Sorting Out Ethics / Edition 1

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R. M. Hare writes in his preface: 'I offer this taxonomy of ethical theories to all those who are lost in the moral maze, including many of my philosophical colleagues. They are lost because, like most of those who hold forth on moral questions in the media, they have no map of the maze. This it has been my aim to provide.' 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 main theme of the book 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: 9780198250326
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/20/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (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

1. Philosophy of Language in Ethics [previously published]
2. Defence of the Enterprise
3. Taxonomy
4. Naturalism
5. Intuitionism
6. Emotivism
7. Rationalism
8. Could Kant Have Been a Utilitarian? [previously published]
Complete Bibliography of the Writings of R. M. Hare
Bibliography of Other Writings. Index.

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