Can't We Make Moral Judgements?
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How many times do we hear the statement 'It's not for me to judge'? It conveys one of the most popular ideas of our time: that to make judgements of others is essentially wrong. In this classic text, the renowned moral philosopher Mary Midgely turns a spotlight on the ever popular stance in society that we should not make moral judgements on others. Guiding the reader through the diverse approaches to this complex subject, she interrogates our strong beliefs about such things as the value of freedom that underlie our scepticism about making moral judgements. She shows how the question of whether or not we can make these judgements must inevitably affect our attitudes not only to the law and its institutions but also to events that occur in our daily lives, and suggests that mistrust of moral judgements may be making life even harder for us than it would be otherwise. The texts and philosophers discussed range from Nietzsche and Sartre to P.D. James and the Bhagavad Gita. The Bloomsbury Revelations edition includes a new preface from the author.
Table of contents:
Preface to the Bloomsbury Revelations edition
Introduction to the first edition
1 Can we base freedom on ignorance?
2 Starting from where we are
3 Why there is trouble over knowledge
4 Scepticisim and liberty
5 Why must we not interfere?
6 The fear of society
7 The public side of morality
8 Individuals in the modern melting-pot
9 Individualism, solitude and privacy
10 Morality and harm
11 Rethinking relativism
12 How large is a culture
13 Varieties of subjectivism
14 The problem of private validity
15 Social darwinist egoism
16 Moving forward through the modern world
17 Doubts, reasonable and otherwise
18 What about values
19 Back to the main question
20 How much have things changed
Index of proper names
Apologia Pro Vita Sua
My Life As Art
The Nazi Dictatorship