Practice Of Moral Judgment / Edition 1

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Overview


Barbara Herman argues for a radical shift in the way we perceive Kant's ethics. She convincingly reinterprets the key texts, at once allowing Kant to mean what he says while showing that what Kant says makes good moral sense. She urges us to abandon the tradition that describes Kantian ethics as a deontology, a moral system of rules of duty. She finds the central idea of Kantian ethics not in duty but in practical rationality as a norm of unconditioned goodness. This book both clarifies Kant's own theory and adds programmatic vitality to modern moral philosophy.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Philosophy

We can gratefully acknowledge that Herman has succeeded in exploring some rich new territory with unusual patience, originality, and insight. In a domain, like Kantian ethics, that many would suppose has already been fully mapped and assessed, this is a remarkable and welcome accomplishment.
— Thomas E. Hill, Jr.

Philosophical Review

This publication of Barbara Herman's essays marks a major advance in the now flourishing field of Kantian ethics...Their greatest achievement is to show how Kant's ethics is based on a compelling moral psychology and a sophisticated theory of value.
— Elizabeth Anderson

Ethics

Herman succeeds in presenting an interpretation of Kant's ethics that shows it to be a powerful alternative to the empiricist utilitarian, neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics, and the post-modernist individualist or existentialist ethical theories which have enjoyed such prominence in recent years...What [Herman] has given us is a deeply compelling picture of both the structure and power of Kant's regulative ideal of moral deliberation, and that is much to be grateful for indeed.
— Paul Guyer

Metapsychology Online
Herman succeeds admirably...in bringing Kantian ideas to life: not only by providing an engaging and plausible internal reconstruction of those ideas, but also by making them relevant to our present practical concerns. On the one hand, the reader encounters a careful treatment of the fundamental questions at the heart of Kant’s moral philosophy, such as the conditions of free (autonomous) agency, the nature of the will, the question of the source of “obligatory ends” or duties, the problem of moral motivation, and the relation between our rational and our animal nature. On the other hand, Herman addresses pressing questions about ethical and social pluralism, moral change, education, the legitimacy of social and political institutions, pornography and censorship, affirmative action, gender equity, child abuse, and friendship, to name only a few. She connects these two endeavors not so much by “applying” moral concepts to practical cases, but rather by making the latter central to the very project of elaborating the concepts in the first place.
— Felix Koch
Journal of Philosophy - Thomas E. Hill
We can gratefully acknowledge that Herman has succeeded in exploring some rich new territory with unusual patience, originality, and insight. In a domain, like Kantian ethics, that many would suppose has already been fully mapped and assessed, this is a remarkable and welcome accomplishment.
Philosophical Review - Elizabeth Anderson
This publication of Barbara Herman's essays marks a major advance in the now flourishing field of Kantian ethics...Their greatest achievement is to show how Kant's ethics is based on a compelling moral psychology and a sophisticated theory of value.
Ethics - Paul Guyer
Herman succeeds in presenting an interpretation of Kant's ethics that shows it to be a powerful alternative to the empiricist utilitarian, neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics, and the post-modernist individualist or existentialist ethical theories which have enjoyed such prominence in recent years...What [Herman] has given us is a deeply compelling picture of both the structure and power of Kant's regulative ideal of moral deliberation, and that is much to be grateful for indeed.
Booknews
Herman (philosophy and law, U. of Southern California) accuses all of Kant's critics of obscuring and misinterpreting his thought on ethics, and thereby impoverishing everyone else's understanding of moral judgement and action. She reinterprets the key texts, and finds not a system of following rules, but of practical rationality that can be used on a daily basis even by nonphilosophers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674697188
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 270
  • Sales rank: 1,436,723
  • Product dimensions: 0.61 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Herman is Griffin Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Table of Contents

Note on Sources

1. On the Value of Acting from the Motive of Duty

2. Integrity and Impartiality

3. Mutual Aid and Respect for Persons

4. The Practice of Moral judgment

5. What Happens to the Consequences?

6. Murder and Mayhem

7. Moral Deliberation and the Derivation of Duties

8. Obligation and Performance

9. Agency, Attachment, and Difference

10. Leaving Deontology Behind

Credits

Index

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