Freedom and Value

Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy

Book 21
Springer Science & Business Media
Free sample

Freedom of the sort implicated in acting freely or with free will is important to the truth of different sorts of moral judgment, such as judgments of moral responsibility and those of moral obligation. Little thought, however, has been invested into whether appraisals of good or evil presuppose free will. This important topic has not commanded the attention it deserves owing to what is perhaps a prevalent assumption that freedom leaves judgments concerning good and evil largely unaffected. The central aim of this book is to dispute this assumption by arguing for the relevance of free will to the truth of two sorts of such judgment: welfare-ranking judgments or judgments of personal well-being (when is one's life intrinsically good for the one who lives it?), and world-ranking judgments (when is a possible world intrinsically better than another?). The book also examines free will’s impact on the truth of such judgments for central issues in moral obligation and in the free will debate. This book should be of interest to those working on intrinsic value, personal well-being, moral obligation, and free will.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Oct 24, 2008
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Pages
204
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ISBN
9781402090776
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Modern
Philosophy / Metaphysics
Philosophy / Mind & Body
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The view that persons are entitled to respect because of their moral agency is commonplace in contemporary moral theory. What exactly this respect entails, however, is far less uncontroversial. In this book, Van der Rijt argues powerfully that this respect for persons’ moral agency must also encompass respect for their subjective moral judgments – even when these judgments can be shown to be fundamentally flawed.

Van der Rijt scrutinises the role persons’ subjective moral judgments play within the context of coercion and domination. His fresh, original analysis of Kant’s third formulation of the Categorical Imperative reveals how these judgments are intimately connected to a person’s dignity. The result is an insightful new account of coercion, a novel Kantian reformulation of the republican notion of non-domination and a compelling, innovative argument in favour of retributive justice.

"In this admirably clear and insightful work, Van der Rijt develops an original account of coercion and dignity. On the basis of his analysis of the relation between these two concepts, he also provides an intriguing new angle on the nature of republicanism. I recommend this book to anyone interested in freedom and power and their roles in normative political theory."

Ian Carter - University of Pavia

"In this carefully argued and original study Jan-Willem van der Rijt offers an analysis of coercion, a broadly Kantian argument that coercion is an affront to dignity, and an illuminating contrast with Philip Pettit's republicanism. A most welcome contribution."

Thomas E. Hill, Jr. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Jan-Willem van der Rijt has written a well argued, original book that will prove to be extremely helpful for the philosophical inquiry of the relationship between coercion and human dignity as well as for the assessment of republicanism and its consequences."

Ralf Stoecker - University of Potsdam

The central idea developed by the contributions to this book is that the split between analytic philosophy and phenomenology - perhaps the most impor tant schism in twentieth-century philosophy - resulted from a radicalization of reciprocal partialities. Both schools of thought share, in fact, the same cultural background and their same initial stimulus in the thought of Franz Brentano. And one outcome of the subsequent rift between them was the oblivion into which the figure and thought of Brentano have fallen. The first step to take in remedying this split is to return to Brentano and to reconstruct the 'map' of Brent ani sm. The second task (which has been addressed by this book) is to revive inter est in the theoretical complexity of Brentano' s thought and of his pupils and to revitalize those aspects that have been neglected by subsequent debate within the various movements of Brentanian inspiration. We have accordingly decided to organize the book into two introductory es says followed by two sections (Parts 1 and 2) which systematically examine Brentano's thought and that of his followers. The two introductory essays re construct the reasons for the 'invisibility', so to speak, of Brentano and set out of his philosophical doctrine. Part 1 of the book then ex the essential features amines six of Brentano's most outstanding pupils (Marty, Stumpf, Meinong, Ehrenfels, Husserl and Twardowski). Part 2 contains nine essays concentrating on the principal topics addressed by the Brentanians.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • People • NPR • The Washington Post • Slate • Harper’s Bazaar • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly • BookPage

Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Books for a Better Life Award in Inspirational Memoir

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.
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