9781412813402

Moral Obligations: Action, Intention, and Valuation

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781412813402

  • ISBN10:

    1412813409

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2010-06-30
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

There are many ways of writing about the moral life; Moral Obligations follows the way of what philosophers call "meta-ethics": the analysis, not of particular moral problems, but of how the concepts used in formulating and solving them, concepts like "right" and "obligatory," have significance and power over us. The meta-ethical part of this book is preceded by a discussion of action, in which Wren lays the foundations for the argument that moral obligation is a part of the formal structure of human agency.Wren�s argument is practical and social-psychological: it is to help all, starting with those who are already committed to some version of the ethic of individual dignity, to promote interagency fellowship and peace as a result of seeing a certain truth, namely, the truth that the urgency of their feelings of moral obligation derives from a unspoken intention to belong to a community of agents.Moral Obligations begins with the philosophy of action, and then it reviews the historical debate about the nature of obligation and its social context. This is followed by a section about action in general: it establishes the standpoint of the agent and makes an inventory of several species of action. Later chapters summarize the foregoing themes, with emphasis on the unspoken side of intention, and develop them in conjunction with an analysis of the hypothetical imperative. The work closes with a discussion of the dilemma of membership in competing moral communities.Thomas E. Wren is professor of philosophy and assistant chair of the department at Loyola University, Chicago. He is the author or editor of multiple books, including Caring About Morality, The Moral Domain, and The Personal Universe.

Author Biography

Thomas E. Wren is professor of philosophy and assistant chair of the department at Loyola University, Chicago. He is the author or editor of multiple books, including Caring About Morality, The Moral Domain, and The Personal Universe.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction to the Transaction Editionp. 1
Actionp. 7
The Standpoint of the Agentp. 7
The Primacy of Actionp. 12
Self and Otherp. 17
A Taxonomy of Actionp. 20
Transitive, Intransitive, and Static Actionsp. 24
Intentionp. 31
The Descriptions of an Actionp. 31
Levels of Intentionp. 37
The Tacit Side of Intentionp. 43
The Vertical, Forward, and Lateral Dimensionsp. 47
Valuationp. 51
The Greek Debatep. 51
Medieval Conceptions of Valuep. 56
The Naturalistic Fallacyp. 60
Prescriptivismp. 64
Descriptivismp. 69
Obligationp. 77
Three Preparatory Distinctionsp. 77
Moral Urgency and Other Oughtsp. 83
Why Be Moral?p. 92
The Necessity of Interagencyp. 98
The Moral Communityp. 105
The Rightness of Rulesp. 105
Self-Imposed Heteronomyp. 108
Three Conceptions of Harmonyp. 113
The Moral Domainp. 123
The Modelp. 124
Applied Geometryp. 125
Some Ongoing Discussions of Moral Agencyp. 127
Indexp. 137
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