Trade-offs, Transitivity, and Temkin

Trade-offs, Transitivity, and Temkin In this essay I critically assess Larry S. Temkin’s new book, Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning . While I find that there is much to praise about this work, I focus on two points of critique. Generally, Temkin’s aims in this book are to expose a radical tension in our beliefs about value, and to show that one potentially palatable (if not ultimately acceptable) option is to reject the transitivity of the predicate “better than”. However, I argue that in both his motivation for claiming that such a tension exists, and one of his arguments that transitivity is a palatable option, his discussion is missing a crucial step: a first-order discussion of the relationship between intrinsic values; both personal welfare goods and impersonal goods (such as equality, overall utility, etc.). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Moral Philosophy Brill

Trade-offs, Transitivity, and Temkin

Journal of Moral Philosophy, Volume 12 (3): 331 – Jun 26, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Review Article
ISSN
1740-4681
eISSN
1745-5243
D.O.I.
10.1163/17455243-01203001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this essay I critically assess Larry S. Temkin’s new book, Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning . While I find that there is much to praise about this work, I focus on two points of critique. Generally, Temkin’s aims in this book are to expose a radical tension in our beliefs about value, and to show that one potentially palatable (if not ultimately acceptable) option is to reject the transitivity of the predicate “better than”. However, I argue that in both his motivation for claiming that such a tension exists, and one of his arguments that transitivity is a palatable option, his discussion is missing a crucial step: a first-order discussion of the relationship between intrinsic values; both personal welfare goods and impersonal goods (such as equality, overall utility, etc.).

Journal

Journal of Moral PhilosophyBrill

Published: Jun 26, 2015

Keywords: intrinsic value; transitivity; welfare; trade-offs

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