Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Anon (Dan), Nelson Goodman and Will Kymlicka

unexpand these ideas     |    start again     |     choose another area for these philosophers

display all the ideas for this combination of philosophers

4 ideas

23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / c. Particularism
Maybe the particularist moral thought of women is better than the impartial public thinking of men [Kymlicka]
     Full Idea: There is a significant strand of contemporary feminism which argues that we should take seriously women's different morality. ...The particularistic thought women employ is a better morality than the impartial thought men employ in the public sphere.
     From: Will Kymlicka (Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn) [1990], 7.3)
     A reaction: I had taken Particularism to be an offshoot of virtue theory, as promulgated by Jonathan Dancy. Evidently the influence of feminism is strong. Personally I think the world would be a better place if it was run by women.
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is not a decision-procedure; choice of the best procedure is an open question [Kymlicka]
     Full Idea: Utilitarianism is essentially a 'standard of rightness', not a 'decision-procedure'. ...It is an open question whether we should employ a utilitarian decision-procedure - indeed, this question itself is to be answered by examining its consequences.
     From: Will Kymlicka (Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn) [1990], 2.3.b)
     A reaction: The point is that the aim is to maximise happiness, and you might do that by just maximising baked bean consumption, and not even thinking about happiness. This idea is labelled 'indirect utilitarianism'. Happiness does seem to be a by-product.
One view says start with equality, and infer equal weight to interests, and hence maximum utility [Kymlicka]
     Full Idea: The first main argument for utilitarianism is that people matter equally, and hence each person's interests should be given equal weight, and hence morally right acts will maximise utility.
     From: Will Kymlicka (Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn) [1990], 2.4.a)
     A reaction: The point is that this starts from the aim of equality, and infers maximum utility as its consequence. Equality has a primitive value. Whenever you dig down to a primitive value in a theory, I just find myself puzzled. What can justify basic equality?
A second view says start with maximising the good, implying aggregation, and hence equality [Kymlicka]
     Full Idea: The second main argument for utilitarianism defines the right in terms of maximising the good, which leads to the utilitarian aggregation standard, which as a mere consequence treats people's interests equally.
     From: Will Kymlicka (Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn) [1990], 2.4.b)
     A reaction: This takes maximum good as a primitive, and arrives at equality as the way to achieve it. So which is more morally fundamental, a maximum of goodness, or human equality? Kymlicka says this idea is too impersonal.