By Philippa Foot
Ethical Dilemmas is the second one quantity of accrued essays by way of the eminent ethical thinker Philippa Foot, amassing the simplest of her paintings from the overdue Nineteen Seventies to the Nineties. It fills the distance among her well-known 1978 assortment Virtues and Vice (now reissued) and her acclaimed monograph usual Goodness, released in 2001. during this new assortment, Professor Foot develops additional her critique of the dominant moral theories of the final fifty years, and discusses such subject matters because the nature of ethical judgement, functional rationality, and the clash of advantage with hope and self-interest. ethical Dilemmas, along her different books, completes the summation of her exact and lasting contribution to twentieth-century ethical philosophy.
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Ethical Dilemmas is the second one quantity of gathered essays by way of the eminent ethical thinker Philippa Foot, amassing the simplest of her paintings from the past due Seventies to the Nineties. It fills the space among her recognized 1978 assortment Virtues and Vice (now reissued) and her acclaimed monograph traditional Goodness, released in 2001.
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Additional resources for Moral Dilemmas: and other topics in moral philosophy
That special contexts can create special uses of the expressions we are discussing is indeed true. But before we proceed to draw conclusions about moral judgements we should ask why we think that it makes sense to talk about morally good and bad states of affairs, or to say that it is a good thing (or is good that) something happened 'from a moral point of view'. For after all we cannot concoct a meaningful sentence by adding just any qualification of this verbal form to expressions such as these.
But it is of course possible also to count a theory as utilitarian if right action is taken to be that which produces 'good states of affairs', whatever these are supposed to be; and then 'utilitarianism' becomes synonymous with 'consequentialism'. By 'utilitarianism' I shall here mean 'welfare utilitarianism', though it is with consequentialism in one form or another that I shall be most concerned. Although I believe that what is radically wrong with utilitarianism is its consequentialism, what has often seemed to be most wrong with it has been either welfarism or the sum ranking of welfare.
Is it not possible that we should rather declare that the two are incommensurable, so that we have nothing to say about the overall merits of a and b, whether because there is nothing that we can say or because there is no truth of the matter and therefore nothing to be said? The acceptance of incommensurability in morality will of course raise many interesting questions, such as how we recognize it. But incommensurability is not an unfamiliar idea. I think, for instance, of the impossibility of saying in many cases whether one man is happier than another when one lives a quiet and contented life and the other a life that is full of joy and pain.
Moral Dilemmas: and other topics in moral philosophy by Philippa Foot