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Afterword:

The Limits of Ethics: On Free Will and Blame

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2022

Patrick Colm Hogan
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut
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Summary

Since half of this book is devoted to advocating a particular ethical attitude, readers might reasonably conclude that the author feels ethical evaluation is a very good thing. In fact, I believe it is often (though not invariably) good when aimed at one’s own actions, but almost always a fairly bad thing when aimed at other people’s actions. To make matters worse, we appear to have a greater inclination toward the latter than toward the former. This brief afterword turns from descriptive and normative ethics to a third form of ethical study, metaethics. In it, I summarize arguments bearing on the very idea of free will, maintaining that it is a plausible notion only from a first-person perspective on a necessarily incompletely described world. That view of free will entails that, in general, ethical blame should be very narrowly restricted to the first-person perspective. Indeed, with regard even to oneself, it is confined to the present and future.

Type
Chapter
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Literature and Moral Feeling
A Cognitive Poetics of Ethics, Narrative, and Empathy
, pp. 260 - 271
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Afterword:
  • Patrick Colm Hogan, University of Connecticut
  • Book: Literature and Moral Feeling
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009169509.010
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  • Afterword:
  • Patrick Colm Hogan, University of Connecticut
  • Book: Literature and Moral Feeling
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009169509.010
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Afterword:
  • Patrick Colm Hogan, University of Connecticut
  • Book: Literature and Moral Feeling
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009169509.010
Available formats
×