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Foundations of Ethics: An Anthology Hardcover – October 2, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


“This comprehensive and authoritative collection embraces many of the most influential texts, and all the central contemporary approaches to the nature of morality. It will be an essential resource for any philosophy student wanting to understand that area, which in effect means any philosophy student at all.” Simon Blackburn, Cambridge University<!--end-->

“An enormously effective anthology, Foundations of Ethics contains well-chosen, important papers in metaethics as well as helpful introductory essays by the editors. A highly commendable work!” David Copp, University of Florida

“Shafer-Landau and Cuneo have assembled an excellent mix of old and new influences, featuring authors who bring out the excitement in their fields. With 38 essays, Foundations of Ethics allows for considerable flexibility and provides a highly useful introduction to metaethics.” Philip Clark, University of Toronto

"The rationale of this particular work, Foundations of Ethics, is to identify some of the best writing on meta-ethics – what makes ethics ethics – and bring it together in one convenient volume for students, lecturer, and other interested parties. This makes this work…of value to the academic library and to courses where ethics and meta-ethics are seriously studied. It is a work for early on in such courses as well as for more seasoned readers to check back on to be sure of the facts and arguments…The arrangement and editorial plan is excellent, making this a thoroughly worth-while book to buy." Library Review

"The selection is challenging yet accessible to readers with some background in ethics...This comprehensive collection is indispensable to anyone wishing to be conversant with the major traditions in the field." Choice

From the Back Cover

Foundations of Ethics is a collection of seminal articles in metaethics. Organized into two parts, the first section investigates issues in the ontology of morality, such as whether there are objective moral standards. The second section considers related topics, such as whether moral considerations are essentially reason-giving, the nature of moral knowledge, and the differences between ethics and natural science. Designed for students of ethical theory, this volume provides an extensive selection of primary sources and corresponding expert commentary.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (October 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405129514
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405129510
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,327,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ben on September 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
The selections are insightful, exciting, and well-rounded. The chapter introductions concisely situate, explain, and critique the readings that follow and make the often challenging selections easier to understand. There are few typos and the text is attractive and easy to read (visually speaking). As a student, I am very glad to have this anthology.
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Format: Paperback
I am a graduate student in philosophy. I have not used this book as a textbook, rather I am using it in my research in metaethics for an independent study.

The essays, old and new, provide a snapshot of the important debates under the umbrella of metaethics, including: are values real? Answers include "yes, they are real" and "yes, they are real but mind-dependent" and "yes, they are dispositioanl properties," "no, they are fictional." Is ethics a science, a philosophy, or neither? What is the relation between morals and motives? Are ethical terms truth-apt or not, and either way, how exactly do they work semantically and pragmatically?

Most of these essays you can find on JSTOR or elsewhere. The benefit is having them collected together, and selected for you. Also, the introductory essays are very readable (Shafer-Landau's style is terse and clear) and usually helpful.
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