Chapter

The Transcendence of the Good

Robert Merrihew Adams

in Finite and Infinite Goods

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780195153712
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869381 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195153715.003.0003
The Transcendence of the Good

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This chapter considers how far we should expect beliefs to be confirmed in the same way in ethics as in science, and argues that precisely by setting limits to empirical confirmation in ethics, the thesis of the transcendence of the Good enables theism to provide more adequately than naturalism can for a critical stance that is important to ethics. The Good's transcendence, its surpassing all other good things and all our conceptions of the Good, is understood here in qualitative and positive rather than formal and negative terms, and as supporting an open‐endedness in ideals of human life.

Keywords: empirical confirmation; ethics; ideals; naturalism; the Good; theism; transcendence

Chapter.  18395 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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