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Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy Hardcover – February, 1979

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Hardcover, February, 1979
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr (February 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520036867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520036864
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,284,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Foot stands out among contemporary ethical theorists because of her conviction that virtues and vices are more central ethical notions than rights, duties, justice, or consequences--the primary focus of most other contemporary moral theorists. This volume brings together a dozen essays published between 1957 and 1977, and includes two new ones as well. In the first, Foot argues explicitly for an ethic of virtue, and in the next five discusses abortion, euthanasia, free will/determination, and the ethics of Hume and Nietzsche. The final eight essays chart her growing disenchantment with emotivism and prescriptivism and t heir account of moral arguments. All the essays embody to some extent her commitment to an ethics of virtue. Foot's style is straightforward and readable, her arguments subtle, ingenious, and some of them important."--Choice

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Philippa Foot is Griffin Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By ctdreyer on May 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a fabulous collection of papers. It covers the most important papers from Foot's in the period from the 50s to the 70s, and it includes several classics of twentieth-century meta-ethics (e.g. "Moral Arguments," "Moral Beliefs," and "Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives").
While Foot's most important work has been in meta-ethics, this collection includes some quality papers in normative ethics. The opening paper, "Virtues and Vices," is one of the works that helped to resurrect virtue ethics as a research program in contemporary analytic philosophy. Also included are "Abortion and the Doctrine of Double Effect," and Foot's paper on euthanasia. There are also a couple of papers on the history of philosophy, one on Hume and one on Nietzsche. These historical concerns reflect the two major projects that have been central to Foot's meta-ethical thinking throughout her career: (i) defending a form of cognitivism against various forms of noncognitivism, and (ii) understanding the relation between moral obligations and reasons for action. She is interested in the classical empiricists (and especially Hume) as a source of contemporary assumptions about reasons and psychology that lead to noncognitivism, and she is concerned with Nietzsche's challenges to morality and their relevance to thinking about the connection between moral obligation and reasons for action.
And Foot's two fundamental concerns in meta-ethics--cognitivism vs. noncognitivism, and the connection between reasons and moral obligations--are represented by several papers in this collection. Several of the most important papers here (viz.
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