European University Institute Library

Morals and consent, contractarian solutions to ethical woes, Malcolm Murray - paper

"How ought we to behave? More importantly, how are we to defend whatever answer we give? Concerning the second question, most people presuppose unsupported metaphysics. In contrast, Morals and Consent grounds our notion of morality in natural evolution, and from that basis, Malcolm Murray shows why contractarianism is a far more viable moral theory than presently credited. The scope of Morals and Consent has two main parts: theory and application. In the theory part, Murray defends contractarianism by appeal to evolutionary game theory and metaethical analyses. The main idea is that we are not going to find morality as an objective fact in the world. Instead, we can understand morality as a reciprocal cooperative trait. From this minimal moral architecture, Murray derives his innovative consent principle. The application of the theory, detailing what contractarians can--or ought to--say about moral matters, takes up the greater percentage of the work. Murray offers a trenchant examination of what moral constraints we can claim concerning death (abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment), sex (pornography, prostitution, and sexual assault), beneficence (toward present and future people, animals, and the environment), and liberty (genetic enhancement, organ sales, and torture). Murray's Morals and Consent is a serious and utterly unique advance in the field of applied ethics. By focussing on the epistemic justification of our moral claims--or the lack thereof--Murray's evolutionary contractarianism fills a welcome niche in the field of applied ethics."--, Provided by publisher
Table Of Contents
The consent principle -- Game theory, evolution, and metaethics -- Contractarian lineage -- Euthanasia : end-of-life choices -- Abortion : fetuses and rights -- The death penalty : killing killers -- Sex trades -- Unwanted sexual offers -- Prejudice and affirmative action -- Duties of beneficence? -- Animals and obligations -- The environment and its future tenants -- Genetic meddling and organ sales -- Terrorism and torture -- Blackmail and imprudence
Literary Form
non fiction
Physical Description
xii, 398 pages, illustrations, 23 cm

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