The Ideal of a Rational Morality: Philosophical Compositions

Hardcover | January 1, 2003

byMarcus George Singer

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The Ideal of a Rational Morality collects the most important essays by the distinguished moral philosopher Marcus G. Singer. Its guiding theme is the concept of a morality based in reason, which is presupposed in ordinary moral contexts and provides an ideal for improving ordinary morality andcorrecting moral judgements. Singer makes compelling claims that certain fundamental presuppositions are inescapable in moral thought, that fundamental moral principles can be proved, and that the concepts of truth and 'common sense' are essential to ethics.Subsequent essays proceed to analyse the nature of value judgements and of moral judgements, emphasising the vital importance of certain basic distinctions. There is a discussion of race and racism, presenting new ideas about the nature of both. The relation of law to morality is considered, as arethe relations between moral judgements of individual persons and the actions and moral judgements of institutions, leading to an examination of the relations between moral issues and social problems. A particularly well-known essay on the Golden Rule is reproduced, where Singer's analysis shows itto be applicable and defensible as it stands, and finally the nature of happiness is explored through a discussion of John Stuart Mill's moral philosophy.Each essay is supplemented by a set of Additional Notes and Comments, with supplementary pieces and response to criticisms. The Ideal of a Rational Morality will be fascinating reading for anybody seeking rigour and clarity in ethical issues.

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From the Publisher

The Ideal of a Rational Morality collects the most important essays by the distinguished moral philosopher Marcus G. Singer. Its guiding theme is the concept of a morality based in reason, which is presupposed in ordinary moral contexts and provides an ideal for improving ordinary morality andcorrecting moral judgements. Singer makes c...

Marcus George Singer is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:254 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.91 inPublished:January 1, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198250215

ISBN - 13:9780198250210

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Table of Contents

PrefaceI. The Ideal of a Rational MoralityII. On Truth in EthicsIII. Moral Theory and JustificationIV. The Methods of JusticeV. Ethics and Common SenseVI. Value Judgments and Normative ClaimsVII. Moral Worth and Fundamental RightsVIII. On Race and RacismIX. Judicial Decisions and Judicial OpinionsX. Institutional EthicsXI. Moral Issues and Social ProblemsXII. The Golden RuleXIII. Mill on Happiness and UtilityAdditional Notes, References, and Supplementary EssaysIndex

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`it is well worth having a concentrated diet of Singer before us. Professor Singer is fond of Iris Murdoch's adage that doing philosophy "is to explore one's own temperament, and yet at the same time attempt to discover the truth". In this case both the temperament and the truths discoveredwill be found rewarding. . . . the philosophy is replete with literary and other allusions, but is also rigorous. And this means that the judgments it comes up with are never simplistic, but are grounded in some breadth or depth of experience, what some might characterize as common sense.'Philosophy