Moral Writings (British Moral Philosophers) - download pdf or read online

By H. A. Prichard

ISBN-10: 0199250197

ISBN-13: 9780199250196

This is often the definitive number of the moral paintings of the nice Oxford ethical thinker H. A. Prichard (1871-1947). Prichard is legendary for his moral intuitionism: he argued that ethical legal responsibility can't be decreased to the rest, yet is perceived via direct instinct. The essays formerly incorporated within the posthumous assortment ethical legal responsibility at the moment are augmented by way of a variety of formerly unpublished writings from Prichard's manuscripts, taking into consideration the 1st time a whole view of his targeted contribution to ethical philosophy, at simply the time while intuitionism is having fun with a revival of curiosity.

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Its essence is contained in a short paragraph. Having pointed out that a human being obviously has a disinterested interest in the good of others, he goes on to say: 'The conception of a moral law, in its strict philosophical form, is no doubt an analogical adaptation of the notion of law in the more primary sense—the notion of it as a command enforced by a political superior, or by some power to which obedience is habitually rendered by those to whom the command is addressed. But there is an idea which equally underlies the conception both of moral duty and legal right; which is prior, so to speak, to the distinction between them; which must have been at work in the minds of men before they could be capable of recognizing any kind of action as one that ought to be done, whether because it is enjoined by law or authoritative custom, or because, though not thus enjoined, a man owes it to himself or to his neighbour or to God.

The general moral is obvious. Certain arguments, which would ordinarily be referred to as arguments designed to prove that doing what is right will be for the good of the agent, turn out to be attempts to prove that the actions which in ordinary life we think right will be for the good of the agent. There is really no need to consider in detail whether these arguments are successful; for even if they are successful, they will do nothing to prove what they are intended to prove, viz. that the moral convictions of our ordinary life are true.

E. really the doctrine that, to stimulate a man into doing some action, it is not merely insufficient but even useless to convince him that he is morally bound to do it, and that, instead, we have to appeal to his desire to become better off. Now we are apt to smile in a superior way when in reading Mill we find him taking for granted that morality needs a sanction, but we cannot afford to do so when we find Butler, and still more when we find Plato, really doing the same thing. Moreover when Plato and Butler maintain the doctrine that lies at the back of this conviction, viz.

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Moral Writings (British Moral Philosophers) by H. A. Prichard

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