Morality: Its Nature and Justification / Edition 2

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Bernard Gert's classic work Morality, in which he argues his distinctive and comprehensive moral theory, is now in its sixth edition. Gert argues that morality is an informal system that does not provide answers to every moral question but does always limit the range of morally acceptable options and so explains why some moral questions cannot be resolved. Gert describes the two-step procedure that is used in moral decisions and judgments, and he shows that moral rules cannot be understood independently of the system in which they are embedded. Although his moral theory is sophisticated, it is presented with a clarity that will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students alike, as well as anyone with a general interest in applied ethics.

In this new edition, Gert perfects the consistency of his views by presenting his argument in greater detail; he also revises the text in light of a critical book and two symposia dedicated to his theory that have surfaced since the book's last publication. This is the definitive edition to the work that has received so much attention and acclaim.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book provides distinctive and powerful accounts of rationality and impartiality and develops a plausible and original moral theory on the basis of them. Packed with insightful arguments, an excellent model of the integration of normative ethics and metaethics, and written with a clear and direct style, the book is both first-rate teaching material and an indispensable resource for professionals." —Robert Audi, University of Nebraska

"It is of interest because persistence in refining a moral theory is rare and because it continues to fill a niche not occupied by other prominent theories. Highly recommended for all collections in moral theory."—Choice

"There is much to admire and agree with in Bernard Gert's book Morality: Its Nature and Justification. Few philosophers have even attempted to provide the systematic account of the content of morality, what Gert calls the moral system, together with its justification that this book contains."—Dan W. Brock, Brown University

"...Gert's rich, probing, and brilliantly illuminating treatment of an 'evergreen' in moral theory, the question, 'Why be moral?'"—Kurt Baier, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh

"Gert's Morality is a remarkably original, lucid, ambitious, and wide-ranging book. No short essay can do justice to it."—Thomas L. Carson, Loyola University Chicago

"Bernard Gert's account of the nature of morality may very well be the best and most significant contribution to general, substantive, theoretical ethics produced in the twentieth century."—Edward J. Bond, emeritus, Queens University, Ontario

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195176896
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/10/2005
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Gert is Stone Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy at Dartmouth College and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Morality 3
Ch. 2 Rationality and irrationality 29
Ch. 3 Reasons 56
Ch. 4 Goods benefits and evils harms 90
Ch. 5 Moral rules 110
Ch. 6 Impartiality 131
Ch. 7 Justifying the moral rules : the first five 159
Ch. 8 Justifying the moral rules : the second five 187
Ch. 9 Justifying violations 220
Ch. 10 Moral ideals 246
Ch. 11 Virtues and vices 275
Ch. 12 Moral judgments 309
Ch. 13 "Why should I be moral?" 338
Ch. 14 Morality and society 362
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