Ideas from 'Moral Thinking: Its Levels,Method and Point' by Richard M. Hare [1981], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method and Point' by Hare,R.M. [OUP 1982,0-19-824660-9]].

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22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / i. Prescriptivism
Hare says I acquire an agglomeration of preferences by role-reversal, leading to utilitarianism
                        Full Idea: In Hare's theory I apply a "role-reversal test", and then acquire an actual agglomeration of preferences that apply to the hypothetical situation. The result is utilitarianism.
                        From: report of Richard M. Hare (Moral Thinking: Its Levels,Method and Point [1981]) by Bernard Williams - Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy Ch.5
                        A reaction: It hits that traditional stumbling block, of why I should care about the preferences of others. Pure reason and empathy are the options (Kant or Hume). I may, however, lack both.
If we have to want the preferences of the many, we have to abandon our own deeply-held views
                        Full Idea: Hare's version of utilitarianism requires an agent to abandon any deeply held principle or conviction if a large enough aggregate of contrary preferences, of whatever kind, favours a contrary action.
                        From: comment on Richard M. Hare (Moral Thinking: Its Levels,Method and Point [1981]) by Bernard Williams - Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy Ch.5
                        A reaction: This nicely attacks any impersonal moral theory, whether it is based on reason or preferences. But where did my personal ideals come from?
If morality is to be built on identification with the preferences of others, I must agree with their errors
                        Full Idea: If there is to be total identification with others, then if another's preferences are mistaken, the preferences I imagine myself into are equally mistaken, and if 'identification' is the point, they should remain mistaken.
                        From: comment on Richard M. Hare (Moral Thinking: Its Levels,Method and Point [1981]) by Bernard Williams - Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy Ch.5
                        A reaction: Yes. The core of morality must be judgement. Robots can implement universal utilitarian rules, but they could end up promoting persecutions of minorities.
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 8. Contract Strategies
By far the easiest way of seeming upright is to be upright
                        Full Idea: By far the easiest way of seeming upright is to be upright.
                        From: Richard M. Hare (Moral Thinking: Its Levels,Method and Point [1981], Ch.11)
                        A reaction: Yes. This is the route which takes us from enlightened self-interest to a vision of true morality. Virtue is found to be its own reward, thought that is not how we became virtuous to begin with.