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Ideas of John Kekes, by Text

[American, fl. 1993, Professor at New York State University.]

1997 Against Liberalism
Pref p.-3 Liberal justice ignores desert, which is the essence of justice
01,2 p.5 Liberal welfare focuses on need rather than desert
01.2 p.5 Liberal distribution cares more about recipients than donors
01.2 p.5 Liberal basics are pluralism, freedom, rights, equality, and distributive justice - for autonomy
01.4 p.14 Are egalitarians too coercive, or not egalitarian enough, or lax over morality?
01.5 p.15 The key liberal values are explained by the one core value, which is autonomy
01.5 p.21 Liberals say we are only responsible for fully autonomous actions
02.1 p.26 Much human evil is not autonomous, so moral responsibility need not be autonomous
02.2 p.29 Evil is not deviation from the good, any more than good is a deviation from evil
02.4 p.33 Evil people may not be autonomously aware, if they misjudge the situation
02.5 p.39 Liberals assume people are naturally free, equal, rational, and morally good
02.5 p.43 Why do liberals not see a much wider range of values as basic?
03.2 p.50 Agents have little control over the capacities needed for liberal autonomy
03.2 p.50 Moral and causal responsibility are not clearly distinct
03.3 p.52 Ought implies can means moral responsibility needs autonomy
03.3 p.56 Morality should aim to prevent all evil actions, not just autonomous ones
03.3 p.56 Why should moral responsibility depend on autonomy, rather than social role or experience?
03.4 p.61 What matters for morality is the effects of action, not the psychological causes
03.5 p.63 Effects show the existence of moral responsibility, and mental states show the degree
03.5 p.68 It is said that if an agent is not autonomous then their evil actions don't reflect on their character
04 p.69 Collective responsibility conflicts with responsibility's requirement of authonomy
04.3 p.77 Intuitions don't prove things; they just receptivity to interpretations
05.1 p.89 Liberals are egalitarians, but in varying degrees
05.1 p.91 Power is meant to be confined to representatives, and subsequent delegation
05.3 p.97 It is not deplorable that billionaires have more than millionaires
05.4 p.102 To rectify the undeserved equality, we should give men longer and women shorter lives
06.3 p.128 Prosperity is a higher social virtue than justice
06.3 p.130 Justice combines consistency and desert; treat likes alike, judging likeness by desert
07.2 p.145 The veil of ignorance is only needed because people have bad motivations
07.4 p.158 Liberals ignore contingency, and think people are good and equal, and institutions cause evil
08.1 p.163 Sexual morality doesn't require monogamy, but it needs a group of sensible regulations
08.4 p.175 The chief function of the state is to arbitrate between contending visions of the good life
09.4 p.194 Citizenship is easier than parenthood
09.4 p.194 Love should be partial, and discriminate in favour of its object
09.4 p.195 Awareness of others' suffering doesn't create an obligation to help
09.5 p.198 Sentimental love distorts its object
10.3 p.206 The problem is basic insufficiency of resources, not their inequality
10.4 p.209 It is just a fact that some people are morally better than others
2010 The Human Condition
Intro p.4 Values help us to control life, by connecting it to what is stable and manageable
Intro p.4 Values are an attempt to achieve well-being by bringing contingencies under control
01.2 p.13 'Luck' is the unpredictable and inexplicable intersection of causal chains
01.5 p.22 Equal distribution is no good in a shortage, because there might be no one satisfied
02.4 p.43 To control our actions better, make them result from our attitudes, not from circumstances
03.1 p.50 There are far more values than we can pursue, so they are optional possibilities
03.2 p.53 Our attitudes include what possibilities we value, and also what is allowable, and unthinkable
03.3 p.57 Unconditional commitments are our most basic convictions, saying what must never be done
03.3 p.61 Doing the unthinkable damages ourselves, so it is more basic than any value
04 Intro p.67 Control is the key to well-being
04.4 p.85 Society is alienating if it lacks our values, and its values repel us
04.5 p.86 We are bound to regret some values we never aspired to
05 Intro p.88 Innumerable values arise for us, from our humanity, our culture, and our individuality
05 Intro p.88 Well-being needs correct attitudes and well-ordered commitments to local values
05.2 p.91 Cultural values are interpretations of humanity, conduct, institutions, and evaluations
05.5 p.113 The big value problems are evil (humanity), disenchantment (cultures), and boredom (individuals)
06.3 p.122 Evil isn't explained by nature, by monsters, by uncharacteristic actions, or by society
06.4 p.131 Ideologies have beliefs about reality, ideals, a gap with actuality, and a program
06.4 p.131 The ideal of an ideology is embodied in a text, a role model, a law of history, a dream of the past...
06.5 p.136 Reason and morality do not coincide; immorality can be reasonable, with an ideology
07.2 p.148 An action may be intended under one description, but not under another
07.4 p.159 Responsibility is unprovoked foreseeable harm, against society, arising from vicious character
08.5 p.182 Practical reason is not universal and impersonal, because it depends on what success is
09.1 p.187 Boredom destroys our ability to evaluate
09.1 p.188 Boredom is apathy and restlessness, yearning for something interesting
09.4 p.201 Relativists say all values are relative; pluralists concede much of that, but not 'human' values
10.4 p.222 If morality has to be rational, then moral conflicts need us to be irrational and immoral