Download PDF by John Wilson (auth.): A Preface to Morality

By John Wilson (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333439929

ISBN-13: 9780333439920

ISBN-10: 1349189340

ISBN-13: 9781349189342

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The concept of 'a good scientist' would thus break down into a number of constituent parts. Just as philosophers have not paid much attention to categorising morality, so they have not paid much attention to possible sub-categories. That, however, turns out to be comparatively harmless, because there is no very effective way in which such categories can be kept distinct. This is ultimately because the virtues have to be regarded as aspects of a single attitude towards life and the world, and the vices all boil down to, or at least relate to, the failure to adopt this attitude wholeheartedly: a thesis which I hope will become clearer as this book proceeds.

Of these (a) and (b) are (comparatively) manageable. g. all Christians) ought to; or that no one at all ought to. Different reasons might be given for these: perhaps, in the first two cases, to do with personal integrity or the betrayal of some ideal to which a class of people subscribed. ) in a sense disconnected from the idea of an overriding guide to action - as people commonly say, there are things that 'ideally' one ought not to do, or which though the lesser of two evils are still evils; or it might turn out that he uses 'ought' as an overriding call to action (or refraining from action).

51); because the processes of practical thought take up 'psychological room', and 'there is no reason at all to believe, for many dispositions of the kind that it is desirable to have in the world, that they can retain their position and significance and yet systematically make way, whenever required to, for the deliverances of utilitarian thought' (pp. 52-3). It is, actually, rather hard to saycertainly at this level of generality- just what dispositions would survive adherence to a thoroughgoing utilitarian doctrine; and if someone were to say that (for instance) some saintly person who devoted his life to famine relief, or medicine, or some other enterprise which utilitarianism seemed to demand of him (because 'Absolutism' and 'Consequentialism' 43 that was where he could do most good) could not be 'generous, affectionate, forceful, resolute, creative and actually happy', one would wonder what sense he attributed to those terms.

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A Preface to Morality by John Wilson (auth.)


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