Goodness: Major Contentions    A guide to the major assertions in this section

What Do We Mean by “Good”?     We call all kinds of things good, but they all fall into one of three categories. Utility is easy. How do we isolate and warrant claims to quality or morality?

Is Goodness Real?     Is goodness another term for things we like, an essential quality in a thing that sets it apart from other things, a real thing in itself, or something else?

What Do We Mean by “Morality”?     The most difficult aspect of goodness to define and justify is morality, but what do we look for in a working moral system?

Truth and Goodness Do a Dance   But which gets to lead? Let’s just call it a complicated relationship.

Cultural Consensus   Which culture, what kind of consensus, and whose morality?

The Moral Bullseye   A moral system requires a rational ordering of duties and desires that avoids frustrating contradictions. Why both egotism and altruism fail in that requirement and why a wall between love and justice must be definitive to moral judgment.

The Axioms of Moral Systems  Before we investigate the specific claims of moral systems, we should dig into the assumptions that shape them. In today’s climate, that is a demoralizing prospect.

The Death of Character   Why we resist the language of moral improvement and why we shouldn’t.

Three Moral Systems     Universalist moral systems are all imperfect, but they are superior to absolutist systems reliant on authority for their truth.

Needs Anchor Morality   If you were to invent a moral system, where would you begin? Here’s where.

A Virtue Ethics Primer     An overview of the only universalist system that adequately combines the is and ought of a proper moral theory.

The Problem of Moral Pragmatism     Why the most popular moral outlook is also the most deficient.

The Utility of Furthest Ends    To begin to get from here to there in public morality, we need to reform pragmatism.

A Preface to the Determinism Problem     Laying out the major solutions and implications of a most puzzling dilemma: how can we accept the determinism that makes science possible yet still think of ourselves as free.

The Determinism Problem     A modest attempt to resolve the determinism quandary.

Empathy: A Moral Hazard   Why it is wrong to regard empathy as the foundation of morality


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