Golden Rule

Because I favor the unconditional autonomy of reason I generally dislike any reduction of ethics to rules that would supposedly tell us what to do in all cases, but the so-called golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you; or, do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you) seems like a variant of Kant’s categorical imperative, which is a higher-order rule that rather obviously leaves a place to be filled in by judgment.

Some prefer the negative version of the golden rule, as avoiding possible arrogance or presumption. I like the Leibnizian idea that to be truly ethical is to do more than what is merely required of us, so I actually like the positive version.

The golden rule could also be considered a nice popularization of the ethical import of Hegelian mutual recognition.

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