Doing Better: The Next Revolution in Ethics

Doing Better: The Next Revolution in Ethics

Doing Better: The Next Revolution in Ethics

Doing Better: The Next Revolution in Ethics

Synopsis

Doing Better draws on the generalized empirical method of Bernard Lonergan to predict the next revolution in ethics. You are invited to perform various exercises to discover for yourself what the basic norms for all moral judgments really are. Then, by setting these norms in the context of evolution, you will have a standpoint from which to deal with any ethical theory or moral position, past, present, or future. Also presented is a framework for collaboration and fruitful dialog. An appendix defines several dozen ethical categories rooted in your own discovery of these basic norms.

Tad Dunne is Professor of Humanities at Siena Heights University and editor of the Lonergan Studies Newsletter. His publications include Lonergan and Spirituality, “Bernard Lonergan,” (encyclopedia entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy), and “Group Level Ethics of Managed Care.” For other writings, search online for “Writings of Tad Dunne.” This site features “Doing Better: A Study Guide.”

Excerpt

Why is there so much disagreement on how to do better? a fundamental reason is that our methods of moral reflection are deficient. This is true of our everyday decisions as well as the ethical reflections of experts. in the present work, I invite you to discover for yourself the basic norms that affect all moral reflection as well as the several ways we disobey these norms. This invitation follows the generalized empirical method of Bernard Lonergan, in which the empirical methods of modern science are generalized to incorporate the data of consciousness. the discovery in your own consciousness of what happens when you make moral judgments will provide a foundation on which to build comprehensive models of morality, of key ethical categories, and of collaboration among ethicists. We will close with some implications for human studies, international relations, and education. An appendix gives 31 ethical categories defined in the style of a generalized empirical method.

My abiding gratitude goes out to many people who helped me understand method in ethics and write about it. But here I want to mention especially Joseph Wulftange, sj, who introduced me to Lonergan’s Insight; to Bernard Lonergan, sj, who patiently listened to my questions and lovingly encouraged me to trust them; to Frederick Crowe, sj, who directed my doctoral dissertation on Lonergan’s social theory; to Colin Maloney, whose questions helped me understand how to integrate faith and learning; to Richard Wroblewski, whose persistent inquiries into the progress of this book was an encouragement all along the way; to Henry Toenjes, whose proofreading helped me shorten and simplify the manuscript; and to the gem of my heart, my wife, Dorothy Seebaldt, for her proofreading, her encouragement, and, above all, her heart.

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