Ethics

Ethics is the enterprise of rendering, by way of the universalization of principles of action, that freedom to do evil that is part and parcel of the characteristic human capacity for freedom compatible with the essential vulnerability that also necessarily characterizes all human beings. The need for ethics is founded, then, in the essential vulnerability of all those human beings who have been introduced into the world and it follows from this that ethics would need first of all to demonstrate “meta-ethically” that this introduction of human beings into the world is something that indeed ought to have happened if ethics is to present itself as the genuinely ethical enterprise it must aspire to be. In other words: ethics is initially, and will continue to be, merely affirmative and not (as a philosophical ethics owes itself to be) genuinely probing and radically critical for so long as it merely poses the question of how human beings should live (act) instead of posing the question of whether it is right at all to act in such a way that further vulnerable human beings begin to exist. What is really needed is a “theory of generative action” which questions back behind what is dictated to and stipulated for us by the legacy that Nature has bequeathed us.

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