Review of Metaphysics 45 (3):625-627 (1992)

McShea asks what current value theories "authorize us to say, or do, against the child abuser, the racist, the terrorist, the oppressor and the exploiter, the liar and the cheat?" and finds that they provide insufficient grounds for ordinary moral judgments and for social and political criticism. He rejects the standard, "superficial" bifurcated schemes for classifying available positions--deontological versus teleological, Gemeinschaft versus Gesellschaft, classical versus modern, and so on--and claims that "all possible bases for value thinking" fall under one or more of the following five headings: skepticism, individualism, transcendentalism, culturalism, or human nature theory. He rejects skepticism, individualism, transcendentalism, and culturalism, and asserts that "our feelings are the only basis on which we can make value judgments.... There is no conceivable good for us but the maximum satisfaction of our strongest and most enduring feelings". He maintains that our "common genetic feeling pattern" authorizes values and that value theory should "begin with human feelings, with the study of the feelings, with the understanding of feelings not as words but as experiences had similarly by all, or almost all, of us". He defends "traditional human nature theory" as the only account that can ground the prescriptivity of value judgments and provide "an unsentimental, transcultural basis for human solidarity and interpersonal sympathy".
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph199245324
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,163
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Organic Virtue: Reading Mencius with Rousseau.Katrin Froese - 2008 - Asian Philosophy 18 (1):83 – 104.
Naturalism and the Genealogy of Moral Institutions.Mario Brandhorst - 2010 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 40 (1):5-28.
The Biological Base of Morality?Paul R. Lawrence - 2004 - The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics 2004:59-79.
Nomos and Phusis in Democritus and Plato.C. C. W. Taylor - 2007 - Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (2):1-20.
Morality Matters.Roger Trigg - 2005 - Blackwell.
Butler on Virtue, Self Interest, and Human Nature.Ralph Wedgwood - 2007 - In Paul Bloomfield (ed.), Morality and Self-Interest. Oxford University Press.
The Art of Becoming Human: Morality in Kant and Confucius.Katrin Froese - 2008 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (3):257-268.
Hume's Alleged Success Over Hutcheson.Noriaki Iwasa - 2011 - Synthesis Philosophica 26 (2):323-336.
The Chomsky of Morality? [REVIEW]Paul Bloom - 2006 - Nature 443 (26):909-10.


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #608,326 of 2,507,013 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #81,163 of 2,507,013 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes