Foundations of Ethics: An Anthology / Edition 1

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A substantial collection of seminal articles, Foundations of Ethics covers all of the major issues in metaethics.

  • Covers all of the major issues in metaethics including moral metaphysics, epistemology, moral psychology, and philosophy of language.
  • Provides an unparalleled offering of primary sources and expert commentary for students of ethical theory.
  • Includes seminal essays by ethicists such as G.E. Moore, Simon Blackburn, Gilbert Harman, Christine Korsgaard, Michael Smith, Bernard Williams, Jonathan Dancy, and many other leading figures of ethical theory.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This comprehensive and authoritative collection embraces many of the most influential texts, and all the central contemporary approaches to the nature of morality. It will be an essential resource for any philosophy student wanting to understand that area, which in effect means any philosophy student at all.” Simon Blackburn, Cambridge University

“An enormously effective anthology, Foundations of Ethics contains well-chosen, important papers in metaethics as well as helpful introductory essays by the editors. A highly commendable work!” David Copp, University of Florida

“Shafer-Landau and Cuneo have assembled an excellent mix of old and new influences, featuring authors who bring out the excitement in their fields. With 38 essays, Foundations of Ethics allows for considerable flexibility and provides a highly useful introduction to metaethics.” Philip Clark, University of Toronto

"The rationale of this particular work, Foundations of Ethics, is to identify some of the best writing on meta-ethics – what makes ethics ethics – and bring it together in one convenient volume for students, lecturer, and other interested parties. This makes this work…of value to the academic library and to courses where ethics and meta-ethics are seriously studied. It is a work for early on in such courses as well as for more seasoned readers to check back on to be sure of the facts and arguments…The arrangement and editorial plan is excellent, making this a thoroughly worth-while book to buy." Library Review

"The selection is challenging yet accessible to readers with some background in ethics...This comprehensive collection is indispensable to anyone wishing to be conversant with the major traditions in the field." Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405129510
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/10/2006
  • Series: Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies Series
  • Edition description: 3RD
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Russ Shafer-Landau is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? (2003) and Moral Realism: A Defence (2005). He is the editor of Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 1 (2006) and Ethical Theory: An Anthology (Blackwell, 2007).

Terence Cuneo is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College. He works primarily in the areas of ethics and the history of philosophy. He is co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Reid (with René van Woudenberg, 2004), editor of Religion in the Liberal Polity (2005), and author of The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism (2007).

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Table of Contents


General Introduction. .

Part I: Moral Ontology.

Moral Error Theories. .


1. The Subjectivity of Values (John Mackie).

2. The Myth of Morality (Richard Joyce).

Expressivism. .


3. A Critique of Ethics (A. J. Ayer).

4. How to be an Ethical Anti-Realist (Simon Blackburn).

5. Nondescriptivist Cognitivism: Framework for a New Metaethic (Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons).

6. The Reasons of a Living Being (Allan Gibbard).

Constructivism. .


7. Moral Relativism Defended (Gilbert Harman).

8. The Authority of Reflection (Christine Korsgaard).

9. Ethical Absolutism and the Ideal Observer (Roderick Firth).

10. Contractarian Constructivism (Ronald Milo).

Sensibility Theories. .


11. Values and Secondary Qualities (John McDowell).

12. A Sensible Subjectivism (David Wiggins).

Moral Realism. .


13. How To Be a Moral Realist (Richard Boyd).

14. Moral Realism (Peter Railton).

15. The Authority of Reason (Jean Hampton).

16. Ethics as Philosophy: A Defense of Ethical Nonnaturalism (Russ Shafer-Landau).

Part II: Problems in Metaethics.

Moral Motivation. .


17. The Externalist Challenge (Michael Smith).

18. Externalist Moral Motivation (Nick Zangwill).

19. Virtue as Knowledge: Objections from the Philosophy of Mind (Margaret Olivia Little).

20. Acting for a Good Reason (Jonathan Dancy).

Moral Reasons.


21. Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives (Philippa Foot).

22. Internal and External Reasons (Bernard Williams).

23. Skepticism about Practical Reason (Christine Korsgaard).

24. Moral Reasons (Russ Shafer-Landau).

Moral Explanations. .


25. Ethics and Observation (Gilbert Harman).

26. Moral Explanations (Nicholas L. Sturgeon).

27. Moral Facts as Configuring Causes (Terence Cuneo).

Moral Disagreement.


28. The Nature of Ethical Disagreement (Charles L. Stevenson).

29. Moral Disagreement (David Brink).

Moral Knowledge. .


30. Wide Reflective Equilibrium and Theory Acceptance in Ethics (Norman Daniels).

31. Intuitionism, Pluralism and the Foundations of Ethics (Robert Audi).

32. Seeing as Caring: The Role of Affect in Feminist Moral Epistemology (Margaret Olivia Little).

Moral Supervenience. .


33. Supervenience Revisited (Simon Blackburn).

34. The Supervenience of the Ethical on the Descriptive (Frank Jackson).

Semantic Puzzles. .


35. The Subject-Matter of Ethics (G. E. Moore).

36. Attitudes and Contents (Simon Blackburn).

37. Expressivism and Embedding (Walter Sinnott-Armstrong).

38. New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth (Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons)

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