Common Morality: Deciding What to Do

Paperback | February 17, 2007

byBernard Gert

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Moral problems do not always come in the form of great social controversies. More often, the moral decisions we make are made quietly, constantly, and within the context of everyday activities and quotidian dilemmas. Indeed, these smaller decisions are based on a moral foundation that few ofus ever stop to think about but which guides our every action. Here distinguished philosopher Bernard Gert presents a clear and concise introduction to what he calls "common morality"--the moral system that most thoughtful people implicitly use when making everyday, common sense moral decisions and judgments. Common Morality is useful in that--while notresolving every disagreement on controversial issues--it is able to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable answers to moral problems.

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Moral problems do not always come in the form of great social controversies. More often, the moral decisions we make are made quietly, constantly, and within the context of everyday activities and quotidian dilemmas. Indeed, these smaller decisions are based on a moral foundation that few ofus ever stop to think about but which guides ...

Bernard Gert is Stone Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Dartmouth College. He is also the author of Morality: Its Nature and Justification, and co-author of Bioethics, and Morality and the New Genetics.

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Morality: Its Nature and Justification
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 5 × 6.89 × 0.59 inPublished:February 17, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195314212

ISBN - 13:9780195314212

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Table of Contents

IntroductionSome Areas of Widespread AgreementDistinguishing Features of Moral JudgmentsRationality and Human NatureAreas of Moral DisagreementAnalogy between Morality and GrammarPart I: The Moral SystemFeatures of the Moral SystemThe Moral RulesThe Moral IdealsGeneral Characteristics of Moral RulesInterpreting the RulesViolations of Moral Rules Involve Liability to PunishmentJustifying Violations of the Moral RulesThe Two-Step Procedure for Justifying Violations of the Moral RulesMoral Virtues an VicesSummary and TestPart II: The Moral TheoryThe Justification of MoralityCharacteristics of Moral AgentsKnowledge or Beliefs Required of All Moral AgentsIrrationality and RationalityRationality as Maximizing Satisfaction of DesiresObjectively Irrational ActionsPersonally Irrational ActionsReasons Versus MotivesAll Reasons Have Justifying ForceReasons and DesiresAdequate ReasonsRationality, Morality, and Self-InterestImpartialityTwo Philosophical Attempts to Achieve Moral ImpartialityJustifying Moral ImpartialityWhy Act Morally?Morality as an Informal Public SystemThe Role of Governments in Settling Unresolvable Moral DisagreementsRightsThe Consequences of Morality Not Always Providing a Unique Correct AnswerA Complete Moral TheoryConclusionFlow ChartsNotesGlossaryIndex

Editorial Reviews

"I have admired and been excited by Bernard Gert's account of the moral system ever since I became acquainted with it. His account has made much good sense, and has seemed to correct much that has been problematic about past moral theories. Professor Gert's work is exciting because it presentsa clear answer to one of the broadest questions in philosophy--What is the nature of morality?--and it does so in a way that has some of us beginning to think that, after all these centuries, someone has actually gotten it right."--Timm Triplett, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of NewHampshire