By Thomas Hurka
This quantity includes chosen essays in ethical and political philosophy via Thomas Hurka. The essays tackle a large choice of themes, from the well-rounded existence and the price of taking part in video games to proportionality in warfare and the ethics of nationalism. additionally they proportion a typical objective: to light up the amazing richness and subtlety of our daily ethical concept by means of revealing its underlying constitution, which they generally do through representing that constitution on graphs. extra particularly, the essays all provide what the 1st within the quantity calls "structural" as opposed to "foundational" analyses of ethical perspectives. Eschewing the grander ambition of grounding our rules approximately, say, advantage or wilderness in claims that use various innovations and obstacle another, allegedly extra basic subject, they learn those rules of their personal correct and with shut cognizance to their information. in addition to illuminating their person subject matters, the essays illustrate the insights this structural approach can yield.
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Extra info for Drawing Morals: Essays in Ethical Theory
Thus, the charge of some that agent-relative prohibitions are irrational has not stopped others from exploring their details. ”49 This might be a reasonable complaint if competing views did have such foundations; it is not when they do not. Second, the search for foundations has diverted philosophers’ attention from the details of moral views. Faced with a set of ideas about value or duty, a theorist can go in either of two directions. She can look into the view, to discover its structure and the way it generates specific claims, or she can try to connect it to larger ideas about, say, the nature of morality or the status of persons as free and rational.
But it is once again open to question whether these consequences are entirely attractive. We have seen that population questions would take on a special urgency in the event of a nuclear holocaust, and it is not clear that a simple summative principle like the total principle can account for this special urgency. It is of course true that when the population level gets very low the survival of the human race is threatened, and that since the survival of the human race is a necessary condition of there being any value in the future the total principle will tell us to do a fair amount to ensure it.
On all these views the agent’s fundamental orientation is toward herself. 55 But a great deal of currently influential writing seems to assume that moral reasons must be not only trivially but also substantively about the self. The causes of this are partly philosophical: disbelief that there could be underivative other-regarding reasons and distrust of the intuitions that say there are. But there may also be social causes. May the self-centeredness of so much contemporary ethical theorizing be the predictable product of a narcissistic age, offering moral foundations for the Me Generation?
Drawing Morals: Essays in Ethical Theory by Thomas Hurka