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Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame
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Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  33 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In a clear and elegant style, T. M. Scanlon reframes current philosophical debates as he explores the moral permissibility of an action. Permissibility may seem to depend on the agent's reasons for performing an action. For example, there seems to be an important moral difference between tactical bombing and a campaign by terrorists--even if the same number of non-combatan ...more
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Belknap Press
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Ryan Soucy
Mar 12, 2012 Ryan Soucy rated it really liked it
I'd like to start this review by considering some comments which others have made in regard to this book. Some either find (1) the first two or three chapters to be unclear, but find the chapter on blame to be extremely illuminating and redeeming, or (2) find the chapter on blame somewhat superficial and the treatment of the Doctrine of the Double Effect in the first section to be well examined.

I think there is a clear reason for both of these attitudes which are related. First, I'll examine (1)
Nov 29, 2008 Mitch rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: laura
Scanlon has improved his prose since What We Owe To Each Other. It is clearer and is very much part of an ongoing dialogue from seminars with the likes of Judith Thompson. As I read it I can feel the energy in my brain and gut reignite.
Bryan Kibbe
Jun 29, 2011 Bryan Kibbe rated it really liked it
Initially, I was discouraged by this book. I found Scanlon's discussion to be interesting but awkward at times in the first half of the book. However, by the book's midpoint, when Scanlon turned to his account of blame, I began to really enjoy it. In the latter half of the book, Scanlon advances a fascinating and well articulated account of blame that I found immensely helpful in developing and clarifying my own thinking on the subject. Without trying to offer a summary here, it will suffice to ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
Double effect is back in mainstream discussion, at last! While I applaud the effort to understand this principle, I think that Scanlon's treatment of it is, in the end, shallow. In large part this is because he seems to misunderstand what double effect is. It's hard to tell, actually, because his characterization of the principle lends itself to several competing interpretations, which leaves the reader with the difficult and unpleasant work of trying to figure out what the author is committed t ...more
Nov 05, 2008 Marjanne rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anyone interested in philosophy
Honestly, this really is a good book if you like uber-academic writing and philosophy. The premise of the book is interesting, but I just couldn't get through it. I felt like I was missing half of what was being said, even though what I could follow really made a lot of sense and was interesting. The fact that I couldn't even make myself finish it is primarily why I gave it a low rating. I am sure that someone out there will probably get a lot out of this book and really enjoy the discussion.
Oct 28, 2008 laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, favorites
the chapter on blame changed my whole conception of ethics, and made a new sense of the way that i live and the way i think one ought to live. i don't know what more i can say for a book in ethics.
Dec 14, 2008 Jana is currently reading it
Interesting take on blame as only coherent in a relational framework. Very readable, incisive, and insightful. Once I finish it I'll have more brilliant comments.
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