Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning - Oxford Ethics Series (Paperback)
  • Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning - Oxford Ethics Series (Paperback)
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Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning - Oxford Ethics Series (Paperback)

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Paperback 640 Pages / Published: 04/12/2014
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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.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190233716
Number of pages: 640
Weight: 916 g
Dimensions: 234 x 159 x 39 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Rethinking the Good threatens to overturn some of our most deeply entrenched beliefs about our various values and practical reasoning.... [It is] an utterly original work of philosophy, almost breath-takingly so. * Shelly Kagan, Yale University *
Rethinking the Good is a genuinely awe-inspiring achievement. Its discussions of a broad range of the deepest and most perplexing issues in normative ethics are unsurpassed in imaginativeness, subtlety, and rigor...Temkin's rich and brilliant book will transform our understanding of many of the most important problems in ethical theory. * Jeff McMahan, Oxford University *
This book is about some of the most profound issues in human life... its challenging and sophisticated arguments will be sources of insight and inspiration for anyone who reflects on them. * Roger Crisp, Oxford University *
Larry Temkin's magnum opus, Rethinking the Good... is unquestionably one of the grandest, most significant, and most profound works on value and practical reasoning ever written. * Jake Ross, The Journal of Moral Philosophy *
The most important work in choice theory and social choice in some time. * Tyler Cowen, MARGINALREVOLUTION *
Rethinking the Good is the most powerful challenge to our understanding of axiology and normative theory in contemporary philosophy to date. Calling it a classic or a masterpiece is an understatement: it is a true milestone with which we enter a new stage in the study of value theory. * Oscar Horta, Law, Ethics, and Philosophy *
...a rich and challenging work, and a profound contribution. * Richard Kraut, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
A real tour de force... * Veronique Munoz-Darde, The Journal of Moral Philosophy *
Larry Temkin's monumental book Rethinking the Good is by far the most resourceful and penetrating investigation into the various aspects of the value of outcomes to date. * Ingmar Persson, Law, Ethics, and Philosophy *
...[A] great work of philosophy....both groundshaking and crafted with near-perfect precision...one of the most important works in ethics to appear in recent decades, sure to be studied closely by philosophers and non-philosophers alike for decades to come...[a] brilliant and exciting book. * Melinda Roberts, Analysis *

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