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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

(p.27) 2 Values and Human Nature
Practical Reason in Law and Morality

Neil MacCormick

Oxford University Press

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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