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Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory

James Dreier (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-0179-0
352 pages
January 2006, ©2005, Wiley-Blackwell
Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory (1405101792) cover image
Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory features pairs of newly commissioned essays by some of the leading theorists working in the field today.
  • Brings together fresh debates on the most controversial issues in moral theory
  • Questions include: Are moral requirements derived from reason? How demanding is morality? Are virtues the proper starting point for moral theorizing?
  • Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion.
  • Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in contemporary moral theory, while also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers.
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    Notes on Contributors.

    Introduction James Dreier.

    Part I: Normative Theory.

    Is the rightness of action determined by the value of consequences?.

    1. The Consequentialist Perspective: William Shaw.

    2. Against Maximizing Act-Consequentialism: Peter Vallentyne.

    3. Reasons with Demands: Rethinking Rightness: Alastair Norcross.

    Can contract theory ground morality?.

    4. Moral Contractarianism as a Foundation for Interpersonal Morality: Samuel Freeman.

    5. Can Contract Theory Ground Morality?: Philip Pettit.

    Are the virtues the proper starting point for ethical theory?.

    6. Are virtues the proper starting point for morality?: Rosalind Hursthouse.

    7. Virtue theory: Julia Driver.

    Part II: Reason and Motivation.

    Are moral requirements derived from reason?.

    8. Reason, Sentiment, and Categorical Imperatives: Samuel J. Kerstein.

    9. Must We Weep for Sentimentalism?: Simon Blackburn.

    Is motivation internal to moral judgment?.

    10. How do moral judgments motivate? : Sigrún Svavarsdóttir.

    11. Moral Motivation: R. Jay Wallace.

    Part III: Moral Facts and Explanations.

    Is morality fully factual?.

    12. Moral Factualism: Peter Railton.

    13. Morality without Moral Facts: Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons.

    Do moral facts and properties explain anything?.

    14. Moral Explanations Defended: Nicholas L. Sturgeon.

    15. Moral Epistemology and the Because Constraint: Nick Zangwill.

    Are there general moral principles?.

    16. Ethical Generality and Moral Judgment: Robert Audi.

    17. Defending Moral Particularism: Mark Lance and Margaret O. Little.

    Index of Subjects.

    Index of Names

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    James Dreier is Professor of Philosophy at Brown University. He works mainly in meta-ethics, and has published articles on relativism, expressivism, moral realism, practical rationality, decision theory, and the structure of normative theories.
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    • Brings together fresh debates on the most controversial issues in moral theory

    • Questions include: Are moral requirements derived from reason? How demanding is morality? Are virtues the proper starting point for moral theorizing?

    • Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent scholars, and especially commissioned for the volume.

    • Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion.

    • Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in contemporary moral theory, while also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers.
    See More
    "...Dreier and his contributors are to be warmly commended for a high-quality volume which will be useful both to students and to those hoping to find fresh perspectives on some of the leading controversies in contemporary ethics and meta-ethics." Sarah Stroud, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

    "Dreier has selected a terrific line-up of first-rate philosophers, and has added to their lucid and enjoyable pieces an excellent introduction of his own. The contributors not only summarize the current scholarly state of play, but often advance the discussion in novel and exciting ways." Russ Shafer-Landau, University of Wisconsin

    "Dreier's collection shows excellent judgment both in his choice of topics and authors. These essays clearly illustrate the fundamental issues in some vital debates in ethics, while displaying where important disputes remain." Daniel Jacobson, Bowling Green State University

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