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Moral Discourse and Practice: Some Philosophical Approaches Paperback – September 12, 1996

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ISBN-13: 978-0195096699 ISBN-10: 019509669X

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Editorial Reviews


"An outstanding text for a graduate-level course on contemporary metaethics. A collection such as this has been needed for some time now and will quickly replace the bulky course-packs that (up to now) professors have had to assemble on their own."--Jordan J. Lindberg, Central Michigan University

"An excellent collection, with a very helpful introductory essay by the editors. [The] book as a whole is challenging."--Carol Tauer, College of St. Catherine

"Nice selection of topics and author."--O. A. Robinson, Central Methodist College

"Excellent selections that span theories and a nice theoretical overview of ethical studies."--Emily Dial-Driver, Rogers University

"A first rate and wide-ranging collection of classic contemporary writings in metaethics, introduced by an essay that nicely puts the whole thing in context."--Mark van Roojen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

"Almost ideal. Includes most all of the main articles I want to assign in an upper-level metaethics class."--James Dreier, Brown University

"This text would fit in well with my senior ethics seminar readings because it presents an array of interesting metaethical issues."--William Hannaford, Champlain College

"An excellent selection--extremely useful for upper-level courses on moral theory."--Troy Jollimore, California State University, Chico

About the Author

Stephen Darwall, Allan Gibbard, and Peter Railton are all at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (September 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019509669X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195096699
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.9 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By ctdreyer on February 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
This volume--edited by Darwall, Gibbard, and Railton (hereafter "DGR")--may be the best anthology for the reader looking to survey contemporary meta-ethics. One strength of this anthology is its breadth. It covers influential work concerning apparent problems for the objectivity of morality; responses to these problems provided by realists, noncognitivists, sensibility theorists, and constructivists; and, unlike many anthologies covering meta-ethics, it includes a section devoted the practical dimension of morality. Another strength is the quality of the work represented here. Nearly every paper included is a contemporary classic that should be read by everyone interested in meta-ethics. Finally, the paper includes a top-notch introduction to the issues.
The anthology opens with that introduction--DGR's "Toward Fin de siecle Ethics: Some Trends," which originally appeared in the centennial edition of the Philosophical Review. This long paper, published in 1993 and intended to give readers an overview of the then-current state of debate in meta-ethics, is an excellent introduction to the issues covered in the anthology. Indeed, the rest of the volume is built around this paper. The paper opens with a very helpful, albeit short, introduction to the history of meta-ethics in the twentieth century. G. E. Moore's Open Question Argument sets the process of twentieth-century meta-ethics in motion; noncognitivism appears as a response to the perceived inadequacies of Moorean realist intuitionism; and the various contemporary views in meta-ethics arise in response to a renewed interest in normative ethics in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Following this historical introduction, the majority of the paper is devoted to the contemporary scene in meta-ethics.
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