Get From Morality to the End of Reason: An Essay on Rights, PDF

By Ingmar Persson

ISBN-10: 0199676550

ISBN-13: 9780199676552

Many philosophers imagine that if you are morally answerable for a situation, you need to be a reason for it. Ingmar Persson argues that this strand of logic morality is asymmetrical, in that it beneficial properties the act-omission doctrine, based on which there are improved purposes opposed to doing some damaging activities than in favour of appearing any valuable activities. He analyses the act-omission doctrine as consisting in a conception of unfavourable rights, in accordance with which there are rights to not have one's lifestyles, physique, and estate interfered with, and a belief of accountability as being according to causality. This notion of accountability is usually discovered to be keen on the doctrine of double influence. the result of Persson's severe exam of those principles is that purposes of rights are changed by means of purposes of beneficence, and we're made accountable for what's lower than the effect of our useful purposes. The argument offers upward thrust to a symmetrical, consequentialist morality that is extra hard yet much less authoritative than good judgment morality, simply because purposes of beneficence are weaker than purposes of rights. it's also argued that there aren't any non-naturalist exterior functional purposes, and all sensible purposes are desire-dependent: so functional purposes can't be universally binding. The query is whether or not this type of morality possesses adequate authority to command our compliance. This turns out worthy to ensure that us to deal with the best ethical difficulties of our time, corresponding to relief to constructing international locations and anthropogenic weather switch.

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Additional info for From Morality to the End of Reason: An Essay on Rights, Reasons, and Responsibility

Example text

Nor would he automatically have the authority to revoke the legal document that ‘he’ earlier signed. Moreover, his earlier wish that the estates go to the peasants would have the status of the ‘last will’ of his earlier self, and such a will cannot simply be erased as we erase our earlier attitudes when we change our minds. It is part of the point of changing one’s mind that one’s former attitudes no longer count, and Mr Russky would indeed be free to revoke the legal document, barring the arrangement with his wife.

All these facts support there being identity between the younger and the middleaged Mr Russky, so we should not take any breakdown of identity to be the explanation of why he cannot later release his wife from her promise. Consequently, I find the terminology of earlier and later selves confusing rather than clarifying (cf Feinberg, 1986: 83–7). Rather, we find everything that we need to explain the situation in the nature of promises and the content of this particular promise. When you promise, you place yourself under an obligation, and in this case the obligation is about ignoring later requests by the promisee to have the promise the nature of rights 33 annulled, though these requests satisfy the conditions of being autonomous (conditions such as being well-informed, rational, and free from coercion).

For instance, it may be that by torturing one person to death, one could prevent several from being painlessly killed. If this makes the torture to death permissible—and it is harder to deny this, the greater the number of the saved lives gets—it follows that the right not to be tortured to death is not absolute, but has a threshold above which infringement of it would be permissible. But the fact that such a threshold attaches to a right does not imply that there is any right of greater stringency than it, for even if there is no one right more stringent than—or even as stringent as—the right not to be tortured to death, it could still be permissible to torture one person to death in order to prevent millions from suffering the same fate.

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From Morality to the End of Reason: An Essay on Rights, Reasons, and Responsibility by Ingmar Persson

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