The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory (Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy)

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The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory is a major new reference work in ethical theory consisting of commissioned essays by leading moral philosophers. Ethical theories have always been of central importance to philosophy, and remain so; ethical theory is one of the most active areas of philosophical research and teaching today. Courses in ethics are taught in colleges and universities at all levels, and ethical theory is the organizing principle for all of them.

The Handbook is divided into two parts, mirroring the field. The first part treats meta-ethical theory, which deals with theoretical questions about morality and moral judgment, including questions about moral language, the epistemology of moral belief, the truth aptness of moral claims, and so forth. The second part addresses normative theory, which deals with general moral issues, including the plausibility of various ethical theories and abstract principles of behavior. Examples of such theories are consequentialism and virtue theory. As with other Oxford Handbooks, the twenty-five contributors cover the field in a comprehensive and highly accessible way, while achieving three goals: exposition of central ideas, criticism of other approaches, and putting forth a distinct viewpoint.

Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Handbooks
  • Paperback: 680 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Revised ed. edition (June 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195325915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195325911
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.4 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds

Customer Reviews

Helpful, but only to a point

7 people found this helpful.
 on May 20, 2012
By Micah Newman
As with all the Oxford Handbooks to philosophy, this book is a useful and approachable guide to its terrain, in the present case being metaethics, normative ethics, and value theory. It assembles a “dream team” of philosophers who are at the top of their game and contains essays that help map out the contours of various views and areas in ethical theory. It is comprehensive and will be a helpful introduction for philosophers from graduate students to specialists. However, in covering the generality of subject matter there were a few essays, such as those on naturalism and nonnaturalism, that I found did not give quite enough “meat” to chew on. I was left wondering what such a theory in these areas actually *looks like* when one gets down to particulars. This is the only gripe had; although overall all of the essays are valuable and give one something to go on towards understanding the relevant issues, some of the essays leave one wanting more-specific information. To fill those gaps, an anthology of primary material likeĀ 

but the paperback is fine for personal use

 on March 12, 2016
By bill henderson
This is an advanced and comprehensive summary of the theories on how we decide what ought to be and why. I got the hardback for a donation to a college library, but the paperback is fine for personal use.

Five Stars

 on October 5, 2014
By Yimin Kui
extremely satisfied with everything, especially’s new way of international shipping

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