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Because good must mean good for, Kraut argues, human good finally entails whatever fosters human flourishing, a flourishing that almost everyone can recognize and agree on… Religious-minded readers may protest that Kraut metaphysically impoverishes human goodness when he explicitly rejects immortality.

But many other readers will praise him for enriching contemporary dialogue about fundamental ethical questions. An essential acquisition in social philosophy. His central claim is that all good practical arguments in ethics rest on claims about what is good or bad for someone. Like utilitarianism, Kraut places good at the heart of morality—but without what he regards as its misplaced emphasis on desire satisfaction, quantification, or maximization.

Like Kantianism, Kraut recognizes the importance of considerations of duty and justice—but without what he regards as its failure to ground them in harm and benefit to others. Kraut situates his approach within contemporary discussions of ethical theory, considering, for example, John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, T. Mill, Henry Sidgwick, G. This approach gives his work depth and relevance, though he discusses few in detail. In summary, this volume offers a robust defense of a non-Kantian, nonutilitarian approach to ethics.


Instead, it is based on existent world values. These values all contain similar characteristics that add to our cognitive, social, and physical well-being. Through coherent writing and familiar examples, Kraut does a wonderful job of showing that what is good does not require abstract analysis but can instead be found by combining common sense and rationality. What is Good and Why is a superb work, one that should have long-lasting influence.

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In this way it will increase your awareness. Developing your personal spiritual awareness can enhance society as a whole.

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This book explains why. The cost of living is too high. Learn why the cost of living is so high, why governments compromise, and how the popular corrupts the mind. Review Kraut's account fills a wide gap in the literature. Harvard University Press May 15, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers.

Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Until the last few decades, moral discourse has been dominated by consequentialism and Kantianism. Philosophers,for a while, seemed to have forgotten that there was a third option, virtue ethics, that also deserves exploration. Kraut's book doesn't deal a lot with virtues directly, but it does lay the groundwork for an Aristotlean approach to goodness.

The book does an excellent job of arguing that we should dispense with the intransitive use of the word "good" and instead recognise that statements like "X is good" are short for "X is good for P.

What Is Good and Why — Richard Kraut | Harvard University Press

Kraut argues that what is good for humans is not merely pleasure, as a utilitarian would hold, but flourishing, fulfilling our life potential as human beings. Unfortunately, Kraut can't seem to pin it down any more than that. He defines flourishing in several different ways including "a maturation of powers as a living thing of a certain type.

This book is very thought provoking but it also leaves some key points up in the air.

Richard Kraut asks: What is Good and Why?

A Kid's Review 2. The praise awarded Kraut Northwestern University should be placed in its proper perspective. Richard Kraut, one of the most prominent Aristotelians writing today.

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This exploit is more of a commercial experience rather than a work deserving comparison with Rawls or Nozik. Pleasure plays a key role in his Eudaimonian ideal of ethics, yet the author fails to offer argumentative rigor opting instead to appeal to a pop culture type of logic which ill serves his efforts to incorporate a Platonic strain to a more pure Nicomechean strand of ethics.

The metaethical foundations are absent or on occasions skittishly oversimplified. The valor of a first rate scholar is here diluted, but it works excellent for an intro class to ethics offered to non-majors as an elective or to High School philosophy classes.

It may well be the case that many good points are touched upon but hardly with the depth and exhaustive complexity that is required the topic If you are an arm chair philosopher lacking technical training or seeking a simplified logical overview of ethics this will do the trick To claim it stands as an achievement in philosophical analytical ethics is a gross exaggeration. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. The Ethics of Well-Being. Set up a giveaway. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. The Quality of Life: Aristotle on the Human Good.

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