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e-Book Ethics: Twelve Lectures on the Philosophy of Morality download

e-Book Ethics: Twelve Lectures on the Philosophy of Morality download

by David Wiggins

ISBN: 0674034988
ISBN13: 978-0674034983
Language: English
Publisher: Harvard University Press (September 30, 2009)
Pages: 408
Category: Philosophy
Subategory: Sociology

ePub size: 1886 kb
Fb2 size: 1940 kb
DJVU size: 1686 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 788
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Wiggins has a distinctive take on the subject that aims to draw important insights from contending traditions and canonical figures. Wiggins does neither of these things, and in this lies the value of the book.

Wiggins has a distinctive take on the subject that aims to draw important insights from contending traditions and canonical figures.

This essay addresses the relationship between Hume’s moral theory and his epistemological project

This essay addresses the relationship between Hume’s moral theory and his epistemological project. More specifically, it focuses on one particular aspect of the relationship between Hume’s moral theory and his general scepticism with regard to reason reason/reasoning.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Ethics: Twelve Lectures on the Philosophy of Morality as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

David Wiggins surveys the answers most commonly proposed for such questions-and does so in a way that the thinking reader, increasingly perplexed by the everyday problem of moral philosophy, can follow. His work is thus an introduction to ethics that presupposes nothing more than the reader's willingness to read philosophical proposals closely and literally

Preface I. Morality: Its Motive and Content Overview Glaucon's and Adeimantus' interrogation of Socrates .

Ethics and Twelve Lectures on the Philosophy of Morality. Published by Harvard University Press (2009). David Wiggins surveys the answers most commonly proposed for such questions-and does so in a way that the thinking reader, increasingly perplexed by the everyday problem of moral philosophy, can follow.

Description: Wiggins has a distinctive take on the subject that aims to draw important insights from contending traditions and canonical figures.

Description: Wiggins has a distinctive take on the subject that aims to draw important insights from contending traditions and canonical figures

His 2006 book, Ethics. Twelve Lectures on the Philosophy of Morality defends a position he calls "moral objectivism".

His 2006 book, Ethics. A Festschrift, Essays for David Wiggins was published in 1996. Wiggins' distinguished pupils include

Hardcover published 2006-06-02 by Harvard University Press.

Hardcover published 2006-06-02 by Harvard University Press. Alert if: New Price below.

Almost every thoughtful person wonders at some time why morality says what it says and how, if at all, it speaks to us. David Wiggins surveys the answers most commonly proposed for such questions--and does so in a way that the thinking reader, increasingly perplexed by the everyday problem of moral philosophy, can follow. His work is thus an introduction to ethics that presupposes nothing more than the reader's willingness to read philosophical proposals closely and literally.

Gathering insights from Hume, Kant, the utilitarians, and a twentieth-century assortment of post-utilitarian thinkers, and drawing on sources as diverse as Aristotle, Simone Weil, and Philippa Foot, Wiggins points to the special role of the sentiments of solidarity and reciprocity that human beings will find within themselves. After examining the part such sentiments play in sustaining our ordinary ideas of agency and responsibility, he searches the political sphere for a neo-Aristotelian account of justice that will cohere with such an account of morality. Finally, Wiggins turns to the standing of morality and the question of the objectivity or reality of ethical demands. As the need arises at various points in the book, he pursues a variety of related issues and engages additional thinkers--Plato, C. S. Peirce, Darwin, Schopenhauer, Leibniz, John Rawls, Montaigne and others--always emphasizing the words of the philosophers under discussion, and giving readers the resources to arrive at their own viewpoint of why and how ethics matters.

Comments:
Yanthyr
This book is elementary only in the sense of starting at some fundamentals: a passage in Book II of Plato's _Republic_, in which two brothers ask Socrates to prove that dikê (Greek that coincides with both "justice" and "morality") is something to embrace for itself and in itself, as well as for the sake of its consequences. Responding to these questions in the context of morality takes up Part I (Lectures 1-9), and in the context of political justice Part II (Lecture 10). The final two lectures, comprising Part III, cover topics in "metaethics," a concern peculiar to 20th Century analytic philosophy, although the author (DW) ropes in Montaigne to help him out.

Even, or perhaps especially, if you've previously read various introductions to philosophical ethics, this book is not an easy read. What will slow you down is not that DW's sentences are obscure, but rather that they are exquisitely careful. For me, the book picked up steam especially in Lectures 6 through 8, in which DW critiques utilitarianism and its cousin, consequentialism, with very barbed and very pertinent irony, especially in the footnotes. I suppose this was the part of the book that brought me the greatest happiness, though if you're a utilitarian you won't likely agree. Very unusually for a book of Anglo-Saxon philosophy, Part I culminates in establishing a firm, non-utilitarian foundation for solidarity and reciprocity, a topic Continental philosophers are usually more comfortable speaking about. This section and some others have stimulated me to look more deeply into the philosophy of Leibniz, who seems to be, along with Aristotle and David Hume, one of DW's heroes.

This is a very profound and humane analysis of moral philosophy that is perhaps (sc., universally speaking; *certainly,* in my individual case) impossible to absorb in one reading. It takes a lot of effort from the reader, but is very well worth it. I expect to be referring to it for years to come.

Westened
One could say two types of ethics are mainstream today. The first, exemplified by Peter Singer, clings to some super-rule and sacrifices all our commitments (called here "intuitions") to the super rule: ie always save the greatest number in all trolley problems, no matter how cruel or unjust it may seem. This is nicely revolutionary and brings forth great certainty, at the price of being fanatical and inhuman (so much for utilitarianism being the ethic of benevolence). The second, recognizes the authority of the super-rule, but negotiates some central commitments with adherence to the rule, hoping for some accommodation. The result is, consistently, American-campus morality. Here one cannot avoid the feeling that the tail wags the dog, that the pre-reflective commitments of the authors ensure an output that they will find comfortable. Dworkin is the case in point here (we should help the poor, but what shame, I have a responsibility to pursue my own aims which more or less annul any real commitment to egalitarianism).

Wiggins does neither of these things, and in this lies the value of the book. Inspired by Aristotle and Hume, he works things out much more slowly, starting out with the human function that morality has to carry out, and trying to retrieve the value of pre-existing first order morality instead of trying immediately to replace it with an artificial construct. Wiggins provides morality with what Bernard Williams calls a vindicatory genealogy, he pays close attention to why and how traditional first order morality emerges, and comes to value it for what it is. There is nothing inherently conservative here, it is no more conservative than Dworkin-style accommodation. And from Wiggins reconstructive standpoint, first order morality can be critiqued. In my view, it leads to more profitable criticism than the other two mainstream types of theorizing described above.

This book is something of an introduction to Ethics that is aimed for those that are already acquainted with the subject, but it is also a substantive work on its own right. Maybe it is best to think of it as a de-introduction to ethics for those that are tired of the question begging trolley problems and the endless tribal debates between deontology and consequentialism. Wiggins tells us that we are looking at the subject the wrong way, he asks us to take a different perspective where neither strict rules nor consequences are anyone's property. Wiggins writing is difficult mainly because he asks us to keep a lot of things in mind when moving from topic to topic. The book requires a lot of concentration and merits re-reading. This is due to its density and not to any fault on Wiggins part.

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