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AuthorMcCloskey, H. J. author
TitleMeta-Ethics and Normative Ethics [electronic resource] / by H. J. McCloskey
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1969
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Descript IX, 252 p. 2 illus. online resource


The purpose of this work is to develop a general theory of ethics which exยญ plains the logical status of moral judgments and the nature of the general principles which we should adopt and on the basis of which we should act. The enquiry into the logical function of moral judgments is entered into as important in its own right and as a preliminary to the normative enquiry, for it is on the basis of our conclusions in the area of meta-ethics, that we deยญ termine the appropriate method of reaching our normative ethic. The apยญ proach followed in the meta-ethical enquiry is that of examining theories of the past and present with a view to seeing why and in what respects they fail, in particular, what features of moral discourse are not adequately explained or accommodated by them. A positive theory which seeks to take full account of these and all other logical features of moral discourse is then developed in terms of a modified intuitionism of the kind outlined by W. D. Ross, 'good' being explained as the name of a consequential property, 'right' in terms of moral suitability, and moral obligations as consisting in our being constrained to act in certain ways by facts we apprehend to constitute moral reasons which constrain us so to act


1. Introductory: Meta-Ethics, Normative Ethics and Morality -- 1. Levels of Theorizing -- 2. Meta-Ethics -- 3. Normative Ethics and Morality -- 4. Inter-relations between Meta-Ethics and Normative Ethics -- 5. The plan of this work -- A. Meta-Ethics: A Defence of an Intuitionist Ethic -- 2. Theistic and Naturalistic Meta-Ethical Theories -- 3. Non-Cognitivist Meta-Ethical Theories -- 4. A Positive Approach: Intuitionism and the Nature of the Objective Moral Facts -- 5. Intuitionism: How we Come to Gain Moral Knowledge -- B. Normative Ethics: The Case for Ethical Pluralism -- Introducing Part B. from Meta-Ethics to Normative Ethics -- 6. Intrinsic Goods -- 7: Monistic Theories of Absolute Obligation: Utilitarianism -- 8. Pluralistic Theories of Absolute Obligation: Kant and Natural Law -- 9. A Positive Approach: Prima Facie Duties

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