Ruthlessness in Public Life by Thomas Nagel Essay

Ruthlessness in Public Life by Thomas Nagel Essay

Length: 458 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Ruthlessness in Public Life by Thomas Nagel

The issues discussed by Thomas Nagel in 'Ruthlessness in Public Life' are that continuities and discontinuities exist between the public and private morality. Public officials need to recognize that there are clear limitations on actions which conflict with morality concerns. Nagel explored how public and private sectors need to adhere to certain ordinary moral standards.

To rectify these issues of construed morality, Nagel explores a few options. Nagel states that 'If one of them takes on a public role, he/she accepts certain obligations, certain restrictions, and certain limitations on what he/she accepts' This statement incurs that public officials have distinct authority over the public which maybe construed by personal interests. A plausible theory is to prevent impersonal forces created by institutions. The next option recognizes the discontinuity between individual mortality and public mortality, which will provide either an addition or restriction within varying institutions. Nagel indicated that in his own opinion is that morality should be based on acceptability to each individual responsible for the actions and not hold the whole institution or all parties liable.

The conclusion presented by Nagel is that the theory of obligation can explain special features of public morality. Also those individuals can take steps to restrict certain choices. Nagel also concluded that the institutional structure shields indi...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on War and Massacre, by Thomas Nagel

- In “War and Massacre” by Thomas Nagel, Nagel argues that there are limits on what can be done to an enemy even its for the sake of overall good. He believes that such an idea is grounded on the principles of Absolutism, where morality is determined by the action itself (deontology). This is contrary to the view of Utilitarianism, which relies on the premise that Morality is determined by its consequences (Consequentialism). Although could one in fact generate such a moral structure around war. Do the ends justify the means in War....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Nagel]

Good Essays
881 words (2.5 pages)

Malaria and The Problem of Global Justice by Thomas Nagel Essay

- Topic C – Malaria In “The Problem of Global Justice”, author Thomas Nagel establishes that there are various moral responsibilities nations within the international community have toward one another. He does this by claiming “the duties governing relations among peoples include not only nonaggression and fidelity to treaties, but also some developmental assistance to ‘peoples living under unfavorable conditions that prevent their having a just or decent political and social regime,’” (Nagel 124)....   [tags: public health, CDC, epidemiology]

Good Essays
2701 words (7.7 pages)

Essay War And Massacre By Thomas Nagel

- ... People have the feeling that “fighting dirty” is morally wrong, as it violates some general principle underlying people’s moral views. Nagel then proposes that the principle may be this: whatever one does to the target must be directed toward exactly what provokes one’s intention to do so.(136) In other words, one is identifying the aspect of person that is being treated as his true subject, but not mere means to other possible subjects. For instance, when one is fighting with someone who has a gun, he may not choose to put a knife on the enemy’s wife or children in order to threaten the enemy to drop his weapon, as the enemy’s wife and children are not the true subject that one is actua...   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Animorphs, Human]

Good Essays
1542 words (4.4 pages)

Gewirth and Nagel Essay

- Gewirth and Nagel One difference between Alan Gewirth’s defense of absolutism and that offered by Thomas Nagel is that Nagel concedes that it can be wrong to fail to violate absolute prohibitions (or absolute rights) in order to prevent catastrophic consequences whereas Gewirth does not. Explain what you regard as the most important advantages and disadvantages of each author’s position. Which one has the more compelling defense of absolutism. Rights delineate a space around individuals that must be respected....   [tags: Alan Gewirth Thomas Nagel Rights Essays]

Free Essays
2274 words (6.5 pages)

Essay on Critique on Thomas Nagel's What it is like to be a bat?

- Critique on Thomas Nagel's What it is like to be a bat. The 'mind-body' problem has troubled philosophers for centuries. This is because no human being has been able to sufficiently explain how the mind actually works and how this mind relates to the body - most importantly to the brain. If this were not true then there would not be such heated debates on the subject. No one objects to the notion that the Earth revolves around the sun because it is empirical fact. However, there is no current explanation on the mind that can be accepted as fact....   [tags: Papers Nagel To Be Bat Essays Papers]

Good Essays
1757 words (5 pages)

Death by Thomas Nagel Essay

- In Thomas Nagel’s “Death,” he questions whether death is a bad thing, if it is assumed that death is the permanent end of our existence. Besides addressing whether death is a bad thing, Nagel focuses on whether or not it is something that people should be fearful of. He also explores whether death is evil. Death is defined as permanent death, without any form of consciousness, while evil is defined as the deprivation of some quality or characteristic. In his conclusion, he reaffirms that conscious existence ends at death and that there is no subject to experience death and death ultimately deprives a person of life....   [tags: analyzing death, book review]

Good Essays
610 words (1.7 pages)

An Analysis of Nagel's Personal Rights and Public Spaces Essay

- Introduction: This paper will accomplish two tasks. First, it will briefly outline the main points of Thomas Nagel’s argument in “Personal Rights and Public Space”. Secondly, it will examine and discuss the portion of his argument that I find to be the most problematic. 1. In his paper Nagel argues that rights are not merely self-evident and therefore do require some good arguments to ground them. He aims to establish that rights are justified by the status theory. We will come to see what he means by this later on....   [tags: Ethics ]

Good Essays
2232 words (6.4 pages)

Thomas Nagel´s Theories on Death Essay

- #2 Death is perceived as a bad thing to most people in the world, though it is natural and inevitable. Every person who has ever lived has also died and so will everyone who ever lives. So why are people so afraid of it. Is it because death entails an endless blackness and lack of anything or anyone. Or as others believe, is it because death is a permanent end to life. It must be that people fear death because it deprives us of the good things life brings such as feeling, emotion, and perception among other things....   [tags: evil, death, die, exist]

Good Essays
537 words (1.5 pages)

Thomas Nagel 's Argument Of Moral Luck Essay

- ... Constitutive luck consists in the fortune of what kind of person we are which defines our inclinations, capacities and temperament. In turn, resultant luck focuses the manner in which our actions turn out and their consequences. Accepting these ideas as truthful would tell us that it would be wrong to morally condemn a concentration camp officer who might have led a quiet and harmless life in Germany had the Nazis never risen to power (Nagel 26). For the most part, we find it natural to respond to immoral acts as they may be illegal or cause negative repercussions to its victims....   [tags: Ethics, Morality, Immanuel Kant, Aesthetics]

Good Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The Famous Philosophers Gilbert Ryle, Rene Descartes, And Thomas Nagel

- ... I agree with this statement because I am aware of my own conscious mind, but I am not certain of the minds of other people. Another idea that Descartes believed and studied was dualism. This the idea that the mind and brain are two different things. He came up with this idea by stating that the brain is made of matter, and the mind is not real in the world. From this he concluded that the brain and mind are two different things. I disagree with this statement because I believe that the mind is influenced completely by the brain, which means that the mind is just a “non-real” part of the brain....   [tags: Mind, Philosophy of mind, Philosophy, Ontology]

Good Essays
1233 words (3.5 pages)