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Practical Reason in Law and Morality$
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Neil MacCormick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198268772

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268772.001.0001

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Values and Human Nature

Values and Human Nature

Chapter:
(p.27) 2 Values and Human Nature
Source:
Practical Reason in Law and Morality
Author(s):

Neil MacCormick

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268772.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the good, that is, what is of value and what it means to ‘have value’. Topics discussed include humanity and animality, other-regarding reasons and sympathy, ideals, and choice. The chapter argues that good reasoning about what it is good to do, both in individual decision-making and in collective (e.g., governmental) decision-making has a quantitative element. One should be able to produce some summary statement of the values that guide one's action. It has a probabilistic element, to the extent that one always has to calculate the likelihood that steps taken in pursuit of a certain goal will actually achieve it.

Keywords:   reasons, value, humanity, good

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