The Quest for Moral Foundations: An Introduction to Ethics

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This concise introduction examines a wide range of ethical positions, including relativism, emotivism, egoism, utilitarianism, Kantian formalism, and natural law.
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Overview

This concise introduction examines a wide range of ethical positions, including relativism, emotivism, egoism, utilitarianism, Kantian formalism, and natural law.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878406029
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Pages: 192

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Anything Goes: Relativism 1
Religion and Ethics 2
Cultural Relativism 4
Historical Relativism 5
Implications of Groups 7
Subjective Relativism 9
Theoretical vs. Moral Relativism 10
Moral Responsibility 21
2 Do What You Feel: Emotivism 23
Emotivism According to Hume 24
Later Development of Emotivism 31
Summary 33
3 Me First: Egoism and the Social Contract 35
Social Contract Theory 37
Social Contract Morality Since Hobbes 43
Conclusions 48
4 All's Well That Ends Well: Utilitarianism 50
Pleasure, Pain, and Morality 50
Utilitarianism of J. S. Mill 56
Rule Utilitarianism 60
Scientific Approach 62
Foundation for Moral Judgment 64
Conclusions About Pleasure/Pain Theories 65
5 Duty Calls: Kant's Formalism 68
Kant's Reevaluation of Reason 68
Determinism or Freedom 81
Practical Reason 84
6 Do Good and Avoid Evil: Natural Law 87
Comparison with Other Theories 89
Moral Responsibility 96
Relationships Among Traditions 100
Synthesis of Cicero 106
Freedom and Natural Law 108
7 Retrospective and Reevaluation 115
Utilitarian Theory 115
Social Contract Theory 119
Egoism 120
Emotivism 120
Relativism 121
Natural Law and Pluralism 123
Historicism 127
Conclusions 133
8 Ethics and Religion Revisited 134
Ethics Derived from Religion 134
Religion as an Ethical Obligation 135
Moral Importance of Religion 140
9 Epilogue: To Care or Not to Care 142
Notes 147
Index 165
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