Human Interests: or Ethics for Physicalists

Hardcover | May 10, 2014

byJoseph Mendola

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Human Interests develops an ethical theory in the consequentialist tradition, but incorporating contractarian and deontological elements. Joseph Mendola argues that this theory is required by physical reality and the correct metaethics. Innovative features include a focus on group acts and onindeterminacies of morally relevant fact. It has three parts. Part I is an account of our alternatives, of the objects of ethical evaluation. It defends an account of individual alternatives that is rooted in the conditional analysis of ability. It argues that our options incorporate objective ex ante probabilities but not lucky flukes. It develops a relatedconception of social alternatives. And it argues that in reality there is some indeterminacy of alternatives. Part II propounds a way to morally evaluate alternatives. This ethical theory is supported by an account of the meaning of key moral terms. The theory includes an account of individual well-being rooted in actual preference satisfaction, an egalitarian principle for evaluating outcomes that reflectsthe limited comparability of different individuals' good, and a novel form of consequentialism based on group acts. Familiar competitor theories are shown to be either not viable in reality or reconciled in this view. Part III applies the theories of Part I and II to deliver the most crucial commonsense moral judgments, and hence to answer standard objections to consequentialism. It develops accounts of our general deontological obligations not to lie, murder, injure, or steal, of our special obligations, and ofthe moral virtues. And it considers the demandingness of morality.

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Human Interests develops an ethical theory in the consequentialist tradition, but incorporating contractarian and deontological elements. Joseph Mendola argues that this theory is required by physical reality and the correct metaethics. Innovative features include a focus on group acts and onindeterminacies of morally relevant fact. It...

Joseph Mendola is Professor and Chair in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His previous books are Human Thought (Kluwer, 1997), Goodness and Justice (Cambridge, 2006), and Anti-Externalism (Oxford, 2008).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:360 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:May 10, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199682828

ISBN - 13:9780199682829

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionPart I: Alternatives2. The Indeterminacy of Options3. The Conditional Analysis and Modal StabilityPart II: Moral Theory4. Meaning and Morality5. The Road to Desire6. Desire and the Good7. Very Simple Desire8. The Leximin Desire Principle9. MAC210. From the GoodPart III: Applications11. Individual Obligations12. What Morality DemandsBibliographyIndex