Whatever Happened to Good and Evil?

Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? Since September Many People In The United States Have Been Inclined To Use The Language Of Good And Evil, And To Be Comfortable With The Idea That Certain Moral Standards Are Objective True Independently Of What Anyone Happens To Think Of Them Some People, Especially Those Who Are Not Religious, Are Not Sure How To Substantiate This View Whatever Happened To Good And Evil Provides A Basis For Exploring These Doubts And Ultimately Defends The Objectivity Of Ethics Engaging And Accessible, It Is The First Introduction To Meta Ethics Written Especially For Students And General Readers With No Philosophical Background Focusing On The Issues At The Foundation Of Morality, It Poses Such Questions As How Can We Know What Is Right And Wrong Does Ethical Objectivity Require God Why Should I Be Moral Where Do Moral Standards Come From What Is A Moral Value, And How Can It Exist In A Scientific World Do Cultural Diversity And Persistent Moral Disagreement Support Moral Skepticism Writing In A Clear And Lively Style And Employing Many Examples To Illustrate Theoretical Arguments, Russ Shafer Landau Identifies The Many Weaknesses In Contemporary Moral Skepticism And Devotes Considerable Attention To Presenting, And Critiquing, The Most Difficult Objections To His View Also Included In The Book Are A Helpful Summary Of All The Major Arguments Covered, As Well As A Glossary Of Key Philosophical Terms Whatever Happened To Good And Evil Is Ideal For A Variety Of Philosophy Courses And Compelling Reading For Anyone Interested In Ethics

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? book, this is one of the most wanted Russ Shafer-Landau author readers around the world.

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  • Paperback
  • 150 pages
  • Whatever Happened to Good and Evil?
  • Russ Shafer-Landau
  • English
  • 10 June 2018
  • 9780195168730

10 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Good and Evil?

  1. says:

    A very good short introduction of metaethics The book is centred around the debate between moral objectivism and nihilism, subjectivism, and relativism, and defend the former I find the discussion of the divine command theory and the last few chapters a bit hasty.

  2. says:

    This is a good little 150 pages introduction to moral realism of the non naturalist stripe Since the book is so short, and of an introductory nature, the arguments in the chapters are somewhat weak Shafer Landau s weakest chapter is his argument for why morality doesn t need God in any way His best is his chapter against a moral skepticism towards moral realism.Perhaps Shafer landau feels justified in being dogmatic at points, and in offering less than convincing arguments against his interlocutors, because he defends the subjects in the book in greater length, and in a much detailed and rigorous fashion in his Moral Realism A Defense Shafer Landau wets the appetite in Whatever Happened to Good and Evil, though For example, he offers a sneak peak at his novel approach to justifying moral beliefs by appeal to reliabilism though he ll need to add proper function here, but then he may not be able to avoid theism He also offers another sneak peak into his view that one s moral principles necessarily motivate, and beliefs alone are insufficient to motivate desires, or other subjective states, must be included , so morality cannot be objective, by denying the premise that one s morality necessarily motivates him to action.His argument against ethics and God is to ask a question He asks, Why think morals need a lawgiver when you don t think any of the other laws in the universe, e.g., gravity, need a lawgiver However, and quite apart from the various responses and moves theists can make here, I m not sure I wouldn t say that his question involves another argument for God s existence Many theists think precisely what Shafer Landau thinks is just obviously absurd, i.e., that law other than ethical ones do not require a lawgiver For example, one might read what John Foster says in his Divine Lawmaker as a counter to the assumption Shafer Landau takes as an obvious defeater.Those familiar with the basics the subject s of Shafer Landau s book should skip this book and read his other book listed above Those new to this discussion would profit from reading the book under review.

  3. says:

    Metaethics is that branch of philosophy that concerns ethical theories and their convergence with issues in epistemology, ontology, semantics, and psychology This book by Shafer Landau is an introduction aimed at the beginner As such, a good understanding of the book requires no previous philosophical training from the reader There are few technical notions that occur in the book, but those that do are highlighted, contextually explained, and further explicated in the helpful glossary at the end of the book Additionally, Shafer Landau includes an appendix in which the arguments of each section are presented synoptically in a conventional premise to conclusion form, with a summary of the problems associated with the argument in question This book, while an introduction, is not a typical survey consisting of a presentation of the central topics, with arguments pro and con rather, Shafer Landau uses this introduction as a means to argue for the objectivity of morals This is but one among many important issues in contemporary metaethics although, it certainly is one of the most important In so doing, he makes no excuses for the insertion of his own philosophical view on the subject indeed, his project is to make a case for a non naturalized account of moral realism Throughout the book, he makes a case for moral objectivity, all the while considering various counter arguments and objections to moral objectivism For this reason, the reader is given an excellent analysis of metaethical concepts, but also that sense of seeing philosophy being done before your eyes While Shafer Landau uses this introduction to make an argument for his own philosophical views, it is uncharitable to accuse him of being opinionated or biased He argues for his claims that is, he provides good reasons for the claims he makes and he thinks they are persuasive reasons This is what you do when you think you have the right answer or something that approximates a right answer , or at least a plausibly better answer than your predecessors and peers It is not opinionated to present an argument for something that you take to be the case As such, this book is refreshing in that it avoids the often sterile, inauthentic approach of many who present each position objectively with for and against arguments Instead, Shafer Landau thinks he has a good case for a certain view, so he presents a good argument for that view All the while, the reader enjoys the benefits of being informed by a very competent and fair minded philosopher People have this wrong headed idea that you cannot both argue for a particular view and introduce readers to the general topic of which your view concerns Shafer Landau takes great pains to walk the reader through the various arguments and objections of each section, and then summarizes what has been achieved and how it relates to preceding sections His explanations are clear, the arguments precise and succinct, and the analysis is chock full of interesting and important problems for and against moral objectivism Having said all that, let s not forget that this is an introduction As such, the arguments are as precise as one can hope for in an introduction I think he could have said a bit , for instance, about why moral objectivity can be invoked without having to invoke God I think his argument is just fine, but some Christian theists can be truculent on this point, and they ll scramble for every bit of Quinn, Mavrodes, Alston, and Bob Adams they can find to keep God in the picture But herein lies one major weakness in Shafer Landau s account He presents the theist as having to hold to a law maker framework This is easily dispatched with the typical Euthyphro Dilemma counter argument But he does nothing to show that the theist who grounds ethics in God s nature, rather than in God s will, is at all affected by the law maker account See Adams Finite and Infinite Goods , Alston, What Euthyphro Should Have Said as starters The only reason I don t give this book 5 stars is that, insofar as this book is a development for, and defense of, a certain metaethical stance, the content is a bit limited in breadth But I suppose you can t have it both ways Either way, Shafer Landau does little to engage the views of other contemporary metaethical theorists Instead, the few references he does make to other philosophers are typically historical figures, Hume for instance One definite downside to this book is that no further reading list is provided of supplementary and related materials So, if you want to read metaethics, you ll have to get a reading list from somewhere else, cuz it ain t here Substantively, this book covers a lot of good information that will most certainly disabuse the reader of vague conceptions, fallacious arguments, and incomplete notions about a number of issues A careful reading of this book will give the reader a strong sense of how to argue about various issues concerning moral objectivism the reader will be able to coherently speak about what it means to say that there is right and wrong, good and bad in the world, and that such qualities are independent of our own thoughts and values I recommend this book for anyone with an interest in ethics, especially those who want a metaphysical account ethics, anyone who wants to understand the various claims surrounding the objectivity of morals, and those who think that morality cannot be objective apart from God as its foundation.

  4. says:

    His reconstructions are a little awkward to parse at first That s about it for now.

  5. says:

    Had surprisingly glib dismissal of divine command theory and lacked fair response to the Euthyphro dilemma.

  6. says:

    It s Halloween Wanna hear something scary There may be absolutely no objective standard of moral right and wrong Good and evil might be entirely subjective, or merely a social convention, or might even shudder be entirely meaningless and only trick or treating in the costume of meaningful concepts.The status of moral statements, like the idea of free will, is under a philosophical cloud Most everyone believes in their heart of hearts that they have free will, but when you look up close at the philosophical arguments for and against it, it looks wildly implausible Similarly, when people argue about moral values, they almost always are arguing against a background assumption that some values are just plain right not conventionally right, not mere opinions or exhortations, but facts But this too looks very implausible on close examination.In Whatever Happened to Good and Evil Russ Shafer Landau tries to rescue moral objectivism the idea that certain moral judgements are indeed objectively correct or incorrect, always and everywhere, and independently of who utters them or what culture they come from from a variety of forms of moral skepticism nihilism the idea that moral judgements are meaningless or refer to nothing at all , moral relativism the idea that moral rules are social conventions, like the rules of grammar or of baseball , and moral subjectivism the idea that moral judgements are personal evaluations, like disgust or erotic attraction, and are only true or false to the extent that they are sincere or insincere.Shafer Landau does this in a peculiar way Rather than trying to make an affirmative case for moral objectivism, he instead tries to demolish the case for the following two propositions 1 Some form of moral skepticism has been logically proven.2 Any form of moral objectivism can be logically disproven.This form of logical argument, though, at best only demonstrates that moral objectivism remains logically possible it doesn t actually make a case for it being true Though Shafer Landau has written a larger book, Moral Realism A Defence, that may make this case I don t know So in part one, he describes a number of arguments for moral skepticism and shows that they each have weaknesses that make them unable to successfully win the day And in part two, he looks at various take downs of moral objectivism and shows that they don t succeed in leaving moral objectivism without a logical escape route.He does a pretty good job in part two, though I m not convinced that he has successfully attacked the best versions of the best of such arguments Part one, though, is a complete mess Many of his arguments there mostly reduce to this argument for moral skepticism must be incorrect because it leads to conclusions that are incompatible with moral objectivism in other words, assuming what he means to prove.Moral objectivism is reassuring, intuitive, and allows ordinary moral discourse to have a point I often find myself wishing it were true I m pretty sure, though, that it s incorrect, and after reading this careful defense from a convinced believer, I m sure than before.

  7. says:

    Shafer Landau offers a brief defence of a non naturalist form of moral realism The book is divided into three parts In the first part Shafer Landau discusses some very broad forms of moral skepticism subjectivism, relativism, nihilism non cognitivism error theory and concludes that they face insurmountable difficulties In his view, these positions can t account for moral progress and moral disagreement, and they cannot provide a solid ground for tolerance Is Shafer Landau begging the question I think he is.The second part is much better Here, Shafer Landau offers positive arguments for moral realism One of the interesting ones is his argument regarding epistemic facts According to him, epistemic facts those that tell you what you ought to do when you re aiming towards truth are normative and fall outside the domain of empirical investigation a.k.a science Moral facts are similar to epistemic facts and we can make sense of both This entails that scientific discourse does not provide a complete and respectable ontology ,and, consequently, naturalism is false The third part consists of a short discussion on the possibility of moral knowledge As many of you will have already guessed, Shafer Landau thinks that moral knowledge is very much within our capacities and is entirely a priori similar to mathematical knowledge Is the book good It s not bad It s a very opinionated introductory text on metaethical questions It is humorous, easy to read, and covers most of the very basic ground It s also great if you want your naive relativist friend to shut up However, it is not recommended if a you re looking for an introduction that s balanced and b you have a fair understanding of the topic.

  8. says:

    This is a short and sweet summary of meta ethics and an argument for the status of moral claims being objective It s not a very complex text but it s introductory, so that is to be expected Shafer Landau is very good at elucidating ethical issues He helpfully diagrams the major arguments for and against moral skepticism, which is helpful to understand where things go wrong because for an argument to be wrong either the premises must be incorrect or the logic must be invalid I also enjoyed the few pages appealing to philosophical knowledge being real That s comforting, as a philosophy student and life long philosopher.

  9. says:

    Poor argument, curricular, founded in biased self evident nonsense.

  10. says:

    Very introductory but the chapters are very short and will be a great textbook for my intro class.

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