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Social Sciences - Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility | Rationality, Virtue, and Liberation - A Post-Dialectical Theory of Value

Rationality, Virtue, and Liberation

A Post-Dialectical Theory of Value

Petro, Stephen

2014, XIII, 327 p. 6 illus.

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  • Analyzes the woefully overlooked philosophical interchange between Gewirth and Habermas on the vital issue of the dialectical method in ethics and value theory
  • Provides a strong and controversial critique of anti-foundationalism so prevalent in contemporary value theory and philosophy
  • Radically revises the concept of rationality and challenges conventional analytic and continental views alike
This book explores the overlooked but vital theoretical relationships between R. M. Hare, Alan Gewirth, and Jürgen Habermas. The author claims their accounts of value, while failing to address classic virtue-theoretical critiques, bear the seeds of a resolution to the ultimate question “What is most valuable?” These dialectical approaches, as claimed, justify a reinterpretation of value and value judgment according to the Carnapian conception of an empirical-linguistic framework or grammar. Through a further synthesis with the work of Philippa Foot and Thomas Magnell, the author shows that “value” would be literally meaningless without four fundamental phenomena which constitute such a framework: Logical Judgment, Conceptual Synthesis, Conceptual Abstraction, and Freedom. As part of the 'grammar of goodness,' the excellence of these phenomena, in a highly concrete way, constitute the essence of the greatest good, as this book explains.  

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Gewirth and Habermas - Post-Dialectical - Post-Dialectical approach - Virtue Ethics - dialectical ethical theories - value theory and philosophy

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility

Table of contents 

Introduction.- Chapter I: Rethinking Rationality; 1.1 The Reconciliation of Ethical Rationalism, Ethical Naturalism, Virtue Ethics, and the Biological and Social Sciences; 1.2: The Failure of Axiological Anti-Foundationalism; 1.3: The Concept of Rationality: Toward a Universal Model.- Chapter II: Rationality and Dialectical Necessity; 2.1: Prescription, Preference, and Dialectical Contingence; 2.2: Developing a Method of Justification; 2.3: A Sound Positive Account, Part I: An Analysis of Gewirth's Ethical Rationalism; 2.4: A Sound Positive Account, Part II: An Analysis of Habermas's Discourse Ethics.- Chapter III: The Dialectical Structure of Value Judgments; 3.1: The Dialectical Structure of "Ought" and "Must"; 3.2: The Dialectical Structure of Rights and Duties.- Chapter IV: Rationality, Virtue, and the Search for Intrinsic Goodness; 4.1: Magnell's Challenge; 4.2: Problems in Searle's Epistemology of Function; 4.3: The Life Framework: The Significance of Foot's Virtue Theory Chapter V: Beyond Dialectical Necessity: Assertoric Necessity and the Grammar of Goodness; 5.1: Reflexive Intrinsicality & The Teleologically Comparative Tendential Necessity of Functions; 5.2: The Summum.- Bonum Conclusion.

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