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Moral Realism: A Defence Paperback – July 14, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0199280209 ISBN-10: 0199280207 Edition: New Ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (July 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199280207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199280209
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...a carefully developed defense of a nonnaturalistic moral realism. Shafer-Landau covers a wide range of material, presenting an impressive array of arguments both in providing positive support for his position and undermining opposing views...this book will be the focus of much attention in metaethical discussion." -- The Review of Metaphysics

"A book of remarkable scope and ambition...clear and engaging throughout...[Shafer-Landau] develops a number of novel arguments for what is sure to be a controversial set of mutually supporting and philosophically interesting positions...very much worth reading. It is also accessible and engaging enough to be useful for teaching advanced undergraduates."--Michael Ridge, Australasian Journal of Philosophy

About the Author

Russ Shafer-Landau is at Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By ctdreyer on May 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wide-ranging defense of non-naturalist moral realism. It is well organized and very clearly written. Provided you come to this book with some knowledge of the topic, you shouldn't encounter problems in understanding Shafer-Landau's arguments or his basic positions. And the book is structured in a way that one can see how the various debates in contemporary meta-ethics are related. It allows the reader to see why these issues matter and why particular issues are being debated. This, moreover, is an honest book in that Shafer-Landau acknowledges the weaknesses in his arguments and the difficulties his position faces.
Another strength of this book is its comprehensiveness. While this is a work of original scholarship and not an introduction to contemporary meta-ethics, Shafer-Landau covers enough ground for this book to function as an advanced introduction to most of the subject matter. He discusses all the major areas in contemporary meta-ethics, and he does so by drawing on a vast knowledge of the relevant literature. Furthermore, he does an excellent job of encapsulating the major debates and most influential arguments in contemporary meta-ethics. Consequently, the book can serve as an entry to much of the contemporary literature in meta-ethics.
I'll now briefly describe the view Shafer-Landau is defending. As I said above, he defends non-naturalist moral realism. Moral realism is the thesis there are objective moral facts. In other words, it is the thesis that there are moral facts, and they are not constituted by what any actual or possible person (or any actual or possible group of persons) thinks, feels, believes, etc. Shafer-Landau argues that these objective moral facts are non-natural facts.
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3 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Steven L. Ross on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found the arguments remarkably incomplete; a somewhat simplistic treatment of a very interesting subject.
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