Virtue, Rules, and Justice

Virtue, Rules, and Justice : Kantian Aspirations

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Thomas E. Hill, Jr., interprets, explains, and extends Kant's moral theory in a series of essays that highlight its relevance to contemporary ethics. The book is divided into four sections. The first three essays cover basic themes: they introduce the major aspects of Kant's ethics; explain different interpretations of the Categorical Imperative; and sketch a 'constructivist' reading of Kantian normative ethics distinct from the Kantian constructivisms of Onora
O'Neill and John Rawls. The next section is on virtue, and the essays collected here discuss whether it is a virtue to regard the natural environment as intrinsically valuable, address puzzles about moral weakness, contrast ideas of virtue in Kant's ethics and in 'virtue ethics,' and comment on duties to
oneself, second-order duties, and moral motivation in Kant's Doctrine of Virtue. Four essays on moral rules propose human dignity as a guiding value for a system of norms rather than a self-standing test for isolated cases, contrast the Kantian perspectives on moral rules with rule-utilitarianism and then with Jonathan Dancy's moral particularism, and distinguish often-conflated questions about moral relativism. Hill goes on to outline a Kantian position on two central issues. In the last
section of the book, three essays on practical questions show how a broadly Kantian theory, if critical of Kant's official theory of law, might re-visit questions about revolution, prison reform, and forcible interventions in other countries for humanitarian purposes. In the final essay, Hill develops
the implications of Kant's Doctrine of Virtue for the responsibility of by-standers to oppression.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 161 x 240 x 28mm | 732g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199692009
  • 9780199692002

Table of contents

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Review quote

this collection has a great deal to offer to a large and diverse audience. ... Most of the book should engage philosophers interested in moral and political philosophy generally. The collection will be especially welcome to the many admirers of Hills own brand of Kantian constructivism or of his distinctive Kantian approach to investigating moral and political problems. * Lara Denis, Social Theory and Practice * Virtue, Rules, and Justice advances our understanding of core issues in moral philosophy. * Samuel J. Kerstein, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews * Overall, this book succeeds in two important ways. First, Hill provides an illuminative reading of many of the major aspects of Kants ethics and distinguishes both his own reading from those of other commentators and Kants ethics from other ethical theories...The second way in which Hill succeeds is in his expansion of Kants ethics and demonstration of how a broadly Kantian ethical theory can be applied to contemporary ethical problems. This is a relatively unique
contribution to the literature. Few others have gone to such lengths to extend Kants ethical theory to highlight the contribution these theories can make to Philosophy in Review XXXIII (2013), no. 4 300 practical ethical issues. Hill also thoroughly and consistently identifies a variety of objections
to his interpretations and defends himself against them. * Christina Drogalis, Philosophy in Review XXXIII (2013), no. 4 *
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About Thomas E. Hill, Jr

Thomas E. Hill, Jr., received an AB from Harvard College, a BPhil as a Rhodes Scholar from the University of Oxford, and a PhD from Harvard University. He is author of Autonomy and Self-Respect (CUP), Dignity and Practical Reason in Kant's Moral Theory (Cornell University Press), Respect, Pluralism, and Justice (OUP), and Human Welfare and Moral Worth (OUP). He edited the Blackwell Guide to Kant's Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell)
and, with Arnulf Zweig, co-edited Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (OUPs). He taught briefly at the Johns Hopkins University and Pomona College, at UCLA for sixteen years, as a visitor at Stanford University and the University of Minnesota, and is currently Kenan Professor in philosophy at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill. His essays explore a wide range of topics in moral and political philosophy, with special interest in Kant and broadly Kantian perspectives on practical issues.
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