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Moral Knowledge and Ethical Character / Edition 1

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This book presents an ethical theory that uniquely integrates naturalistic and rationalistic elements. Robert Audi develops his theory in four areas: moral epistemology, the metaphysics of ethics, moral psychology, and the foundations of ethics. Comprising both new and published work, the book sets forth a moderate intuitionism, clarifies the relation between reason and motivation, constructs a theory of intrinsic value and its place in moral obligation, and presents a sophisticated account of moral justification. The concluding chapter articulates a new normative framework built from both Kantian and intuitionist elements.

Connecting ethics in novel ways to both the theory of value and the philosophy of action, the essays explore topics such as ethical intuition, reason and judgement, and virtue. Audi also considers major views in the history of ethics, including those of Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill, Moore, and W. D. Ross, and engages contemporary work on autonomy, responsibility, objectivity, reasons, and other issues. Clear and conceptually rich, this book makes vital reading for students and scholars of ethics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In these lively and wide-ranging essays, Robert Audi develops the most sophisticated, subtle, and detailed version of moral intuitionism since W. D. Ross. Audi also explores connections between his moral epistemology and moral psychology, the metaphysics of action, and a general theory of rationality. This book should be not only read but also carefully studied by everyone interested in moral theory."--Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Dartmouth College

"In defending ethical intuitionism, objective values and objective reasons for action, Audi swims against the stream. People interested in ethical theory should read this book to make sure they are headed in the right direction."--Bruce Russell, Wayne State University

"This extremely ambitious book reconfirms Audi's status as one of the most prominent philosophers writing about ethics and its relationship to other fields, especially epistemology....Important not only for Audi's sophisticated intuitionist theory, but also for its clarification of major alternatives to intuitionism."--Bernard Gert, Dartmouth College

"Significant, carefully argued, broad in scope."--Roger Crisp, St. Anne's College, Oxford

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195114690
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Four Dimensions of Ethical Theory 3
I Moral Epistemology
1 Internalism and Externalism in Moral Epistemology 11
2 Intuitionism, Pluralism, and the Foundations of Ethics 32
3 Skepticism in Theory and Practice: Justification and Truth, Rationality and Goodness 66
II Ethical Concepts and Moral Realism
4 Moral Epistemology and the Supervenience of Ethical Concepts 93
5 Ethical Naturalism and the Explanatory Power of Moral Concepts 112
III Character, Responsibility, and Virtue
6 Self-Deception, Rationalization, and the Ethics of Belief: An Essay in Moral Psychology 131
7 Responsible Action and Virtuous Character 157
8 Acting from Virtue 174
IV Practical Reason and the Foundations of Ethics
9 Autonomy, Reason, and Desire 195
10 Moral Judgment and Reasons for Action 217
11 Intrinsic Value and the Dignity of Persons 248
12 Conclusion: The Moral Justification of Actions and the Ethical Character of Persons 276
Index 299
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