What is good? How can we know, and how important is it? In this book Richard Kraut, one of our most respected analytical philosophers, reorients these questions around the notion of what causes human beings to flourish - that is, what is good for us. Observing that we can sensibly talk about what is good for plants and animals no less than what is good for people, Kraut advocates a general principle that applies to the entire world of living things.
Richard Kraut is Charles and Emma Morrison Professor in the Humanities at Northwestern University.
Acknowledgments Part I: In Search of Good 1. A Socratic Question 2. Flourishing and Well-Being 3. Mind and Value 4. Utilitarianism 5. Rawls and the Priority of the Right 6. Right, Wrong, Should 7. The Elimination of Moral Rightness 8. Rules and Good 9. Categorical Imperatives 10. Conflicting Interests 11. Whose Good? The Egoist's Answer 12. Whose Good? The Utilitarian's Answer 13. Self-Denial, Self-Love, Universal Concern 14. Pain, Self-Love, and Altruism 15. Agent-Neutrality and Agent-Relativity Part II: Good, Conation, and Pleasure 16. "Good" and "Good for" 17. "Good for" and Advantage 18. "Good that" and "Bad that" 19. Pleasure and Advantage 20. Good for S That P 21. The "for" of "Good for" 22. Plants, Animals, Humans 23. Ross on Human Nature 24. The Perspectival Reading of "Good for" 25. The Conative Approach to Well-Being 26. Abstracting from the Content of Desires and Plans 27. The Faulty Mechanisms of Desire Formation 28. Infants and Adults 29. The Conation of an Ideal Self 30. The Appeal of the Conative Theory 31. Conation Hybridized 32. Strict Hedonism 33. Hedonism Diluted Part III: Prolegomenon to Flourishing 34. Development and Flourishing: The General Theory 35. Development and Flourishing: The Human Case 36. More Examples of What Is Good 37. Appealing to Nature 38. Sensory Un-flourishing 39. Affective Flourishing and Un-flourishing 40. Hobbes on Tranquillity and Restlessness 41. Flourishing and Un-flourishing as a Social Being 42. Cognitive Flourishing and Un-flourishing 43. Sexual Flourishing and Un-flourishing 44. Too Much and Too Little 45. Comparing Lives and Stages of Life 46. Adding Goods: Rawls's Principle of Inclusiveness 47. Art, Science, and Culture 48. Self-Sacrifice 49. The Vanity of Fame 50. The Vanity of Wealth 51. Making Others Worse-Off 52. Virtues and Flourishing 53. The Good of Autonomy 54. What Is Good and Why Part IV: The Sovereignty of Good 55. The Importance of What Is Good for Us 56. Good's Insufficiency 57. Promises 58. Retribution 59. Cosmic Justice 60. Social Justice 61. Pure Antipaternalism 62. Moral Space and Giving Aid 63. Slavery 64. Torture 65. Moral Rightness Revisited 66. Lying 67. Honoring the Dead 68. Meaningless Goals and Symbolic Value 69. Good-Independent Realms of Value 70. Good Thieves and Good Human Beings 71. Final Thoughts Works Cited Index