The Golden Rule


in The Ideal of a Rational Morality

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780198250210
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681264 | DOI:
The Golden Rule

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This chapter argues that the Golden Rule does not require anyone to do for another what he thinks he would want himself to do if he were that other. Such an interpretation makes it equivalent to its Inversion. What the Golden Rule requires is that everyone ought to act in his relations with others on the same standards or principles that he would have them apply in their treatment of him, taking account of and respecting, but not necessarily acceding to, their wishes and desires. This is the most that anyone can reasonably ask, but nothing less will suffice. Naturally, the Golden Rule by itself does not unambiguously and definitely determine just what these ‘standards or principles’ should be, but it does something towards determining this, and it is not necessary that it do everything.

Keywords: Golden Rule; principle of reversibility; actions; principles

Chapter.  15301 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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