Review of Metaphysics 49 (1):139-140 (1995)

Is the Golden Rule a fundamental principle of morals? Robert Hannaford believes it is. On his interpretation, the Rule requires that we "consider our actions from the perspective of those affected and respond with concern to meet each other's needs". There are two main parts to this injunction. First, one is asked to imagine oneself in the place of those affected by one's actions. The act of imagining is supposed to alter one's intentions in such a way that one becomes impartial, prepared to "universalize" one's behavior. However, universalizing alone does not ensure moral goodness, since an agent could will that everyone alike be treated badly, for example, disdainfully. Hence the second main part of the Rule as Hannaford sees it: one must treat others with concern.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1995491115
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