Ethics and Qualities of Life by Joel J. Kupperman

Ethics and Qualities of Life

byJoel J. Kupperman

Hardcover | April 9, 2007

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Ethics and Qualities of Life looks at what enters into ethical judgment and choice. Interpretation of a case and of what the options are is always a factor, as is a sense of the possible values at stake. Intuitions also enter in, but often are unreliable. For a long time it seemed only fairthat oldest sons inherited, and struck few people as unfair that women were not allowed to attend universities. A moral judgment is putatively part of a moral order in a society that any reasonable person would accept. But what counts as "reasonable" is generally contestable. The unreliability of intuitions leads naturally to ethical theory. Kantian, contractualist, and consequentialist theories all have some important truth in them, but not the whole truth. Contractualism lacks the resources required for a fully determinate account of what counts as "reasonable". Broadgeneral rules are important to Kant and are at the center of everyday morality. But can Kantian ethics explain why they have to have this central role? Our evolving social contract now contains elements (e.g. the rejection of racism and sexism) that once would have seemed counter-intuitive to mostpeople. But could consequentialists have predicted with entire confidence the consequences of social changes that we now think were desirable? The last part of this book contains a double argument. One is that ethical theory is employed by humans in a state of semi-ignorance of relevant factors,grasping at likely truths and evolved intuitions. The other is that consequentialist considerations have a major role at the fundamental level, but much more in justification or criticism than in ethical discovery.

About The Author

Joel J. Kupperman is Professor of Philosophy, University of Connecticut, and the author of Classic Asian Philosophy (Oxford, second edition 2006), and Six Myths About the Good Life (2006), among other books.
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Title:Ethics and Qualities of LifeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:206 pages, 6.18 × 9.41 × 0.98 inPublished:April 9, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195308190

ISBN - 13:9780195308198

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Factors in Ethical Judgment: From Atomistic Moral Decision to Goods, Construals, Character, and the Social Implications of Moral Judgments1. Existential Choices and Dislocations2. Construals, Valencing3. The Relevance of Construal and Valencing to Good Choice4. The Importance of Character5. Personal Morality and Its Social Implications6. Steps to TheoryPart II7. The Bases of Ethical Theory8. The Need for a Moral Order9. The Logic of Consequentialism10. Some Difficulties of Consequentialism11. The Evolution of Ethical Theories12. A Modulated Case for the Primacy of Qualities of LifeAppendix: Virtue EthicsIndex