Agent-Centered Morality: An Aristotelian Alternative to by George W. Harris

By George W. Harris

What types of people can we aspire to be, and the way do our aspirations healthy with our rules of rationality? In Agent-Centered Morality, George Harris argues that the majority folks aspire to a undeniable kind of integrity: we want to be respectful of and sympathetic to others, and to be loving mom and dad, acquaintances, and individuals of our groups. opposed to a triumphing Kantian consensus, Harris bargains an Aristotelian view of the issues awarded by means of useful cause, difficulties of integrating all our matters right into a coherent, significant existence in a manner that preserves our integrity. the duty of fixing those difficulties is "the integration test."Systematically addressing the paintings of significant Kantian thinkers, Harris indicates that even the main complicated modern types of the Kantian view fail to combine the entire values that correspond to what we name an ethical lifestyles. by way of demonstrating how the that means of lifestyles and useful cause are internally comparable, he constructs from Aristotle's suggestion a conceptual scheme that effectively integrates all of the features that make a existence significant, with out jeopardizing where of any. Harris's elucidation of this strategy is an important contribution to debates on human organisation, sensible cause, and morality.

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A more plausible answer is that we tried to live with certain expectations of ourselves and others and found that we could not sustain those values over time and maintain the elements of integrity. The burden of self-deception imposed by those expectations and the stress incurred by the attempt to find meaning in them simply would not allow them to retain a central place in our psychology. And this is why they are not and were never practically rational. This is not to say that reflective equilibrium is not an important device of inquiry.

1] My purpose here is to clarify this concept, to show how it defuses some criticisms of Kant, and finally to argue that a clear understanding of regulative norms undermines Kantian claims about the role of [1] . "Principles" is preferred among Kantians instead of "norms," but there are philosophical reasons for the latter. It might turn out that the regulatory work thought to be done by principles is actually done by other kinds of norms. "Norms," then, allows us to employ a philosophically neutral vocabulary.

Indeed, it seems that she is an externalist after all. Ironically, however, this means that she has given up on founding morality on practical reason, which is a requirement of her own theory. ― 43 ― that it is not subject to such testing seems motivated less by a concern for inquiry than by the desire to protect a favored conception against any possible incriminating evidence. And, in this regard, it is difficult not to notice that Kant's metaphysics maps very neatly onto his Christian heritage.

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