Morality: The Why and the What of It

Overview


This book invites philosophers and their students to consider two of the most fundamental questions in moral and political philosophy: Why be moral? And, what does morality require? Distinguished philosopher James P. Sterba presents his unique views on these topics. Sterba first argues from rationality to morality and then from morality to substantial equality. Prominent scholars Charles W. Mills, Candace A. Vogler, Anita Superson, Russ Shafer-Landau, Allan F. Gibbard, Gerald Gaus, and Tibor Machan provide ...
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Overview


This book invites philosophers and their students to consider two of the most fundamental questions in moral and political philosophy: Why be moral? And, what does morality require? Distinguished philosopher James P. Sterba presents his unique views on these topics. Sterba first argues from rationality to morality and then from morality to substantial equality. Prominent scholars Charles W. Mills, Candace A. Vogler, Anita Superson, Russ Shafer-Landau, Allan F. Gibbard, Gerald Gaus, and Tibor Machan provide thought-provoking critical responses. In the final part, Sterba addresses these critiques, inviting readers to explore the various arguments and reach their own conclusions on these fundamental questions of moral and political philosophy. Morality: The Why and What of It is an essential text for all students and scholars of ethics and political philosophy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“James Sterba neatly weaves together meta-ethical and normative ethical arguments to the conclusions that morality is rationally required and that it requires substantial equality. His position is bold and original and will invigorate arguments in both areas of moral philosophy, as is evidenced already by the philosophical luminaries who critically respond.”
Alan Goldman, Kenan Professor of Humanities, The College of William and Mary

“In this engaging volume, well-known philosophers from a variety of philosophical orientations vigorous discuss James Sterba’s bold claims that morality is required by reason and that even a minimal morality leads to broadly egalitarian commitments. The discussions are stimulating and illuminating, not least because they reveal often unrecognized connections between meta-ethics and normative social philosophy. As a whole, the book advances our understanding on several central philosophical topics.”
Alison M. Jaggar, College Professor of Distinction, University of Colorado at Boulder

“Philosophy progresses through sustained discussion, critique, and response, and here Sterba…presents an excellent example of that process. …The result is a thoughtful, sustained series of reflections on two central questions of moral theory: Why be moral? What does morality require? …The discussion is focused, intense, and excellent.”
Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813346816
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,461,773
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


James P. Sterba is professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Are Liberty and Equality Compatible?, The Triumph of Practice over Theory in Ethics, Ethics: The Big Questions, Justice for Here and Now, and Morality in Practice. Sterba is also past president of the American Philosophical Association (Central Division), the North American Society for Social Philosophy, Concerned Philosophers for Peace, and the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (American Section).
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Table of Contents


PART I: A SKETCH OF AN ARGUMENT

1 From Rationality to Equality
JAMES P. STERBA

PART II: CRITIQUES OF THE ARGUMENT

2 Rationality and Morality in Sterba
CHARLES W. MILLS

3 Reasons to Be Moral
CANDACE A. VOGLER

4 Further Thoughts on the Moral Skeptic
ANITA M. SUPERSON

5 The Justification of Morality
RUSS SHAFER-LANDAU

6 Sterba’s Vindication of Morality
ALLAN F. GIBBARD

7 Egoism, Altruism, and Our Cooperative Social Order
GERALD F. GAUS

8 Why Libertarianism Does Not Lead to Welfare and Equality
TIBOR R. MACHAN

PART III: RESPONSES TO THE CRITIQUES

9 Further Thoughts on Arguing from Rationality to Equality
JAMES P. STERBA

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