Rationality, Rules, and Ideals: Critical Essays on Bernard Gert's Moral Theory

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Bernard Gert's moral theory is among the clearest and most comprehensive on the contemporary scene. It touches on elements of the dominant ethical orientations—-utilitarianism, Kantianism, contractionism, and virtue ethics—without fitting neatly into any of those categories. For that reason, Gert's moral theory appeals to many ethicists dissatisfied with each of the dominant formulations. Rationality, Rules, and Ideals presents Gert's Morality, the reactions by a number of prominent scholars, and Gert's response. All told, it is a remarkably wide-ranging study of ethical theory. The work is broken down into six parts, making Rationality, Rules, and Ideals perfect for a broad-ranging course on ethical theory, following Gert's critiques of utilitariansim, Kantianism, and virtue ethics. Both students and professionals will find much material to work with in this volume. The papers contribute not only to the understanding of Gert's wide-ranging theory but to a number of important topics in ethic theory, the theory of rationality, and applied ethics.

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Editorial Reviews

The Philosophical Quarterly
There is much to interest and challenge the reader in this book, which is a monument to a wonderful and continuing life's work in ethics.
James Sterba
This collection of critical essays is worthy of Bernard Gert's major contribution to contemporary ethical theory. It was a pleasure to read the essays in conjunction with Gert's responses.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742513167
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 11/15/2002
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is professor of philosophy at Dartmouth College. Robert Audi is professor of philosophy at the University of Nebraska, and editor of the Rowman & Littlefield series, "Elements of Philosophy."

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Scope and Structure of the Essays: A Short Introduction Chapter 2 Precis of Morality: Its Nature and Justification Chapter 3 Part I: Justification and Method Chapter 4 Justification in Bernard Gert's Moral Theory Chapter 5 Gert's Moral Theory and Discourse Ethics Chapter 6 On the Relevance of Ignorance to the Demands of Morality Chapter 7 Part II: Rationality and Reasons Chapter 8 Reasons and Rationality in the Moral Philosophy of Bernard Gert Chapter 9 Gert on Reasons, Rationality, Harms, and Lists Chapter 10 Bernard Gert's Complex Hybrid Conception of Rationality Chapter 11 Part III: Consequences and Rules Chapter 12 Gert on Aid to Others Chapter 13 Gert Contra Consequentialism Chapter 14 The Role of Rules Chapter 15 Part IV: Ideals and Goods Chapter 16 Moral Ideals Chapter 17 Accentuate the Negative: Negative Values, Moral Theory, and Common Sense Chapter 18 A Note on Harms and Evils in Gert's Moral Theory Chapter 19 Is the Lessening of Evil the Only Goal of Morality? A Role for Eudaimonia in Gert's Moral System Chapter 20 Part V: Virtue and Character Chapter 21 Rules and Virtues Chapter 22 Character, Immoraility, and Punishment Chapter 23 Part VI: Reply Chapter 24 Replies to my Critics

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