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Human Morality - Samuel Scheffler

Paperback

Published: 1st July 1993
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Some people believe that the demands of morality coincide with the requirements of an enlightened self-interest. Others believe that morality is diametrically opposed to considerations of self-interest. This book argues that there is another position, intermediate between these extremes, which makes better sense of the totality of our moral thought and practice. Scheffler elaborates this position via an examination of morality's content, scope, authority, and deliberative role. Although conflicts between morality and self-interest do arise, according to this position, nevertheless morality is fundamentally a reasonable and humane phenomenon. Moreover, the psychological bases of effective moral motivation have sources deep within the self, and morally motivated individuals try to shape their own interests so as to avoid conflict with morality. Since human practices and institutions help to determine the prevalence of these motives, and since in this and other ways they influence the degree to which conflicts between morality and self-interest actually occur, the extent of such conflict is not fixed or immutable, and is in part a social and political issue.

"Superb! Clear and accessible."--Chris Slupik, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh "An immensely rich book....The book is extremely careful, resourceful, and reasonable. It is essential reading for everyone interested in ethics."--Mind "This book shows us what shape a humane morality might take. The author does not shrink from noticing the zest with which humans regularly inflict pain and suffering on each other. Yet he resolutely holds out the hope for a form of life that is at once recognizably human and better than we have had. In its thoughtfulness and concern, this is a humane and admirable work."--Journal of Philosophy "This concise, clear, and careful book raises a wide range of important issues about the relations between morality and self-interest. Scheffler raises old debates to a new level of precision and presents positions and arguments that are original, important, and persuasive.... A major contribution to ethics, and I recommend it strongly. Future discussions of all of these issues cannot ignore and should be improved by Scheffler's distinctions, arguments, and insights."--Philosophical Books "Interesting, erudite, and very wide ranging."--Times Higher Education Supplement "Superb! Clear and accessible."--Chris Slupik, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh "An immensely rich book....The book is extremely careful, resourceful, and reasonable. It is essential reading for everyone interested in ethics."--Mind "This book shows us what shape a humane morality might take. The author does not shrink from noticing the zest with which humans regularly inflict pain and suffering on each other. Yet he resolutely holds out the hope for a form of life that is at once recognizably human and better than we have had. In its thoughtfulness and concern, this is a humane and admirable work."--Journal of Philosophy "This concise, clear, and careful book raises a wide range of important issues about the relations between morality and self-interest. Scheffler raises old debates to a new level of precision and presents positions and arguments that are original, important, and persuasive.... A major contribution to ethics, and I recommend it strongly. Future discussions of all of these issues cannot ignore and should be improved by Scheffler's distinctions, arguments, and insights."--Philosophical Books "Interesting, erudite, and very wide ranging."--Times Higher Education Supplement "Tightly argued, intelligent, and thoughtful, this book deserves to be in all academic library collections of ethical theory."--Choice "The book reaches the right conclusions on the central questions it poses. It is also full of wise and helpful observations and discussions of incidental issues, and it excels in demonstrating the interconnections among a variety of issues." --Michigan Law Review "A major contribution in this area, and deserves serious attention....The clarity and rigour with which he undertakes this treatment is one of the great strengths of the book, bringing much-needed precision in mapping and landscape of this difficult terrain....A fine book that makes an invigorating and important contribution to ethics. The overriding impression is that this is moral philosophy at its best: sincere and reasonable in tone, carefully argued, and informed not only by wide knowledge of the philosophical debates but by a rare sensitivity to moral psychology and a sympathetic understanding of human nature."--Heythrop Journal "Scheffler outlines a convincing and sensible defense of morality and moral theory."--The Philosophical Review

Introductory Themesp. 3
Morality's Demands and Their Limits: Competing Viewsp. 17
Assessment, Deliberation, and Theoryp. 29
Overridingness, Human Correctness, and Motivational Naturalismp. 52
Reason, Psychology, and the authority of Moralityp. 73
Purity and Humanityp. 98
The Case for Moderationp. 115
Morality, Politics, and the Selfp. 133
Indexp. 147
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195085648
ISBN-10: 0195085647
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 160
Published: 1st July 1993
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.78 x 14.0  x 1.02
Weight (kg): 0.19