Professor Robert Kane's Ethics and the Quest for Wisdom PDF

By Professor Robert Kane

ISBN-10: 052119993X

ISBN-13: 9780521199933

Modernity has challenged the traditional excellent of a common quest for knowledge, and modern-day international of conflicting cultures and values has raised extra doubts concerning the threat of goal moral criteria. Robert Kane refocuses the controversy at the philosophical quest for knowledge, and argues that moral rules approximately correct motion and the great lifestyles could be visible to emerge from that very quest itself. His ebook contends that the hunt for knowledge includes a continual striving to beat narrowness of imaginative and prescient that comes from the inevitable obstacles of finite issues of view. whilst utilized to questions of worth and the great lifestyles, this striving has moral implications in regards to the manner we should always deal with ourselves and others. This research argues for the benefits of this imperative thesis opposed to substitute theories in modern normative ethics, and discusses its functional purposes for social ethics, political philosophy, legislation and ethical schooling.

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Sample text

Starting with simpler cases before moving on to complex ones is not uncommon in ethical discussion. But there are troubling questions to be asked, even about the simplest cases of moral sphere breakdown cited in Chapters 2 and 3, before considering more difficult cases. In the example of the assault in the alley, for instance, a person playing devil’s advocate might object that it is merely a conflict between two different and competing ways of life. The assailant is thwarting the victim’s interests and purposes by force.

This is done by the retreatants by drawing the large circle representing openness around The search and universality 31 all ways of life whatever – not only of those still present at the retreat, but also of those who have departed and all others as well. This is crucial. For, if those who stayed at the retreat had drawn the initial circle of openness only around themselves, their results would have been valid only for themselves. 2 But this is not what these retreatants are doing. They are engaged in a philosophical search for what is objectively right and good for everyone and should be recognized as right and good from all points of view.

But if so, why? Notice that the case is structurally similar to the assault in the alley. The moral sphere has ­broken down because you (the farm owner) cannot treat all persons involved with openness in the situation in the sense of allowing their desired ends or purposes to be pursued and realized without interference. If you tell the truth to the Gestapo, you are choosing to favor their purposes and desires over the Jewish family’s. If you lie, you favor the Jewish family’s purposes and desires, but not the Gestapo’s.

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Ethics and the Quest for Wisdom by Professor Robert Kane


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