BE STILL AND KNOW LIFE-VALUE ONTO-AXIOLOGY – A collection of essays by Prof. John McMurtry | globalresearch.ca

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Table of Contents

  • I. THE RIGHTS OF THE “HUMAN” OVER THE “NON-HUMAN”: THE UNDECLARED WORLD WAR OF HUMAN RIGHTS VERSUS CORPORATE RIGHTS
    • Right to Life: From Right-Wing Slogan to Life-Grounded Comprehension
    • Intrinsic Life Worth and Humanity’s Universal Being
    • Projecting Personhood onto the Non-Human to Deprive the Human
    • The Life-Value Onto-Ethic in Contrast
  • II. FINDING THE LOST LIFE-VALUE GROUND AND MEASURE: THE COMMON LIFE INTEREST OF LEGITIMATE RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
    • Capabilities: Regrounding Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum in Life Need and Value
    • Individual Differences and the Life-Value Criterion and Measure of Legitimate Rights
    • Thinking Past the Life-Blind Paradigms
    • The Universal Human Life Necessities
    • Universal Life Needs the Basis of All Legitimate Rights
  • III. GROWING THE LIFE GOODS BASE: BEYOND MONEY, IDEOLOGY AND PRODUCTIVE FORCES
    • Why Marx Does not Solve the Problem
    • Predictable Downfall of Human and Planetary Life Until Life-Value Turn
    • From Moral and Legal Philosophy to Marxian Revolution: The Missing Life-Ground
    • The Modern Blind Eye: No Life-Value Standard to Steer Productive Development
    • The First Requirement of Social Justice: Re-Grounding in Universal Human Life Goods
    • Recognising the Human Vocation Above All
    • Right of Access to Universal Life Goods: The Missing Argument
  • IV. THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN LIFE NECESSITIES: THE LIFE GROUND OF ECONOMICS AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFINED
    • Blocking Out Life Necessity: The Compulsion of High Theory
    • The Universal Life Needs and Goods: Explaining the Base of All Rights and Obligations
    • Beyond the Invisible Hand: Naming Humanity’s Universal Life Necessities and Goods
    • How to Test the Universal Life Goods and Necessities for Validity
    • Sufficiency and Insufficiency of Provision Recognised by Life Capacity Margins
    • Thinking Through “From Each According to Ability, To Each According to Needs”
  • V. RECOVERING THE BASES OF OUR LIVES FROM SILENCE AND OCCUPATION: THE HUMAN VOCATION, THE CIVIL COMMONS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
    • Being Human: Why We Must Work for Our Own Life Good and Others’ at the Same Time
    • The Civil Commons: Real Economic Base and Social Correlative of the Human Vocation
    • The Corporate-Rich War on Civil Commons to Expropriate and Degrade Them for Profit
    • From Commons-Blind Theory on Both Sides of Class Division to Life-Goods Economy and Justice.
    • Regaining the Lost Bearings of Civil Commons as First Premise of Human Evolution
    • From Corporate State versus Social State to Life-Coherent Rationality
  • VI. EVOLVED CIVIL COMMONS VERSUS CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION: A PERFORMANCE EVALUATION ACROSS UNIVERSAL LIFE GOODS
    • Re-Setting to the Common Life-Ground of Our Existence
    • Economic Advance and Social Justice Both Decided by Universal Provision of Life Goods
    • Atmospheric Goods
    • Bodily Goods
    • Home and Habitat Goods
    • Environmental Integrity
    • Life-Protective Goods of Security and Healthcare
    • Cultural Life Goods
    • The Good of Human Vocation
  • VII: WHY CONTEMPORARY JUSTICE THEORY FAILS: THE MISSING COMMON INTEREST OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND REASON
    • Abstracting Away Everything that Ultimately Matters: Mapping High Theory’s Correspondence to the Life-Blind Ruling System
    • G.A. Cohen’s Egalitarian Rescue Remains Within the Ruling Alibi as First Premise
    • Economic Science and Pareto Optimum/Efficiency Unmasked in Principle
    • Rawlsian Justice as Trickle-Down Myth in Formal Costume
  • VIII. BEYOND EQUIVOCAL EQUALITY AND MASKING MYTHS: GROUNDING JUSTICE IN WHAT WE ALL NEED TO LIVE AS HUMAN
    • From Rational Plan of Life to Human Vocation: The Ultimate Moral Regrounding
    • Life-Ground Ethics Rejects a Career Plan as a Universal Good of Justice or Morality
    • Linking Life Right and Obligation at System-Wide and Historical Levels
    • The Life-Coherence Principle, Civil Commons, and the Human Vocation
  • IX. REGAINING THE REAL ECONOMY FROM THE CANCER SYSTEM: THE CHOICE SPACE FOR HUMANITY’S EVOLUTION OR DESTRUCTION
    • Evolution of Humanity by Rules of Life-Enabling Economy and Justice
    • Progressive or Regressive Meta Pattern of History?
    • The Corporate-State War Against Human Evolution
    • Recovering the Real Economy in Principle and Fact
  • X. THE SOCIAL STATE VERSUS THE CORPORATE STATE: FROM EUROPEAN FASCISM TO GLOBAL MONEY-SEQUENCE ABSOLUTISM
    • Social State Evolution versus Corporate State Growth: The Battle Lines Defined
    • From the Depression, Anti-Fascist War and Decolonisation to the Corporate Occupation
    • The Morality of Corporate Rights: No Rights Except for Private Money Sequences
    • Social Justice and Economic Integrity: The Life Code in Social Defence
  • XI. THE LIFE-AND-DEATH WAR OF RIGHTS SYSTEMS DEFINED
    • Defining the Global Corporate Mechanism in Formal Terms
    • The Age-Old Life Economy of the Civil Commons versus the Corporate-Rights System
    • Holding and Advancing the Life-Ground of Resistance: Clarifying the Civil Commons of Economic and Human Rights Around and Under Us
    • Beyond Amnesiac Despair: The Life Economy and Human Rights Base Already Won
    • The Real Private Sector is the Opposite of Global Corporate For Profit
  • XII. HUMANITY’S EVOLUTION AND THE GREAT REVERSAL: AN ANATOMY OF THE CORPORATE RIGHT COUNTER-REVOLUTION
    • Getting Our Historical Bearings in the Turning-Point Time
    • The Great Reversal
    • The Historic Choice Today
  • XIII. HISTORY’S LONG WAR FOR LIBERATION: RECLAIMING THE LIFE RIGHTS WHICH HAVE BEEN WON
    • The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    • Societies’ Life Rights Against Corporate Fascism Across Borders
    • Resolving Confusions of Meaning to See the Historical Pattern Across Generational Time
    • Reclaiming and Moving Beyond the Human Life Rights That Have Already Been Won.
  • REFERENCES

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Preface

When the UNESCO-EOLSS Secretariat asked me in 2004 to organize a Philosophy Theme for the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, I accepted with an ultimate commitment. We were united in our shared concern for the future of life on the planet, and the world itself needed what philosophy can offer – critical examination of first principles and underlying value assumptions at a system level. The cumulative degradation and collapse of the globe’s life-carrying capacities was by then undeniable to thoughtful people, and I had already published much research on the unexamined value system regulating the globe. With the sciences and economics misleadingly claiming value neutrality, and philosophy and the humanities not engaging the value- system problem at a planetary level, I sought to meet a seemingly impossible task of explaining world philosophy across specialties and areas while coming to grips with the emergent world crisis. Forging explanatory connection between ruling thought systems and the deep-structural problems of civilization had long been central to my research, and so I understood this invitation as a call to enlist the deepest and most comprehensive resources of philosophical analysis to explain philosophy across schools, to lay bare the fatally misguided assumptions and their consequences pressing in upon us, and to spell out a life-coherent way of reason to move forward. “How to live” has been philosophy’s ultimate question since the ancients and “what is good and true”, or not, has been its unifying quest. Common problem and method of understanding it whole were joined by this project.

Organization of the Chapters

The work found in this publication has two major ‘volumes’ of explanatory analysis. The first is my Theme Essay on Philosophy and World Problems which is written in a cumulatively building explanation to fulfill the project in one unified volume. Its 12 chapters are set out in full in the Table of Contents ahead. Here I shall only summarize their research and findings in a very general way. Analysis begins from our current human condition with an anatomy of the global crisis in terms of opposed and unexamined value systems (Chapter 1). The next chapters then critically analyze and move beyond the immutable idea of the good as happiness and release from pain (Chapter 2) to critically excavate other general theories of value across classic and leading contemporary forms (Chapters 3, 4 and 5). The self-evident basis of all that human beings truly value is spelled out from the “primary axiom of value” with the “ultimate value fields of thought, felt being and action” explained and illustrated across problems and domains (Chapters 6, 7 and 8). The human subject and the manifold value systems constructed across cultures are then explained as the rules by which individuals and societies live whose validity or invalidity, justice or injustice can be objectively determined by life-value analysis in theory and practice alike (Chapters 9, 10 and 11). Rational choice and scientific method across contemporary theories are then critiqued in light of the life-coherence principle as the missing imperative of human reason and of the global system itself (Chapter 12).

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Conclusions

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Acknowledgments

Members of the UNESCO-EOLSS Secretariat patiently supported and counseled on this complex “magnum opus” over six years. My former PhD students and now distinguished professors, Jeffery Noonan and Giorgio Baruchello, have been close and outstanding co-researchers and explainers of life-ground philosophy and the method of life-value analysis across philosophy’s domains. James Robert Brown, Alex Michalos, and (as joint authors) Tony Blair and Ralph Johnson have written definitive overview texts for the project as masters in their fields. Kai Nielsen has explained why he thinks that received moral philosophy in which he is a noted leader has been impoverished in facing the world’s problems. Jerry (G.A) Cohen contributed his renowned essay on non-market reason and community before his tragic passing. My longtime partner Jennifer Sumner has been an invaluable social-science researcher into the life-ground and the civil commons and has provided all-sided life support to the project.

John McMurtry,
Editor 

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