Obligation, Good Motives, and the Good [Book Review]

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In Finite and Infinite Goods, Robert Adams brings back a strongly Platonistic form of the metaphysics of value. I applaud most of the theory’s main features: the primacy of the good; the idea that the excellent is more central than the desirable, the derivative status of well-being, the transcendence of the good, the idea that excellence is resemblance to God, the importance of such non-moral goods as beauty, the particularity of persons and their ways of imitating God, and the use of direct reference theory in understanding how “good” functions semantically. All of these features I wholeheartedly endorse and use in different ways in my own theory. Throughout his book Adams is generous to competing points of view, and his thoroughness and attention to detail make his presentation persuasive without the defensive quality of so much philosophical polemic. With this book, Christian neoplatonism has emerged in a sophisticated contemporary form.
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
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