Childrens Literature

An Audience for Moral Philosophy? by John T. Edelman (auth.) PDF

By John T. Edelman (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0312049315

ISBN-13: 9780312049317

ISBN-10: 1349211036

ISBN-13: 9781349211036

ISBN-10: 1349211052

ISBN-13: 9781349211050

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Additional resources for An Audience for Moral Philosophy?

Sample text

For what can 'the precedence of justice' mean if not the precedence of the principles of right over other considerations in practical reasoning. e. action not required by but going beyond the requirements of justice - then the 'finality' of justice cannot create conflicts between the demands of justice and an overriding interest in automobile engines or anything else. Indeed, it would appear that if the egoist cannot act for the same reasons as the just man this is so because the egoist has been tacitly defined as a man with ends so extravagantly self-regarding that they are necessari1y defeated even by adherence to such undemanding principles of natural duty and obligation as are found in Rawls' theory.

If justice does not require acts of supererogation - and by definition the justice of Rawls' theory does not - and if justice is distinguished from supererogation by the fact that while both involve reference to the principles of right, the former, unlike the latter, may involve the use of exemptions written into those principles, then how is it possible for a just man to be in the position of choosing between risking death or acting unjustly? There is no difficulty imagining circumstances in which a man had to choose between chancing death and not acting in a supererogatory manner.

Rawls' aim, we are told, is to provide a 'workable and systematic' alternative to utilitarian conceptions of justice by generalizing and carrying 'to a higher order of abstraction' the traditional theory of the social contract as represented by Locke, Rousseau and Kant (viii and 11). But Rawls wants to work out this alternative within 'ideal theory', that is, within a theory that assumes, first, 'strict' as opposed to 'partial' compliance with principles of justice, and, second, a 'wellordered society' (8 and 9).

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An Audience for Moral Philosophy? by John T. Edelman (auth.)

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