New Philosopher

Seeing the good

After reading moral philosophy for a while, you may come to suspect that being a moral philosopher must be utterly exhausting. Not just because reading and writing philosophy is hard work, but because it seems that even in their downtime philosophers are constantly having to perform complex feats of ethical calculation. Even worse, it seems that philosophers think life is like this for everyone else too – as if we’re forever running into decisions that demand we stop and compare our options against whichever moral principles we reflectively endorse. Only then, after performing these painstaking computations of right and wrong, duty and utility, can we act. It’s tiring just thinking about it.

The 20th century British philosopher Stephen Toulmin imagines

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