Much discussion of morality presupposes that moral judgments are always, at bottom, arbitrary. Moral scepticism, or at least moral relativism, has become common currency among the liberally educated. This remains the case even while political crises become intractable, and it is increasingly apparent that the scope of public policy formulated with no reference to moral justification is extremely limited.
The thesis of On Justifying Moral Judgments insists, on the contrary, that rigorous justifications are possible for moral judgments. Crucially, Becker argues for the coordination of the three main approaches to moral theory: axiology, deontology, and agent morality. A pluralistic account of the concept of value is expounded, and a solution to the problem of ultimate justification is suggested. Analyses of valuation, evaluation, the ‘is-ought’ issue, and the concepts of obligation, responsibility and the good person are all incorporated into the main line of argument.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introduction 2. Axiology, Deontology and Agent Morality 3. Values and Justification Procedure 4. Five Types of Valuation 5. More on Valuation 6. Evaluation 7. Grounding Value Judgment 8. Grounding Value Judgments (continued) 9. Matters of Moral Concern 10. Grounding Deontic Judgments 11. Three Issues Concerning the Arguments so far 1 2. Why Be Moral? 13. The Concept of Responsibility 14. Responsible Agency 15. Avoiding the Free Will Issue 16. Justifying Attributions of Responsibility 17. Justifying Sanctions 18. Justifying Ascriptions of Responsibility 19. Agent Morality: The Concepts of Justice and a Good Man 20. Concluding Remarks; Index
Lawrence C. Becker