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Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Volume 8: Ethics: The Good and the Right [Hardcover]

By Mario Bunge (Author)
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Item description for Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Volume 8: Ethics: The Good and the Right by Mario Bunge...

Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Volume 8: Ethics: The Good and the Right by Mario Bunge

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Springer
Pages   448
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 6.4" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.7 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 31, 1989
Publisher   Springer
ISBN  9027728399  
ISBN13  9789027728395  

Availability  104 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 09:54.
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More About Mario Bunge

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mario Bunge is professor in the philosophy department at McGill University in Montreal and holds sixteen honorary doctorates and four honorary professorships. His works include Treatise on Basic Philosophy in eight volumes, Philosophy of Psychology, Scientific Materialism, Social Science under Debate, and Philosophy of Science (revised edition, Transaction).

Mario Bunge currently resides in Montreal, Quebec. Mario Bunge was born in 1919.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Philosophy
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Political
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Methodology
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Social Theory

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Reviews - What do customers think about Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Volume 8: Ethics: The Good and the Right?

Refreshingly clear and straightforward  Jan 2, 2009

This is eight and last part of Bunge's Treatise on Basic Philosophy. This book can be read separately. All used concepts are fully defined in this book, with pointers into previous Treatise books for the interested reader. The main thread in this book is Bunge's own Normative Ethical theory. As he moulds and applies his theory he contrasts it with alternative approaches that have been used and are used by other philosophers. As being more a system builder than a man of consilience his critique of other ideas is both harsh and refreshing. Bunge's Ethical theory is neither built upon one single existing Ethical theory, nor an attempt to combine existing ethics (such as Parfit is trying in Climbing the Mountain, unpublished). Instead he goes his own way and builds his own unique system. Compared to most other books in this genre, the author is very explicit in his system building. He defines his concepts clearly in a scientific manner; postulates and theorems are posted and proved, and norms are set. If you find some other books on ethics obscure, you will find this book refreshingly clear and straightforward. The writing style is compact and has a good flaw.

Some appetizers:
Bunge gladly jumps into the naturalistic fallacy of G.E Moore (Principia Ethica, 1903) by defining good in terms of values which in turn are defined from needs/wants.

There are moral truths.
Moral facts are for real. Moral facts are social.
Hume's is-ought gap can be crossed.
Metaethical maxim (agathonism): Enjoy life and help live (enjoyable lives)
Summum bonum: the survival of humankind ought to be the supreme good of all human beings.

It is possible and desirable to construct a moral theory such that the following conditions are met.
1. Realism: adjustment to the basic needs and legitimate aspirations of people placed in concrete social situations
2. Social utility: inspire prosocial conduct and progressive social polices, as well as to discourage the antisocial ones.
3. Flexibility: adaptability to new personal and social circumstances
4. Equity: decrease social inequalities
5. Compatibility with best available knowledge of human nature and society.

Moral rights and moral duties are both needed.
Rights implies duties.

A critique of existing ethical theories (this is from chapter 7):
Egoistic ethical theories:
Nihilism (is personally and socially destructible)
Rational egoism (unrealistic, impractical, immoral)
Libertarianism (thin on duties: only duty is to respect other people's rights, overlooks solidarity, mutual help, and participation, without which no social group is viable)
Contractualism (admits duties but scientifically untenable, practically unrealistic, and morally hollow; Rawls is not a genuine contractualist)
Negative Utilitarianism (a form of egoism, no moral content)

Altruistic ethical theories:
Natural law (universalistic and egalitarian but scientifically untenable)
Kant/deontological (some admirable principles: worldliness, altruism, universalism, and egalitarianism; but short on rights, places rules above people, and has too few substantive principles)
Utilitarianism (deficient rather than basically wrong, morally and politically uncommitted, no value theory, no notion of aggregate social utility, no moral code)

Here is a brief oversimplified sketch of the base of Bunge's system. It covers parts of the first two chapters in the book. It applies to humans.
Three sources of value: biological, psychological, social
Needs are defined as follows:
Primary needs: necessary to stay alive.
Secondary needs: necessary to regain health.
Basic needs: primary or secondary needs

Define legitimate want: can be met without hindering any basic need of another person and without endangering the society.

Define values:
1) primary value: contributing to satisfy at least one primary need
2) secondary value: contributing to meeting at least one secondary need
3) tertiary value: contributing to meeting at least one legitimate want
4) quaternary value: contributing to meeting a fancy; i.e a desire that is not a legitimate want
5) basic value: either primary or secondary value

Define good: object that has a primary, secondary, tertiary, or quaternary value

Define state of wellbeing: all basic needs are met.

Define reasonable happy: in a state of wellbeing and free to pursue legitimate wants

1) Miserable society: lacks resources to meet basic needs of all its members
2) Poor society: can meet basic needs but not legitimate wants of all its members
3) Rich society: meet all legitimate wants and basic needs for all its members

Define just society: every member can attain wellbeing or even reasonably happiness without others suffering from it.

Table of contents:
Part I Values
Chapter 1, Root of Values
Chapter 2, Welfare
Chapter 3, Value theory

Part II Mortals
Chapter 4, Roots of morals
Chapter 5 Morality changes
Chapter 6, Some Moral issues

Part III Ethics
Chapter 7, Types of Ethical Theory
Chapter 8, Ethics Et Alia
Chapter 9, Metaethics

Part IV Action Theory
Chapter 10, Action
Chapter 11, Social Philosophy
Chapter 12, Values and Morals for a viable Future


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