By Stanley I. Benn

This booklet is an incredible contribution to the examine of the philosophy of motion, ethical philosophy, and political philosophy. Its principal concept is a significantly unorthodox idea of rational motion. such a lot modern Anglo-American philosophers think that motion is inspired through wish. Professor Benn rejects the doctrine and replaces it with a reformulation of Kant's moral and political idea, within which rational motion will be decided just by rules, despite outcomes. The booklet analyzes the way price conflicts should be rationally resolved, the objectivity of worth, the concept that of ethical character, the rules of non-interference and admire of individuals, the beliefs of autonomy and neighborhood and numerous elements of person rights--focusing at the rights to freedom, welfare, and privateness.

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Extra resources for A Theory of Freedom

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As with all theories that understand desires as intentional, the present account is cognitive in the sense that it requires a desirer to be able to identify the object of desire by forming a belief about it. This condition is generally met by human adults; however, it seems inconsistent with our intuition that infants have desires. While we say of a newborn that it wants to be fed, it would be odd to claim that it believes it would enjoy it. Now just because it is implausible to ascribe beliefs to the neonate, it is indeed difficult to make sense of the presumption latent in the common account that the infant desires something - that it has an identifiable object or goal.

14 Williams claims, rightly in my view, that rational beliefs are caused by the reasons which are their grounds. The rationality of a species is constituted (in part at least) by its propensity to believe what there are grounds for believing; that is, a belief which is a reason for holding another belief can also be, for a member of such a species, the cause of his having that second belief. So one requires no special epistemic volitional or conative condition, such as a desire to believe only true propositions, to account for a rational being's having or accepting well-grounded beliefs.

For us they are often conflicts among the principles we see as constitutive of the individual self — matters, as we say, of conscience. The demands of one's social roles may or may not figure among them, but if they do, they figure as one kind of conscience-sanctioned claim alongside others. ) And using the critical thinking of Hare's analysis, one is sometimes bound to inquire whether they are properly there at all, as when someone inquires whether, soldier or no, he really ought to go on shooting people.

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