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

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£65.00
Hardback 640 Pages / Published: 16/02/2012
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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: 9780199759446
Number of pages: 640
Weight: 974 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 46 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book is about some of the most profound issues in human life, including our own good, and how to weigh the good of one person against that of others. Its conclusions have significant implications for the very possibility of practical rationality, and its challenging and sophisticated arguments will be sources of insight and inspiration for anyone who reflects on them. * Roger Crisp, St Anne's College, Oxford *
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. On the foundational but extraordinarily difficult issue of whether our moral reasons are "person-affecting" or impersonal in character, or whether there are reasons of both sorts that may conflict, it contains the best discussion I know of since the appearance of Parfit's seminal arguments in Reasons and Persons. Temkin's rich and brilliant book will transform our understanding of many of the most important problems in ethical theory. * Jeff McMahan, author of The Ethics of Killing and Killing in War *

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