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Philosophical Ethics: An Historical And Contemporary Introduction (Dimensions of Philosophy) Paperback – December 26, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0813378602 ISBN-10: 0813378605

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Product Details

  • Series: Dimensions of Philosophy
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (December 26, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813378605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813378602
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,464,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Darwall is professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and is the author of Impartial Reason and The British Moralists and the Internal “Ought”: 1640–1740.

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By ctdreyer on February 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Darwall has come up with a fairly interesting way to introduce topics in both meta-ethics and normative ethics. A signal virtue of this book is that it provides an introduction to the history of ethical theory as well as contemporary issues in meta-ethics and normative ethics.
The book begins with a section on meta-ethics; this section is written as a philosophical textbook. It consists of several short chapters, each of which is concerned with one of the positions that has been defended in contemporary meta-ethics. The following positions are discussed: naturalist realism, theological voluntarism, ideal observer theories, noncognitivism, error theories, relativism, and intuitionism. As anyone familiar with work of this sort will know, each of these chapters includes a brief introduction to the main elements of a position and analysis of a few objections to that position. Darwall keeps this chapters short--most are between five and ten pages--and he does so by writing very compressed prose. He manages to at least mention most of the important objections to these views, and he do so in such a concise manner by limiting his discussion of most of these objections to merely a paragraph or two. Needless to say, this leaves a lot to be said. But it has its benefits, too. It makes the book an excellent reference book on these particular views, as one can pick up the book and review the main objections to some theory in only a few minutes. Moreover, it leaves the beginner with something to think about. He or she is left to think about the plausibility of these views, and the force of the objections to them, without having to work through pages and pages of summary of the literature on these issues.
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1 of 19 people found the following review helpful By C. Rosencrantz on February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
After a hundred pages of categorizations and terms and concepts that repeatedly fail to meet "Hume's challenge," you'll wonder why anyone is sitting around a poker table where someone called the bluff and made off with the pot three centuries ago. Students of social sciences and applied ethics, stay away at all costs. If this is on a grad school syllabus, ask the professor if you can go break rocks or polish toilets for a week instead, or just tell him he can "borrow" some of your research.
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