Whatever Happened to Good and Evil?

Paperback | October 8, 2003

byRuss Shafer-Landau

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Since September 11, 2001, many people in the United States have been more inclined to use the language of good and evil, and to be more comfortable with the idea that certain moral standards are objective (true independently of what anyone happens to think of them). Some people, especiallythose who are not religious, are not sure how to substantiate this view. Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? provides a basis for exploring these doubts and ultimately defends the objectivity of ethics. Engaging and accessible, it is the first introduction to meta-ethics written especially forstudents and general readers with no philosophical background. Focusing on the issues at the foundation of morality, it poses such questions as: How can we know what is right and wrong? Does ethical objectivity require God? Why should I be moral? Where do moral standards come from? What is a moralvalue, and how can it exist in a scientific world? Do cultural diversity and persistent moral disagreement support moral skepticism? Writing in a clear and lively style and employing many examples to illustrate theoretical arguments, Russ Shafer-Landau identifies the many weaknesses in contemporary moral skepticism and devotes considerable attention to presenting, and critiquing, the most difficult objections to his view.Also included in the book are a helpful summary of all the major arguments covered, as well as a glossary of key philosophical terms. Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? is ideal for a variety of philosophy courses and compelling reading for anyone interested in ethics.

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Since September 11, 2001, many people in the United States have been more inclined to use the language of good and evil, and to be more comfortable with the idea that certain moral standards are objective (true independently of what anyone happens to think of them). Some people, especiallythose who are not religious, are not sure how t...

Russ Shafer-Landau is at University of Wisconsin.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 5.51 × 8.11 × 0.98 inPublished:October 8, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195168739

ISBN - 13:9780195168730

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsPART I: THE STATUS OF MORALITY1. The Nature of the Problem2. The Philosophical TerrainPART II: AGAINST MORAL SKEPTICISM3. Moral Error4. Moral Equivalence5. Moral Progress and Moral Comparison6. Dogmatism7. Tolerance8. Arbitrariness9. Contradiction and Disagreement10. Relativism and Contradiction11. Is Moral Skepticism Self-Refuting?PART III: MORAL OBJECTIVITY DEFENDED12. How Ethical Objectivism Solves the Problems of Moral Skepticism13. Universality, Objectivity, Absolutism14. The (Un)Importance of Moral Disagreement15. Does Ethical Objectivity Require God?16. Where Do Moral Standards Come From?17. Values in a Scientific World18. Moral Knowledge I: Four Skeptical Arguments19. Moral Knowledge II: The Regress Argument20. Why Be Moral?ConclusionSynopsis of the Major ArgumentsGlossaryIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The topic is timely, the execution is admirable, and there is no other book quite like it. I would gladly assign it to my students and recommend it to other teachers."--Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Dartmouth College