Living High and Letting Die
Our Illusion of Innocence
By (author) Peter Unger
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Living High and Letting Die by Peter Unger
Book DescriptionBy contributing a few hundred dollars to a charity like UNICEF, a prosperous person can ensure that fewer poor children die, and that more will live reasonably long, worthwhile lives. Even when knowing this, however, most people send nothing, and almost all of the rest send little. What is the moral status of this behavior? To such common cases of letting die, our untutored response is that, while it is not very good, neither is the conduct wrong. What is the source of this lenient assessment? In this contentious new book, one of our leading philosophers argues that our intuitions about ethical cases are generated not by basic moral values, but by certain distracting psychological dispositions that all too often prevent us from reacting in accord with our commitments. Through a detailed look at how these tendencies operate, Unger shows that, on the good morality that we already accept, the fatally unhelpful behavior is monstrously wrong. By uncovering the eminently sensible ethics that we've already embraced fully, and by confronting us with empirical facts and with easily followed instructions for lessening serious suffering appropriately and effectively, Unger's book points the way to a compassionate new moral philosophy.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195108590
(233mm x 155mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 3-Oct-1996
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Peter Unger
Empty Ideas, Hardback (August 2014)
During the middle of the twentieth century, philosophers generally agreed that, by contrast with science, philosophy should offer no substantial thoughts about the general nature of concrete reality. Instead, philosophers offered conceptual truths. It is widely assumed that, since 1970, things have changed greatly.
All the Power in the World, Paperback (November 2007)
In this book, Unger attacks the commonly held idea that some qualities exist apart from the physical world and are more a matter of our perception, such as colours. Instead Unger argues that these qualities should be reconsidered as fundamentally physical. He then uses this idea to reengage the basic issues of metaphysics.
Philosophical Papers, Hardback (March 2006)
While well-known for his longer book-length work, philosopher Peter Unger's shorter articles have, until now, been less accessible. Collected in two volumes, Philosophical Papers includes articles spanning over 40 years of Unger's long and fruitful career. Volume two focuses on Unger's important work in metaphysics.
Philosophical Papers: Volume One, Hardback (March 2006)» View all books by Peter Unger
Collected in two volumes, this work includes articles spanning over 40 years of philosopher Peter Unger's long career. Dividing the articles thematically, this first volume collects work in epistemology and ethics, among other topics, while the second volume focuses on metaphysics.
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Author Biography - Peter Unger
Peter Unger is Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is the author of Ignorance (OUP 1975, 2002), Philosophical Relativity (1984, OUP 2002), and Identity, Consciousness, and Value (OUP 1990).
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