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The Recovery of Purpose

Western Ethical Crisis: Diagnosis and Proposed Remedies

Stephen Theron

This book aims to remedy the breakdown in the intelligibility of ethical theory well charted by MacIntyre and others. This aim is pursued through analyses of the phenomenology of morality, of its relation to our generic nature, of the historical cultural divorce between secularism and inherited spirituality, of ways of overcoming this via renewed understanding of the role of love and benevolence in particular. There follows critical discussion of remedies proposed by J. Finnis and G. Grisez, and by P.T. Geach. The work concludes with a defence of human rights based on the worth of the person, finally buttressed by a defence of the need for an external ethical instance as pledge of society's commitment to the good life.
Contents: Point of Morality in general - Ethics vis a vis biology - Philosophical ethics vis a vis secularist ethics - The test of love - Relating to the religious tradition - Grisez's theory of ethical reason in relation to natural reality and how to recognize the good - Teleology in relation to formal logic - Human rights and personal dignity metaphysically vindicated - The inherent need for a recognized spiritual authority.