Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning

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9780198247852: Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning
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Why do we behave as we do? Can we improve? Is our ethics at war with our passions, or is it an upshot of those passions? Distinguished philosopher Simon Blackburn seeks the answers to such questions in this brilliant exploration of the nature of moral emotions and the structures of human motivation. Ruling Passions reveals how ethics can maintain its authority even though it is rooted in the very emotions and motivations that it exists to control.

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About the Author:


Simon Blackburn is the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also holds an adjunct Chair at the Australian National University's Research School of Social Sciences. From 1969 to 1990 he was Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Pembroke College, Oxford, and from 1984 to 1990 he edited the journal Mind. He is the author of the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.

Review:

`Blackburn elaborates his position through engagement with a variety of writers whose ideas differ from his. He is a capable and energetic critic ... Blackburn's stimulating but at times incautious book makes a lively contribution. People interested in the issues it addresses will read it with
profit.'
Samuel Scheffler, Times Literary Supplement

`The author's arguments ... compel readers to make new distinctions, refine their thinking, and clarify remaining questions. This book is of immense value to scholars and advanced students of religious and philosophical ethics who seek a better grasp of historical and recent debates
concerning the nature of moral agency and the status of moral claims.'
Diana Fritz Cates, Philosophy, vol.25, No.4.

`This book is that rare thing: a work of philosophy beautifully written, able to engage the interest of those outside a narrow sphere of academic specialists, while attending to philosophical problems that most worry those who spend their professional life trying to solve them'
Ethics, July 2001

`rich, wide-ranging, and rewarding'
The Philosophical Review, Vol.109, No.4

`This is a rich, erudite and wonderful book, written with lots of human warmth and a keen eye for philosophical hubris. The discussion is exceptional in the way it brings to life the adventure of ideas.'
Robert Dunn, Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 79

`Blackburn's book should force philosophers to rethink much of what they currently take for granted in debates about practical reasoning'
Michelle Mason, Hume Studies Vol.XXIV No.2

`Ruling Passions gives us our humanity, providing some answers to those sceptics who find Kantian morality devoid of psychological realism.'
Alex Klaushoefer, Times Higher Education Supplement

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. 198th ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Simon Blackburn puts forward a compelling original philosophy of human motivation and morality. He maintains that we cannot get clear about ethics until we get clear about human nature. So these are the sorts of questions he addresses: Why do we behave as we do? Can we improve? Is our ethics at war with our passions, or is it an upshot of those passions? Blackburn seeks the answers in an exploration of guilt, shame, disgust, and other moral emotions; he draws also on game theory and cognitive science in his account of the structures of human motivation. Many philosophers have wanted a naturalistic ethics-a theory that integrates our understanding of human morality with the rest of our understanding of the world we live in. What is special about Blackburn s naturalistic ethics is that it does not debunk the ethical by reducing it to the non-ethical. At the same time he banishes the spectres of scepticism and relativism that have haunted recent moral philosophy. Ruling Passions sets ethics in the context of human nature: it offers a solution to the puzzle of how ethics can maintain its authority even though it is rooted in the very emotions and motivations that it exists to control. Seller Inventory # APC9780198247852

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. 198th ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Simon Blackburn puts forward a compelling original philosophy of human motivation and morality. He maintains that we cannot get clear about ethics until we get clear about human nature. So these are the sorts of questions he addresses: Why do we behave as we do? Can we improve? Is our ethics at war with our passions, or is it an upshot of those passions? Blackburn seeks the answers in an exploration of guilt, shame, disgust, and other moral emotions; he draws also on game theory and cognitive science in his account of the structures of human motivation. Many philosophers have wanted a naturalistic ethics-a theory that integrates our understanding of human morality with the rest of our understanding of the world we live in. What is special about Blackburn s naturalistic ethics is that it does not debunk the ethical by reducing it to the non-ethical. At the same time he banishes the spectres of scepticism and relativism that have haunted recent moral philosophy. Ruling Passions sets ethics in the context of human nature: it offers a solution to the puzzle of how ethics can maintain its authority even though it is rooted in the very emotions and motivations that it exists to control. Seller Inventory # APC9780198247852

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