Leaving Morality Where It Is: Contingency and the Particularistic Approach to Morality
By: Daniel Patrone (author)Hardback
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Debates in moral theory have reached something of a deadlock due entirely to the concept of "contingency." Contingencies are features of the world, some outside ourselves, and some a part of ourselves, over which we lack control. For philosophers who describe the role and value of morality in a secular world, contingency threatens to undermine both the possibility of achieving happiness and the preconditions thought necessary for moral responsibility. In light of all this, there remains persistent debate amongst two especially established and pronounced positions. Kantians have long criticized Aristotelian "eudaimonism" for its failure to secure human happiness. Eudaimonists have, on the other hand, long criticized Kantianism for its inability to give a coherent account of moral responsibility and judgment. The debate surrounding contingency has therefore emerged as something of a litmus test for the acceptability of a moral theory.
Both Kantians and Eudaimonists agree that any attempt to deal with the problems of contingency will force an abandonment of something important in our actual moral commitments and, as a result, the problems of contingency cannot, as Bernard Williams has written, "leave morality where it was." In this original new work Daniel Patrone makes clear the history and implications of this debate. Emerging from out of the deadlock between the Kantian and the Eudaimonist position is the particularist position. Leaving Morality Where It Is describes and thinks through every facet of this debate. It is an indispensable work for philosophers in general and ethicists (of every stripe) in particular.
Daniel Patrone is Instructor in the Philosophy Department at Winona State University
Chapter 1 Contingency and Control: Defining the Problems Chapter 2 Eudaimonia and Aristotle's Method Chapter 3 Kant on the Problem of the Highest Good Chapter 4 The Problem of Contingency and Responsibility Chapter 5 Particularism and the External Problems of Contingency
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