Description : How do we judge whether an action is morally right or wrong? If an action is wrong, what reason does that give us not to do it? Why should we give such reasons priority over our other concerns and values? In this book, T. M. Scanlon offers new answers to these questions, as they apply to the central part of morality that concerns what we owe to each other. According to his contractualist view, thinking about right and wrong is thinking about what we do in terms that could be justified to others and that they could not reasonably reject. He shows how the special authority of conclusions about right and wrong arises from the value of being related to others in this way, and he shows how familiar moral ideas such as fairness and responsibility can be understood through their role in this process of mutual justification and criticism. Scanlon bases his contractualism on a broader account of reasons, value, and individual well-being that challenges standard views about these crucial notions. He argues that desires do not provide us with reasons, that states of affairs are not the primary bearers of value, and that well-being is not as important for rational decision-making as it is commonly held to be. Scanlon is a pluralist about both moral and non-moral values. He argues that, taking this plurality of values into account, contractualism allows for most of the variability in moral requirements that relativists have claimed, while still accounting for the full force of our judgments of right and wrong.
Description : Five leading moral philosophers assess various aspects of T.M. Scanlon’s moral theory as laid out in his seminal work, What We Owe to Each Other. An assessment of T.M. Scanlon’s seminal work What We Owe to Each Other. Written by five leading moral philosophers. Contributes to debates initiated by Scanlon on value theory, normative ethics, and metaethics. Includes a response by T.M. Scanlon in which he clarifies and develops his views.
Description : This collection brings together essays by distinguished political philosophers which reflect on the detailed arguments of What We Owe to Each Other, and comment critically both on Scanlon's contractualism and his revised understandings of motivation and morality. The essays illustrate the uses of Scanlon's contractualism by applying it to moral and political problems and in so doing they provide an assessment of the ability of Scanlon's contractualism by applying it to other forms of ethical theory. The resulting volume makes an important and original contribution to the literature on Scanlon, on contractualism and on contemporary political philosophy.
Description : By exploring the ethical differences between humans and animals,Animalkind establishes a middle ground betweenegalitarianism and outright dismissal of animal rights. A thought-provoking foray into our complex and contradictoryrelationship with animals Advocates that we owe each animal due respect Offers readers a sensible alternative to extremism by speakingof respect and compassion for animals, not rights Balances philosophical analysis with intriguing facts andengaging tales
Description : Scanlon reframes current philosophical debates as he explores the moral permissibility of an action. Blame, he argues, is a response to the meaning of an action rather than its permissibility. This analysis leads to a novel account of the conditions of moral responsibility and to important conclusions about the ethics of blame.
Description : T. M. Scanlon offers a qualified defense of normative cognitivism: the view that there are irreducibly normative truths about reasons for action. He responds to three familiar objections--that such truths would have troubling metaphysical implications; that we would have no way of knowing what they are; and that the role of reasons in motivating and explaining action could not be explained if accepting a conclusion about reasons for action were a kind ofbelief--and goes on to argue that the method of reflective equilibrium, properly understood, provides an adequate account of how we come to know both normative truths and mathematical truths, and that the ideaof a rational agent explains the link between an agent's normative beliefs and his or her actions.
Description : In these essays I often refer to social contracts such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international conventions that describe a vision of just human relations, especially in the area of culture and health care. We do not live behind a veil of ignorance where we enter into contemplation of questions of right and wrong without an awareness of our own particularities. Moreover, we do not always determine what is right based on reason. But, we do make decisions every day about how we will live within the social contracts that govern our lives. Many of us go along to get along with a let’s-not-rock-the-boat-preserve-the-status-quocaution. Then there are those of us who use the documents of our social contracts to secure more justice and more peace. The purpose is to rock the boat and to disrupt the status quo when it is unjust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I understand Christ as a title not as a person. It is a designation of an anointing. This, in my opinion, is the anointing of radical love. Christ is the human incarnation of divine love. We each ought to strive to become this whether or not we are Christian, whether or not we are even believers. Those of us who are Christians believe that Jesus paid it all. There is no more need for blood-shed sacrifice. Murder is never holy. God does not need it or want it. Our work now is to become living sacrifices that will redeem this world through justice and peace. That is the meaning of these essays. (From the Introduction)