Ideals and Constraints in Moral Theory
By (author) Catherine Wilson
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Moral Animals by Catherine Wilson
Book DescriptionIn Moral Animals Catherine Wilson develops a theory of morality based on two fundamental premises: first that moral progress implies the evolution of moral ideals involving restraint and sacrifice; second that human beings are outfitted by nature with selfish motivations, intentions, and ambitions that place constraints on what morality can demand of them. Normative claims, she goes on to show, can be understood as projective hypotheses concerning the conduct of realistically-described nonideal agents in preferred fictional worlds. Such claims differ from empirical hypotheses, insofar as they cannot be verified by observation and experiment. Yet many, though not all, moral claims are susceptible of confirmation to the extent that they command the agreement of well-informed inquirers. With this foundation in place, Wilson turns to a defence of egalitarianism intended to address the objection that the importance of our non-moral projects, our natural acquisitiveness and partiality, and our meritocratic commitments render social equality a mere abstract ideal. Employing the basic notion of a symmetrical division of the co-operative surplus, she argues that social justice with respect to global disparities in well-being, and in the condition of women relative to men, depends on the relinquishment of natural and acquired advantage that is central to the concept of morality.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199228096
(233mm x 155mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 28-Jun-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Catherine Wilson
Epicureanism: A Very Short Introduction, Paperback (December 2015)
This Very Short Introduction corrects the prevalent view of Epicureanism that often conjures up ideas of tasty delights and hedonism. Wilson explains the philosophical and scientific ideas of Epicurus and his followers and the legacy of Epicureanism on later European thought.
Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe, Paperback (May 2013)
A team of leading scholars survey the development of philosophy in the period of extraordinary intellectual change from the mid-16th century to the early 18th century. They cover metaphysics and natural philosophy; the mind, the passions, and aesthetics; epistemology, logic, mathematics, and language; ethics and political philosophy; and religion.
Epicureanism at the Origins of Modernity, Paperback (November 2010)
This engaging and richly documented book examines the Scientific Revolution and the formation of the canon of early modern philosophy in light of the rediscovery and reworking of the materialistic philosophy of the ancient atomists, Epicurus and Lucretius. It is written equally for philosophers and historians.
Moral Animals, Hardback (July 2004)» View all books by Catherine Wilson
Offers a different approach to moral theory. Drawing on anthropology, sociology, and evolutionary theory, as well as philosophy of language and philosophy of science, this book shows how to understand and reconcile our moral aspirations for a just world, with the constraints human nature places on us.
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