The cosmos of duty - Henry sidgwick’s methods of ethics

Oxford University Press UK (2015)

Authors
Roger Crisp
Oxford University
Abstract
Roger Crisp presents a comprehensive study of Henry Sidgwick's The Methods of Ethics, a landmark work first published in 1874. Crisp argues that Sidgwick is largely right about many central issues in moral philosophy: the metaphysics and epistemology of ethics, consequentialism, hedonism about well-being, and the weight to be given to self-interest. He holds that Sidgwick's long discussion of 'common-sense' morality is probably the best discussion of deontology we have. And yet The Methods of Ethics can be hard to understand, and this is perhaps one reason why, though it is a philosophical goldmine, few have ventured deeply into it. What does Sidgwick mean by a 'method'? Why does he discuss only three methods? What are his arguments for hedonism and for utilitarianism? How can we make sense of the idea of moral intuition? What is the role of virtue in Sidgwick's ethics? Crisp addresses these and many other questions, offering a fresh view of Sidgwick's text which will assist any moral philosopher to gain more from it.
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Reprint years 2017
ISBN(s) 9780198801375   9780198716358   0198801378
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Chapters BETA
The Nature of Ethics

This chapter covers some of the major background issues in Sidgwick’s Methods of Ethics. Sidgwick’s own philosophical development is described, in the light of his own description of it in his ‘Preface’, and his modest ‘quietist’ metaethics examined. Sidgwick’s objections to several forms ... see more

Intuitionism

This chapter concerns Sidgwick’s moral epistemology. His notion of intuitions as self-evident beliefs is explained, and his three ‘phases’ of intuitionism (perceptional, dogmatic, and philosophical) are outlined. Some doubt is expressed over Sidgwick’s quick dismissal of perceptional intui... see more

References found in this work BETA

Henry Sidgwick's Moral Epistemology.Anthony Skelton - 2010 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (4):491-519.
Utilitarian Practical Ethics: Sidgwick and Singer.Anthony Skelton - 2011 - In Placido Bucolo, Roger Crisp & Bart Schultz (eds.), Henry Sidgwick: Ethics, Psychics, and Politics. Catania: University of Catania Press.
Sidgwick's Philosophical Intuitions.Anthony Skelton - 2008 - Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 10 (2):185-209.

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Utilitarian Practical Ethics: Sidgwick and Singer.Anthony Skelton - 2011 - In Placido Bucolo, Roger Crisp & Bart Schultz (eds.), Henry Sidgwick: Ethics, Psychics, and Politics. Catania: University of Catania Press.

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