The Cosmos of Duty

The Cosmos of Duty : Henry Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics

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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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Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 163 x 239 x 23mm | 580g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198716354
  • 9780198716358
  • 1,300,005

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Note on References List of Key Passages Preface Summary by Chapter 1: The Nature of Ethics 2: Free Will 3: Hedonism and the Ultimate Good 4: Intuitionism 5: Virtue 6: The Virtues 7: Egoism, Utilitarianism, and the Dualism of Practical Reason Bibliography Index
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Review quote

Cosmos of Duty ... remains a must-have book for anyone interested by Sidgwick's moral philosophy. It is a detailed and rigorous study of Sidgwick's Methods. Crisp's personal insights may not convince all. But I have little doubt that all will find them insightful and inspiring. * Christophe Salvat, Revue des livres * Roger Crisp's penetrating and elegantly composed bookais in part designed to demonstrate which of Sidgwick's views qualify, in Crisp's estimation, as true and important. * Anthony Skelton, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online * The career of Oxford philosopher Roger Crisp has produced a wonderfully rich yield of elegant, lucid philosophizing that combines in a rare mix historical erudition and brilliant, creative, and highly interdisciplinary ethical argument ... The subtlety and boldness of Crisp's defense of Sidgwick's better hedonistic angels is matched only by his similar sympathetic re-envisionings of Sidgwick's use of the term 'reasons,' dualism of practical reason, and potential for
a makeover allowing for the insights of Ross on prima facie duties. Sidgwick could not have asked for a better tribute. * Bart Schultz, Journal of the History of Philosophy *
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About Roger Crisp

Roger Crisp is Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford and Uehiro Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at St Anne's College, Oxford. He is the author of Mill on Utilitarianism and Reasons and the Good, editor of The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics, and has translated Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics for Cambridge University Press.
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