Authors
Larry Temkin
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
This article aims to convey a few of the key claims and arguments ofmy book, Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of PracticalReasoning. The article gives an example of a Spectrum Argument, andillustrates that such arguments put pressure on the Axiom of Transitivity,which holds that for any three possible outcomes or alternatives, A, B, andC, if, all things considered, A is better than B, and B is better than C, then Ais better than C. The article distinguishes between two different approachesto understanding the goodness of outcomes, the Internal Aspects View andthe Essentially Comparative View. It suggests that two deeply plausible, butseemingly incompatible, positions underlying the Spectrum Argument,an Additive-Aggregationist Position, and an Anti-Additive-AggregationistPosition, reflect the Essentially Comparative View, and that on such aview they are not incompatible. The article introduces several widely-heldviews about neutrality and dominance principles, and shows that some ofthese views are incompatible. The article contends that various ideals orviews that people care about are most plausibly understood as essentiallycomparative, and notes that one such view, a Narrow Person-Affecting View,will be especially difficult to reject in at least some cases. It also illustrateshow such a view, like other essentially comparative views, threatens theAxiom of Transitivity. The article concludes by contending that we mustseriously rethink our understanding of the good, moral ideals, and thenature of practical reasoning, while recognizing that the way forward ismurky, at best
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References found in this work BETA

Intransitivity and the Mere Addition Paradox.Larry S. Temkin - 1987 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 16 (2):138-187.

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Citations of this work BETA

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