ISBN : 9780198809685
Colin Marshall offers a ground-up defense of objective morality, in which the central role is played by compassion. Compassion is taken to be our capacity to perceive other creatures' pains, pleasures, and desires. Non-compassionate people are therefore perceptually lacking, regardless of how much factual knowledge they might have. Marshall argues that people with this form of compassion thereby fit a familiar paradigm of moral goodness. Part of this argument is the identification of an epistemic good which Marshall dubs being in touch. To be in touch with some property of a thing requires experiencing it in a way that reveals that property - that is, experiencing it as it is in itself. Only compassion, Marshall argues, lets us be in touch with others' motivational mental properties. Compassionate Moral Realism offers a new answer to the question Why be moral?, which has been a central philosophical concern since Plato.
PART 1: THE CORE ARGUMENT
1 Why be Moral? and Epistemic Goods
2 Locke and Compassion
3 Being in Touch
4 Compassion and Being in Touch
PART 2: AN ANSWER TO WHY BE MORAL?
5 Beyond the Present
6 Pleasure and Desires
7 Combination and Comparison
8 The Scope of Compassion and Impartiality
9 The Hardest Cases
10 So what?
PART 3: MORAL REALISM
11 Criteria for Moral Realism
12 The Truth that Pain is Bad
13 Representing and Caring that Pain is Bad
14 Knowing that Pain is Bad
15 Summary and Prospects for Extension
Appendix A: Affect and Well-Functioning Agents
Appendix B: Body and Mind
Appendix C: The Content of Pain