Robert Myers presents an original moral theory which charts a course between the extremes of consequentialism and contractualism. He puts forward a radically new case for the existence of both agent-neutral and agent-relative values, and gives an innovative answer to the question how such disparate values can be weighed against each other. Practical judgement is shown to be guided in this by two very different ideals: an ideal of cooperation, which is held to shape
the content of morality's demands, and one of self-governance, which is held to determine the nature of reason's requirements. Examination of the ideal of cooperation reveals that principles of impartial beneficence and rights protecting individual freedoms are equally fundamental to morality.
Examination of the ideal of self-governance reveals that morality's dictates, though not necessarily overriding, are always in an important sense inescapable. The result is a theory of morality which combines a balanced account of its content with a ringing affirmation of its authority.
`This is a book which offers a clear line of argument. Myers is upfront about what needs to be the case for his line of argument to work. This is a great virtue. It will facilitate the debate that is sure to be generated.'
Australian Journal of Philosophy, vol.79, no 2
`This is a thought provoking book that should appeal to anyone who shares the concerns about reconciling impartial beneficence, prerogatives, and restrictions. Those well-versed with Samuel Scheffler and Thomas Nagel's work will be particularly interested since Myers addresses their ideas at some length ... should appeal to philosophers interested in accounts of reasons for action and links between morality's demands and reason's requirements'
Mind, Vol.110, No.439
Introduction: Two Problems in Moral Philosophy
1: Misgivings about Consequentialism and Contractualism
2: Cooperating to Promote the Good
3: Initial Counter-Arguments Supporting Value Monism
4: Self-Governance and Value Dualism
Conclusion: Implications for the Question of Morality's Authority