Essence37
4.1The Aristotelian Theory: Physical Essence37
4.2The Aristotelian Theory: Rationality39
4.3The Aristotelian Theory: Objections44
4.4The Wrong Explanations?48
IIAristotelian Perfectionism
5The Basic Structure55
5.1Maximizing Consequentialism55
5.2Time- and Agent-Neutrality60
5.3The Asymmetry64
5.4Competition and Co-operation66
6Aggregation69
6.1Summing and Averaging70
6.2Maximax75
6.3Single-Peak Perfection79
6.4Conclusion82
7The Well-Rounded Life84
7.1Lexical and Constant Comparisons85
7.2Balancing88
7.3Dilettantism and Concentration91
7.4Many-Person Balancing?97
8Trying, Deserving, Succeeding99
8.1Number and Quality99
8.2Attempt103
8.3Deserving Attempt105
8.4Success and Deserved Success108
8.5The Best Units?112
9Unity and Complexity114
9.1Generality: Extent and Dominance114
9.2Generality: Elaborations116
9.3Top-to-Bottom Knowledge119
9.4The Unified Life121
9.5Complex, Difficult Activities123
10Politics, Co-operation, and Love129
10.1Political Action129
10.2Co-operation132
10.3Love and Friendship134
10.4Generality: Objections137
10.5Generality: The Tradition141
IIIPerfectionism and Politics
11Liberty147
11.1Autonomy as a Perfection148
11.2The Asymmetry Argument152
11.3Sexual Enforcement and Paternalism156
11.4Liberty versus Neutrality158
12Equality: Abilities and Marginal Utility161
12.1Deep Equality161
12.2Desert and Aggregation163
12.3Natural Abilities165
12.4Diminishing Marginal Utility169
13Equality: Co-operation and the Market176
13.1Arguments from Co-operation176
13.2Illustrations and Limitations180
13.3Property and Property-Freedom183
13.4Self-Reliance versus Dependence185
14Conclusion190
Notes193
Bibliography209
Index215

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >