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Moral Vision. An Introduction to Ethics. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5226078
  • Book
  • July 1988
  • 224 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
This book introduces the reader to ethics by examining a current and important debate. During the last fifty years the orthodox position in ethics has been a broadly non-cognitivist one: since there are no moral facts, moral remarks are best understood, not as attempting to describe the world, but as having some other function - such as expressing the attitudes or preferences of the speaker. In recent years this position has been increasingly challenged by moral realists who maintain that there are moral facts; there is a truth of the matter in ethics, which is independent of our views, and which we seek to discover.

Unfortunately much of this interesting debate found in the work of McDowell, Wiggins, Putnam, Blackburn and others is not easily accessible to undergraduates. McNaughton presents many of the major issues in ethics by way of a clear exposition of both sides of this argument and assumes no prior knowledge of philosophy. Topics discussed include: moral observation, moral motivation, amoralism and wickedness, moral weakness, cultural relativism and utilitarianism. The book concludes that a convincing case can be made out for a radical form of moral realism in which moral virtue is found, not in the following of correct moral principles, but rather in the development of moral sensitivity. Moral Vision is a clear and engaged introduction to an important, and often troubling, debate.

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1. Morality: Invention or Discovery?.

2. Moral Non-Cognitivism: An Outline.

3. Moral Realism: An Outline.

4. Non-Cognitivism: Further Developments.

5. Realism and Reality.

6. The State of the Debate: An Interim Report.

7. Moral Motivation.

8. Moral Weakness.

9. Amoralism and Wickedness.

10. Moral Realism and Cultural Diversity.

11. Non-cognitivism and Utilitarianism.

12. Quasi-Realism.

13. Principles or Particularism?.



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David McNaughton Florida State University.
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