The mind of Plato, Jefferson and Hume. Who is right?

…one of the greatest truths in psychology is that the mind is divided into parts that sometimes conflict. To be human is to feel pulled in different directions, and to marvel—sometimes in horror—at your inability to control your own actions. The Roman poet Ovid lived at a time when people thought diseases were caused by imbalances of bile, but he knew enough psychology to have one of his characters lament: “I am dragged along by a strange new force. Desire and reason are pulling in different directions. I see the right way and approve it, but follow the wrong”.

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Moral Universals

“In his great philosophical work An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, David Hume speculated on the universal nature of human morality: “The notion of morals implies some sentiment common to all mankind, which recommends the same object to general approbation, and makes every man, or most men, agree in the same opinion or decision concerning it” Is there a moral sentiment common to all humans? Are there moral universals?

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Justice and Individual Rights

The transition from the negative conception of justice as defined by rules of individual conduct to a ‘positive‘ conception which makes it a duty of ‘society’ to see that individuals have particular things, is often effected by stressing the rights of the individual. It seems that among the younger generation the welfare institutions into which they have been born have engendered a feeling that they have a claim in justice on ‘society’ for the provision of particular things which it is the duty of that society to provide. However strong this feeling may be, its existence does not prove that the claim has anything to do with justice, or that such claims can be satisfied in a free society. Continuar leyendo “Justice and Individual Rights”

El deber de socorro

¿Debemos sacrificarnos por los demás? ¿siempre? ¿cuándo? Esta es una de las preguntas más recurrentes y espinosas de cualquier Ética, y muy en especial en la de corte libertario. Mal entendido, algunos libertarios interpretan que el deber de socorro legal es una violación del principio de no agresión (léase, libertad), dado que se estaría obligando a una persona a realizar una acción que, a priori, no tiene porqué querer hacer.

En este extracto de hoy, una filósofa americana nos expone cuál cree que debería ser el criterio a seguir, si bien no acaba de distinguir del todo bien entre cuándo una conducta es meramente inmoral frente a otra constitutiva de delito. Otro autor defendía esencialmente la misma idea, pero mucho mejor, aquí.

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