Doing Better: The Next Revolution in Ethics

By Tad Dunne | Go to book overview

11.
CONCLUSION

THE STRATEGY

I have been extending the invitation of Bernard Lonergan to discover the methods natural to our minds and hearts. For over 50 years now, his work in philosophy, theology and economics has generated international discussion. But the enterprise is not concerned with winning debates or convincing people to try a new formula. Rather, Lonergan invites us to notice within ourselves the common normative drives on which all learning, choosing, and loving are based, and to consider where we stand regarding these horizons. So, expanding Lonergan’s invitation into the field of ethics, I bid you to engage in a revolutionary, horizon-sharing program that tests all moral opinions against those normative drives.

Like any revolution, outcomes seldom rise to the level of hopes. Still, we have one good reason to be optimistic. The strategy aligns quite well with standard scientific method. It requires noticing the experiential data of our own transcendent movements; formulating hypotheses on how these movements produce learning, choosing, and loving; and verifying for ourselves that these hypotheses make sense of all the relevant experiential data. It is a self-correcting strategy. Even as we identify new elements in our self-transcending nature, or revise our hypotheses about those we already identified, the strategy remains the same: What sort of inner normative drives guide our learning, choosing and loving? Indeed, do these three categories of learning, choosing, and loving adequately represent what it means to be fully human? And how firmly are public moral opinions on concrete issues grounded in the normative drives that we in fact experience?


A REVOLUTION IN HUMAN STUDIES

This strategy for grounding moral views in our personal commitment to cooperate with our transcendent nature widens the field of ethics to encompass whatever concerns humans. And by “concerns humans,” I mean anything about which we humans are actually concerned. More than rules, laws, codes, and exemplars, the

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Doing Better: The Next Revolution in Ethics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - We Live in a Moral Universe 23
  • 3 - Our Normative Sources Are within 40
  • 4 - Our Normative Drives Are Ordered 56
  • 5 - Our Normative Drives Are Wounded 70
  • 6 - Our Normative Drives Are Healed 86
  • 7 - The Open Ethicist 100
  • 8 - Method 144
  • 9 - Models 156
  • 10 - Practical Ethics 194
  • 11 - Conclusion 222
  • Appendix- Foundational Ethical Categories 245
  • Notes 280
  • Index 292
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