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Michael Smith argues that the alleged inconsistency of (1) "Moral judgements express our beliefs"; (2) "A person's moral judgements tell us what she is disposed to do"; and (3) "To explain what someone does we need to mention more than just her beliefs, her desires must be mentioned as well" is the organizing problem of much contemporary meta-ethics. Theories are shaped by which of these claims they reject, and they are damned in the process, as (1) - (3) should all be accepted. But is this possible? Smith argues that it is. The key lies in an interpretation of the idea that moral facts are facts about our reasons for action. Topics discussed include: cognitive versus expressivist accounts of moral judgement; internalist versus externalist accounts of the relation between moral judgement and the will; Humean versus anti-Humean theories of motivation; and hypothetical versus categorical imperative accounts of practical rationality.
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This acclaimed volume offers a systematic introduction to and striking analysis of the central issues animating current debate in moral philosophy. It will be of interest to anyone with a serious interest in the philosophical foundations of ethics.
Topics discussed include: realist vs anti-realist accounts of moral truth, cognitivist vs expressivist accounts of moral judgement; internalist vs externalist accounts of the relation between moral judgement and the will; Humean vs anti-Humean theories of motivation; and the debate between those who think that morality is a system of hypothetical imperatives and those who think that moral requirements are categorical.
In 2000, The Moral Problem received The American Philosophical Association's first APA Book Prize for excellence in scholarship.About the Author:
Michael Smith is Reader in Philosophy at Monash University, Australia, having taught previously at the University of Oxford and Princeton University. He is the author of several essays in ethics and moral philosophy.
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Book Description Blackwell Pub, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: Good+. Corner scuffed, otherwise text clean and solid; no dust jacket; Philosophical Theory; 8.90 X 5.90 X 0.80 inches; 240 pages. Seller Inventory # 185592