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The ethical project

Author: Philip Kitcher
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Principles of right and wrong guide the lives of almost all human beings, but we often see them as external to ourselves, outside our own control. In a revolutionary approach to the problems of moral philosophy, Philip Kitcher makes a provocative proposal: Instead of conceiving ethical commands as divine revelations or as the discoveries of brilliant thinkers, we should see our ethical practices as evolving over  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Philip Kitcher
ISBN: 9780674061446 0674061446 9780674284289 0674284283
OCLC Number: 694172149
Description: ix, 422 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction : The shape of things to come ; Methodological preliminaries --
An analytical history : The springs of sympathy : Psychological altruism: basics ; The varieties of altruistic reactions ; Some dimensions of altruism ; Maternal concern ; Broader forms of altruism? ; Possibilities of evolutionary explanation ; The coalition game --
Normative guidance : The limits of altruism ; Following orders ; Punishment ; Conscience ; Social embedding --
Experiments of living : From there to here ; Cultural competition ; The unseen enforcer ; Some dots to be connected ; Divisions of labor ; Roles, rules, and institutions ; Altruism expanded --
One thing after another? : Mere change? ; Three ancient examples ; Second-sex citizens ; Repudiating chattel slavery ; The withering of vice ; The divine commander --
II. A metaethical perspective : Troubles with truth : Taking stock ; Prima facie problems ; Truth, realism and constructivism ; The sources of the troubles --
Possibilities of progress : The centrality of ethical progress ; Generalizations from history ; Problems, functions and progress ; Modes of refinement ; Functional generation ; Local and global progress ; Ethical truth revisited ; Residual concerns --
Naturalistic fallacies? : Hume's challenge ; Authority undermined? ; Troublesome characters ; Settling disputes --
III. A normative stance : Progress, equality, and the good : Two visions of normative ethics ; Dynamic consequentialism ; Failures and successes ; From the local community to the human population ; Equality and the good life ; Population size ; Aspects of the good life --
Method in ethics : Varieties of ethical change ; Method and the good ; Mutual engagement ; Ethical debate ; Dissent and the limits of tolerance ; The challenger revisited --
Renewing the project : Philosophical midwifery ; Scarce resources ; Habits and their limits ; Conflicting roles ; Ethically insulated spheres ; Maintaining equality ; The challenges of technology --
Conclusion : Summing up.
Responsibility: Philip Kitcher.

Abstract:

Instead of conceiving ethical commands as divine revelations or as the discoveries of brilliant thinkers, we should see our ethical practices as evolving over tens of thousands of years, as members  Read more...

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[A] valuable contribution to contemporary theological thought. I recommend [it]. -- James Wood New Yorker 20111216 Kitcher elaborates a comprehensive vision of the evolution of human morality...For Read more...

 
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