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By James R. Otteson

'Actual Ethics' bargains an ethical safeguard of the 'classical liberal' political culture and applies it to numerous of today's vexing ethical and political matters.

James Otteson argues Kantian notion of personhood and an Aristotelian belief of judgment fit or even complementary. He exhibits why they're morally beautiful, and maybe so much controversially, while mixed, they suggest a constrained, classical liberal political country. Otteson then addresses numerous modern difficulties - wealth and poverty, public schooling, animal welfare, and affirmative motion - and indicates how each one could be plausibly addressed in the Kantian, Aristotelian and classical liberal framework.

Written in transparent, attractive, and jargon-free prose, 'Actual Ethics' will provide scholars and normal audiences an summary of a robust and wealthy ethical and political culture that they won't differently give some thought to.

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So if there had been no passerby at all, the child would have drowned; if the passerby was there and did nothing, the child still would have drowned. I suggest that a theory of causation that counts as “causes” actions or events whose presence or absence makes no material difference is not a good theory. Instead, what seems required is a theory of causation by which the only actions or events that count as “causing” something to happen are those for which it is the case that, at a minimum,28 had they not been there or had they not acted the way they did, the event in question would not have happened either.

We might be able to extend benevolence (by extending familiarity), and we can probably find ways to channel natural self-interest so that it maximizes its constructive tendencies and minimizes its destructive tendencies, but it is exceedingly unlikely that we will ever get rid of self-interest or inculcate 19 This principle is accepted by most evolutionary biologists and evolutionary psychologists today, but it was already articulated carefully by Adam Smith in his 1759 Theory of Moral Sentiments (hereafter referred to as TMS).

Schwartz’s full argument is found in his The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. 14 Working Out the Position and sell new pharmaceuticals, operate a business, write symphonies, and publish his blog of witty and incisive political commentary. It does not mean, however, that we should yield to the common injunctions not to be “judgmental” because it hurts people’s feelings. Yes, it can hurt people’s feelings—but sometimes that is exactly what’s required! What the denizens of daytime talk shows say to the contrary notwithstanding, forming and communicating judgments of one another is a crucial and integral part of the process of developing judgment and thus of the fabric of shared moral community.

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