Download e-book for iPad: Actual Ethics by James R. Otteson

By James R. Otteson

A safeguard of the 'classical liberal' political culture, utilized to contemporary ethical and political matters.

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But still he does no positive hurt to any body. He only does not do that good which in propriety he ought to have done. He is the object of hatred, a passion which is naturally excited by impropriety of sentiment and behaviour; not of resentment, a passion which is never properly called forth but by actions which tend to do real and positive hurt to some particular persons. His want of gratitude, therefore, cannot be punished. To oblige him by force to perform what in gratitude he ought to perform, and what every impartial spectator would approve of him for performing, would, if possible, be still more improper than his neglecting to perform it.

But in practice it is impossible for it to know how much of any drug is right for you, when you should take a drug and when not, how long you should take a drug, and so on. There is no single rule for all people in such cases; what is good for any individual can only be guessed, let alone known, on the basis of detailed knowledge of the individual in question. You have a bad cough: should you take a codeine-based cough suppressant? How much? Perhaps you are allergic and should take something else; or perhaps this is exactly what you need, but you have a naturally high tolerance to it and so require higher than average doses.

34 Working Out the Position of us will have to figure it out for ourselves, perhaps with the aid of our personal physician, nutritionist, or trainer. Even with the help of such experts, however, we will make frequent mistakes. 33 Much of your life will hence be constituted by successive experiments to see what works for you. These experiments will yield results that can direct your future action. If you are a person of good judgment, you will tend to use the results to direct your future action; if you are a person of poor judgment, you will tend not to pay attention to the results and either keep trying things out anew or trying things that have already proved unsuccessful.

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Actual Ethics by James R. Otteson


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