Essays on Henry Sidgwick

Essays on Henry Sidgwick

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The dominant moral philosophy of nineteenth-century Britain was utilitarianism, beginning with Bentham and ending with Sidgwick. Though once overshadowed by his immediate predecessors in that tradition (especially John Stuart Mill), Sidgwick is now regarded as a figure of great importance in the history of moral philosophy. Indeed his masterpiece, The Methods of Ethics (1874), has been described by John Rawls as the 'most philosophically profound' of the classical utilitarian works. In this volume a distinguished group of philosophers reassesses the full range of Sidgwick's work, not simply his ethical theory, but also his contributions as a historian of philosophy, a political theorist, and a reformer.show more

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"As a whole they make a fine portrait in the round, showing Sidgwick in his cultural and spiritual attitudes, as a Cambridge academic and as a 'moral scientist'." Times Literary Supplement "A stimulating collection of 13 papers, mostly by eminent American moral philosophers, which touch on virtually every important aspect of Sidgwick's ethics and political thought...All are well written and of high quality." Choice "This splendid collection boasts an impressive list of contributors and ably serves to redress the insufficient attention paid to this giant of nineteenth-century British moral philosophy." Journal of Religion "...nearly all of the essays will be interesting and accessible to the non-philosopher whose interests may not be confined to Sidgwick's ethical thought...The editor hopes that this collection will not only 'press forward with serious work on Sidgwick's ethical theory' but also 'extend the scope of Sidgwick studies to get a better sense of his thought as a whole.' For the most part, this volume is successful in both aims." Michele M. Moody-Adams, Victorian Studiesshow more

Table of contents

Foreword J. B. Schneewind; Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; Introduction: Henry Sidgwick today Bart Schultz; Part I. Common-Sense Morality, Deontology, Utilitarianism: 1. Sidgwick and nineteenth-century British ethical thought Marcus G. Singer; 2. Sidgwick and the Cambridge moralists J. B. Schneewind; 3. Sidgwick and Whewellian intuitionism: some enigmas Alan Donagan; 4. Common sense at the foundations Russell Hardin; Part II. Egoism, Dualism, Identity: 5. Sidgwick's pessimism J. L. Mackie; 6. Sidgwick and the history of ethical dualism William K. Frankena; 7. Sidgwick and the rationale for rational egoism David O. Brink; 8. Sidgwick on ethical judgment John Deigh; Part III. Hedonism, Good, Perfection: 9. Sidgwick on desire, pleasure, and the good Thomas Christiano; 10. Eminent Victorians and Greek ethics: Sidgwick, Green, and Aristotle T. H. Irwin; 11. The attractive and the imperative: Sidgwick's view of Greek ethics Nicholas P. White; Part IV. History, Politics, Pragmatism: 12. The ordinary experience of civilized life: Sidgwick's politics and the method of reflective analysis Stefan Collini; 13. Rethinking tradition: Sidgwick and the philosophy of the via media James T. Kloppenberg; Index.show more