Purpose in the Universe: The moral and metaphysical case for Ananthropocentric Purposivism

Hardcover | November 22, 2015

byTim Mulgan

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Two familiar worldviews dominate Western philosophy: materialist atheism and the benevolent God of the Abrahamic faiths. Tim Mulgan explores a third way. Ananthropocentric Purposivism claims that there is a cosmic purpose, but human beings are irrelevant to it. Purpose in the Universe developsa philosophical case for Ananthropocentric Purposivism that it is at least as strong as the case for either theism or atheism. The book borrows traditional theist arguments to defend a cosmic purpose. These include cosmological, teleological, ontological, meta-ethical, and mystical arguments. It then borrows traditional atheist arguments to reject a human-centred purpose. These include arguments based on evil, diversity,and the scale of the universe. Mulgan also highlights connections between morality and metaphysics, arguing that evaluative premises play a crucial and underappreciated role in metaphysical debates about the existence of God, and Ananthropocentric Purposivism mutually supports an austereconsequentialist morality based on objective values. He concludes that, by drawing on a range of secular and religious ethical traditions, a non-human-centred cosmic purpose can ground a distinctive human morality. Our moral practices, our view of the moral universe, and our moral theory are alltransformed if we shift from the familiar choice between a universe without meaning and a universe where humans matter to the less self-aggrandising thought that, while it is about something, the universe is not about us.

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Two familiar worldviews dominate Western philosophy: materialist atheism and the benevolent God of the Abrahamic faiths. Tim Mulgan explores a third way. Ananthropocentric Purposivism claims that there is a cosmic purpose, but human beings are irrelevant to it. Purpose in the Universe developsa philosophical case for Ananthropocentric ...

Tim Mulgan is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland, and Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. He was educated at the Universities of Otago and Oxford, and is the author of The Demands of Consequentialism (OUP, 2001), Future People (OUP, 2006), Understanding Utilitarianism (Acumen,...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.16 inPublished:November 22, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199646147

ISBN - 13:9780199646142

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Meta-ethicsPart One: The case against atheism3. Cosmological Arguments4. Teleological Arguments5. Mysticism6. Ontological ArgumentsPart Two: The case against benevolent theism7. Arguments from Scale8. Arguments from Evil9. Religious Diversity10. ImmortalityPart Three: Ananthropocentric Purposivist Morality11. A Dialogue12. Human Well-being13. Ananthropocentric Purposivist Moral TheoryBibliographyIndex