Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Against Absolute Goodness$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard Kraut

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844463.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 June 2021

Impersonality: An Ethical Objection to Absolute Goodness

Impersonality: An Ethical Objection to Absolute Goodness

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 14 Impersonality: An Ethical Objection to Absolute Goodness
Source:
Against Absolute Goodness
Author(s):

Richard Kraut

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844463.003.0014

This chapter considers what happens when absolute value points us in one direction but relative value pulls us in the opposite direction—when, for example, there is a conflict between doing what is bad for someone and doing what is assumed to be absolutely good. If absolute goodness is an important reason-giving property, we would expect that sometimes we should do something because it is absolutely good, even though we thereby bring about what is bad for someone. If the goodness (period) of an option we are considering is large enough, it should provide a reason that is sufficiently strong to justify undertaking actions that we recognize to be harmful. But it is doubtful that doing what is bad for someone can be justified in this way—and the explanation is that absolute goodness (and badness) are not genuine reasons.

Keywords:   absolute value, relative value, goodness, badness

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .