Values and Human Nature

Neil MacCormick

in Practical Reason in Law and Morality

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780198268772
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191713071 | DOI:

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

 Values and Human Nature

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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

Chapter.  10378 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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