A Critique of Freedom and Equality

A Critique of Freedom and Equality

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This book is about the grounds of ethical life, or the nature and basis of our ethical obligations. It contains an original account of these grounds and shows how this understanding requires specific forms of social and political life. Charvet considers the ideas of the freedom and equality of men in the many forms they have taken and shows that there is a radical incoherence underlying them which consists in the failure to integrate in a coherent way the particular and the moral or communal dimensions of individual life. These two dimensions are separated and opposed to each other. In the final section of the book Charvet develops an original account of the grounds of ethical life which satisfactorily integrates these particular and communal elements of individuality. It is designed to show how the moral claims of individuals are grounded in their associated wills in a community and yet how such a conception preserves the separate individuality of the community's members.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139244833
  • 9781139244831

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I: 1. The equal value of individuals as self-determining beings; 2. A preliminary notice of the difficulties; 3. Authenticity; 4. Egoism; 5. The principle of equal value in some contemporary literature; 6. The motivational structure of morality; 7. Hobbesian egoism; 8. Benevolence and sympathy; 9. Rousseau; 10. Rationalism and Kant; 11. Self-interest, morality and the divided self; 12. Utilitarianism; 13. Subordinate ordering principles; 14. The liberal theory of equal freedom; 15. Egalitarianism; 16. The Rawlsian combination; Part II. 17. Hegel; 18. Marx; Part III: 19. The relativity of value; 20. The fundamental moral attitude; 21. The possibility of morality; 22. The moral attitude and the rights of individuals; 23. The right to particular satisfaction or welfare; 24. The standpoint of the whole; 25. Ethical criticism; 26. Subjectivity and objectivity in morals; 27. The unity of the human race; Index.show more