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Publication Details

The Moral Subject in the Interpretation of Contemporary Utilitarianism

(Original title: Morálny subjekt v interpretácii súčasného utilitarizmu)
Filozofia, 42 (1987), 4, 474-487.
Type of work: Papers - Criticism of Non-Marxist Philosophy
Publication language: Slovak

The theme of the paper is the analysis of one the basic philosophical questions, the question of intepretation of ontological aspect of the subject, insofar it developed in the context of contemporary ethical utilitarianism. The author starts from the fact that all utilitarian versions, in spite of their specific differences, develop on theoretical-methodological basis of positivist scientism. Contemporary authors pass over to the position of common sense, trying to prevent from amoral implications of vulgar calculating rationalism of classical utilitarianism. Their understanding of the subject is bound to the horizon of naturalist empiricism or intelectualřst technicism. Their conception of man is, in fact, devoid of philosophical approach, it leaves the integrity of personality out of account and it may be denominated as sociological reductionism.

As a consequence of the methodological basis of scientism, all utilitarian conceptions contain inner contradiction. Positivist concretism reduces perceiving of human reality to the horizon of empiricist being. Deontic dimension of morality is substituted by quantitative extension of the status quo. Thus the apologetic function of utilitarianism comes to the fore in full. Simultaneously room is made for abstract rationalist speculations on the moral ideal which represents utopian vision with no relation to reality.

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