Value And The Good Life by Thomas L. Carson

Value And The Good Life

byThomas L. Carson

Paperback | September 1, 2000

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For as long as humans have pondered philosophical issues, they have contemplated "the good life". Yet most suggestions about how to live a good life rest on assumptions about what the good life actually is. Thomas Carson here confronts that question from a fresh perspective. Surveying the history of philosophy, he addresses first-order questions about what is good and bad as well as metaethical questions concerning value judgments.

Carson considers a number of established viewpoints concerning the good life. He offers a new critique of Mill's and Sidgwick's classic arguments for the hedonistic theory of value, employing thought experiments that invite us to clarify our preferences by choosing between different kinds of lives. He also assesses the desire- or preference-satisfaction theory of value in detail and takes a fresh look at both Nietzsche's Ubermensch ideal and Aristotle's theory of the good life.

In exploring foundational questions, Carson observes that many established theories rest on undefended assumptions about the truth of moral realism. Arguing against this stand, he defends the view that "good" means "desirable" and presents a divine-preference version of the desire-satisfaction theory. In this he contends that, if there exists a kind and omniscient God who created the universe, then what is good or bad is determined by His preferences; if such a God does not exist, what is good or bad depends on what we as rational humans desire.

Value and the Good Life is the only book that defends a divine-preference theory of value as opposed to a divine-command theory of right and wrong. It offers a masterfully constructed argument in answer to an age-old question and willstimulate all who seek to know what the good life truly is.

About The Author

Thomas L. Carson is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and is also the author of Lying and Deception: Theory and Practice (2010).
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Details & Specs

Title:Value And The Good LifeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:September 1, 2000Publisher:University Of Notre Dame PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0268043531

ISBN - 13:9780268043537

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“Thomas Carson’s Value and the Good Life is a clear, well-written, wide-ranging essay on the theory of value. It is among the best defenses of a rational desire/preference theory of the good.  Even those not inclined to accept such theories will profit from reading Carson’s discussion. . . . I think that readers interested in the realism/anti-realism debate in ethics or in the value theories of Nietzsche or Aristotle will also learn much from it.” —Business Ethics Quarterly