The Mystery of Moral Authority

The Mystery of Moral Authority

4.43 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The Mystery of Moral Authority argues for a sceptical and pragmatic view of morality as an all-too-human institution. Searching, intellectually rigorous, and always fair to rival views, it represents the state of the art in a tradition of moral philosophy that includes Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, and J.L. Mackie.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 119 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 11.18mm | 2,667g
  • Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1st ed. 2015
  • VIII, 119 p.
  • 1137562692
  • 9781137562692
  • 2,040,541

Back cover copy

The Mystery of Moral Authority argues for a sceptical and pragmatic view of morality as an all-too-human institution. Searching, intellectually rigorous, and always fair to rival views, it represents the state of the art in a tradition of moral philosophy that includes Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, and J.L. Mackie.
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Table of contents

Contents
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction and Overview
2. Morality and its Discontents
3. Reason as a Foundation for Morality
4. The Appeal of Moral Naturalism
5. Moral Relativism(s)
6. Appeals to God
7. Living as a Moral Sceptic
8. A Metaethical Coda
Index
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Review Text

"The mystery of moral authority is that we persist in attributing objective and inescapable authority to moral judgments even though there are so many reasons not to do so. The Mystery of Moral Authority is an accessible, up-to-date, thorough, convincing, and fair-minded attempt to show that the 'mystery of moral authority' has not been, and most likely will not be, solved. To solve it one would need to explain the source of the allegedly inescapable objective authority that is commonly thought to characterize moral judgments. In this book Blackford recommends that we replace the idea of morality as a collection of truths about how we ought to live with the idea that it is a modifiable social technology aimed at finding ways to live in groups. This realization frees us to replace outmoded moral norms with practical ones more appropriate to our present needs and circumstances." - Richard Garner, Emeritus Professor at The Ohio State University, US, and author of Beyond Morality
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Review quote

"The mystery of moral authority is that we persist in attributing objective and inescapable authority to moral judgments even though there are so many reasons not to do so. The Mystery of Moral Authority is an accessible, up-to-date, thorough, convincing, and fair-minded attempt to show that the 'mystery of moral authority' has not been, and most likely will not be, solved. To solve it one would need to explain the source of the allegedly inescapable objective authority that is commonly thought to characterize moral judgments. In this book Blackford recommends that we replace the idea of morality as a collection of truths about how we ought to live with the idea that it is a modifiable social technology aimed at finding ways to live in groups. This realization frees us to replace outmoded moral norms with practical ones more appropriate to our present needs and circumstances." - Richard Garner, Emeritus Professor at The Ohio State University, US, and author of Beyond Morality
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About Russell Blackford

Russell Blackford is an Australian philosopher and critic, based at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His many books include Freedom of Religion and the Secular State and Humanity Enhanced. He is a frequent commentator on cultural and political controversies, including debates about the human future and the contemporary role of religion.
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Rating details

7 ratings
4.43 out of 5 stars
5 57% (4)
4 29% (2)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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