Fellow-Feeling and the Moral Life

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Overview

How do our feelings for others shape our attitudes and conduct towards them? Is morality primarily a matter of rational choice, or instinctual feeling? Joseph Duke Filonowicz takes the reader on a tour of some of the main issues in philosophical ethics, explaining and defending the ideas of the early-modern British sentimentalists. These philosophers - Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith - argued that it is our feelings, and not our "reason," which ultimately determine how we judge what is good or bad, right or wrong, and how we choose to act towards our fellow human beings. Filonowicz draws on contemporary sociology and evolutionary biology as well as present-day moral theory to examine and defend the sentimentalist view and to challenge the rationalistic character of contemporary ethics. His book will appeal to readers interested in both history of philosophy and current ethical debates.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Filonowicz marshals an impressively wide range of reading to support his arguments. He has a deep knowledge of relevant historical sources and the accompanying secondary literature. He is generous with intellectual credit, noting antecedents of his arguments in the work of, inter alia, Iris Murdoch and Lawrence Blum (but, crucially, without their sympathies towards moral realism). Any book that seeks to expose moral philosophy to that which, following Henry Miller, the author calls ‘the open streets’ of Brooklyn is a departure from the usual style of works on meta-ethics and is all the better for it. The author is to be commended for trying to open up contemporary meta-ethics to some distinctive and, in some respects, neglected options from the ethical reflection of the past."
- ALAN THOMAS, Analysis Reviews, Volume 69

"...a refreshingly well-written and wide ranging volume with much to offer philosophers and others interested in the history of ethics."
-M a r k G . S p e n c e r, Brock University, Journal of the History of Philosophy [48:1 January 2010]

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521888714
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/1984
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Duke Filonowicz is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus.
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Table of Contents

1 Fellow-feeling and ethical theory : the British sentimentalists 1

2 Ethical sentimentalism revisited 45

3 Shaftesbury's ethical system 65

4 Hutcheson's moral sense 104

5 What do we perceive by moral sense? 124

6 C.D. Broad's defense of moral sense theories in ethics 161

7 What is innate in moral sense? 201

Bibliography 239

Index 246

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