"Creative Morality" is a philosophical study of moral dilemmas which is designed to heighten our awareness of the ethical systems on which most of us base our moral decisions. Don MacNiven provides a theoretical basis for critical discussion of these systems and contributes to the development of a comprehensive ethical theory which is suitable for contemporary moral problems.
Western moral thought has relied upon two basic ethical perspectives to resolve dilemmas utilitarianism and Kantianism. Don MacNiven argues that no real progress can be made with modern moral problems unless these traditions are coherently synthesized. He examines a diverse range of topics such as academic honesty, confidentiality of medical records, terrorism, experiments with human subjects, euthanasia, bribery and environmental issues.
The book develops a new moral epistemology based on the hypothesis that moral thought is inherently creative rather than mechanical. The hypothetical dilemmas used in the book are based on real life situations, so that theory can be tested against reality. The solutions offered from all perspectives are hypothetical rather than definitive, involving the restructuring of personal and social affairs in ways that adequately express their conflicting values. In order to solve moral dilemmas, MacNiven argues, we need both personal and social growth, which requires creativity in both thought and action.
"Creative Morality" makes an important contribution to the development of a comprehensive ethical theory which can address complex moral problems. It integrates ethical theory and practice in unique ways that will appeal to the general educated reader as well as the professional ethicist.