Morals by Agreement
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Morals by Agreement

4.02 (43 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In this book the author argues that moral principles are principles of rational choice. According to the usual view of choice, a rational person selects what is likely to give the greatest expectation of value or utility. But in many situations, if each person chooses in this way, everyone will be worse off than need be. Instead, Professor Gauthier proposes a principle whereby choice is made on an agreed basis of co-operation, rather than according to what would
give the individual the greatest expectation of value. He shows that such a principle not only ensures mutual benefit and fairness, thus satisfying the standards of morality, but also that each person may actually expect greater utility by adhering to morality, even though the choice did not have
that end primarily in view. In resolving what may appear to be a paradox, the author establishes morals on the firm foundation of reason.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 139 x 216 x 23mm | 527g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0198249926
  • 9780198249924
  • 87,400

Back cover copy

In this book the author argues that moral principles are principles of rational choice. According to the usual view of choice, a rational person selects what is likely to give the greatest expectation of value or utility.
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Review quote

One of the clearest, most rigorous, and most original attempts to provide a rational foundation for morality in the history of moral philosophy....Promises to become one of the seminal works of twentieth-century moral philosophy. * International Studies in Philosophy *
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Rating details

43 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 30% (13)
4 49% (21)
3 14% (6)
2 7% (3)
1 0% (0)
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