Self-Governance and Cooperation

Self-Governance and Cooperation

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Robert Myers presents an original moral theory which charts a course between the extremes of consequentialism and contractualism. He puts forward a radically new case for the existence of both agent-neutral and agent-relative values, and gives an innovative answer to the question how such disparate values can be weighed against each other. Practical judgement is shown to be guided in this by two very different ideals: an ideal of cooperation, which is held to shape the content of morality's demands, and one of self-governance, which is held to determine the nature of reason's requirements. Examination of the ideal of cooperation reveals that principles of impartial beneficence and rights protecting individual freedoms are equally fundamental to morality. Examination of the ideal of self-governance reveals that morality's dictates, though not necessarily overriding, are always in an important sense inescapable. The result is a theory of morality which combines a balanced account of its content with a ringing affirmation of its authority.For example, if one of my goals is to avoid paying taxes, and if I believe that I can avoid paying the taxes I owe on part of my income by neglecting to declare it, then I have a motive that could explain my failure to declare my full income.

Title:Self-Governance and Cooperation
Author:Robert H. Myers
Publisher:Oxford University Press on Demand - 2003-04-03


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