Values File

We look to moral theories to give us an account of

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Unformatted text preview: iscussed by Plato in his demand that the philosopher should, after having ascended from the cave and having been illuminated by the God-like brightness of the Form of the Good, return to the cave with his fellow men, who are still struggling with their shadowy existence, and try to help them. His social duty is precisely to return instead of enjoying, egocentrically, the eternal presence of the Form of the Good. The traditional critique against Kant could be formulated by saying that the Kantian moral subject helplessly remains in her unearthly kingdom of ends, which is the very non-human, nominal world of Platonic forms (or, if you prefer, things in themselves). DESIRED ENDS ARE WHAT MAKE DEONTOLOGICAL RIGHTS KEY IN THE 1ST PLACE Michael J. Sandel, Professor of Government at Harvard University, LIBERALISM AND THE LIMITS OF JUSTICE, 1982, p. 4. The overriding importance of justice and rights makes them 'more absolute and imperative' than other claims, but what makes them important in the first place is their service to social utility, their ultimate ground. 'All action is for the sake of some end, and rules of action, it seems natural to suppose, must take their whole character and color from the end to which they are subservient.' 2. MANY SITUATIONS EXIST WHERE WEIGHING THE ENDS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY Samuel Scheffler, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California-Berkeley, CONSEQUENTIALISM AND ITS CRITICS, 1988, p. 249. But do we really cease to understand what is meant by 'a better state of affairs' if the question is raised whether infringing a right or telling a lie or treating a particular individual unfairly might perhaps produce a better state of affairs that failing to do so? I do not think so. Many moral dilemmas take the form of conflicts between considerations of justice, rights, or fairness on the one hand, and considerations of aggregate well-being on the other. And it seems to me quite natural to characterize the dilemmatic feature of a situation of this kind by saying...
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