Sorting Out Ethics

Overview


Sorting Out Ethics is a characteristically lucid and lively survey of rival ethical theories by one of the most influential moral philosophers of the century. It also constitutes a definitive summary of Hare's own fundamental ethical position. The book's main theme is that objectivity in moral thinking is not to be sought by making moral questions into questions of fact; this leads inevitably to relativism, tying us to particular cultures and languages. Objectivity is to be sought, rather, by emphasizing the ...
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Overview


Sorting Out Ethics is a characteristically lucid and lively survey of rival ethical theories by one of the most influential moral philosophers of the century. It also constitutes a definitive summary of Hare's own fundamental ethical position. The book's main theme is that objectivity in moral thinking is not to be sought by making moral questions into questions of fact; this leads inevitably to relativism, tying us to particular cultures and languages. Objectivity is to be sought, rather, by emphasizing the universally prescriptive character of moral language, which all cultures can share, and so using it to resolve their moral differences. An objective moral prescription, as Kant saw, is one upon which all rational thinkers can agree.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...the book is warmly to be recommended. Students, especially, will appreciate its central section, in which developments in moral philosophy during the present century are traced with exceptional clarity."--International Philosophical Quarterly

"...the book is extremely effective: written with customary clarity and vigour, and succinctly summarizing and cross-referencing the argument of the earlier works, it should replace them on reading lists as a student's first exposure to Hare's views."--Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198237273
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/26/1998
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1230L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

R. M. Hare is Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford, and Professor Emeritus, University of Florida, Gainesville

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Table of Contents

Part I. The Enterprise of Moral Philosophy
1. Philosophy of Language in Ethics 1
2. Defence of the Enterprise 29
Part II. The Axel Hagerstrom Lectures: A Taxonomy of Ethical Theories
3. Taxonomy 43
4. Naturalism 63
5. Intuitionism 82
6. Emotivism 103
7. Rationalism 126
Part III. Kant
8. Could Kant have been a Utilitarian? 147
References and Bibliography 167
Index 187
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2003

    A Pithy Taxonomy

    This is a wonderful primer on the major ethical theories. I highly recommend this, and also Michael Berumen's Do No Evil, which incorporates some of Hare's ideas in a more practical rule-based morality as opposed to the formula-driven morality of Kant and Hare.

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