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The Moral Philosophers: An Introduction to Ethics [Paperback]

Richard Norman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 28.99
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Book Description

8 Jan 1998
The second edition of this accessible book features a new chapter on Nietzsche and an entirely new Part III that covers contemporary utilitarianism, rights-based ethical theories, contractarian ethics and virtue ethics, and recent debates between realism and anti-realism in ethics. The strengths of the first edition-its readability, historical approach, coverage of specific moral philosophers, and detailed recommended reading sections at the beginning of each chapter-combined with the new material make this an essential resource for all readers interested in ethics.

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The Moral Philosophers: An Introduction to Ethics + A Companion to Ethics (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy) + Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (8 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198752164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198752165
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.7 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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The writing throughout is clear and pleasant to read. The factual information ... is accurate; and the explanatory comments are apposite and illuminating... All told, the main body of this book has a great deal to commend it. W. D.Z Hudson, University of Exeter, Times Higher Education Supplement

About the Author

Richard Norman is at University of Kent at Canterbury.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Book On Moral Philosophers 20 Jan 2008
I have the advantage of being raught by Professor Richard Norman, so I might be biased (the reader must decided for him/herself). This book has established itself as a set book for a number of courses on Philosophy - and no wonder. Prof. Norman does not describe moral philosophy as such, but explains the thinking of a number of important figures: "The Ancients" described are Plato and Aristotle, and "The Moderns" he lists as Hume, Kant, Mill, Hegel, and Nietzsche. Then Richard Norman discusses briefly some contemporary themes, including Ethics and Marxism, which places these themes into context by relating them to a historical analysis. The book is readable, and wholly accessible: it is also essential reading for the general reader interested in the subject, but also useful for the undergraduate studying Philosophy or Ethics.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lifesaver! 23 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Fantastic. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone studying moral philosophy at whatever level. Norman manages to clarify all the major points of the topic, which are included on most syllabuses and he gives insight into all the relevant philosophers. For me it has been a lifesaver since having read it I can actually follow further what my teacher is talking about! Buy it! You definitely won't regret it!
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Combination of Good Overview and Analysis 4 Mar 2001
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
This is a very good and surprisingly ambitious introduction to moral philosophy. In this concise book, Norman aims to acquaint readers with the essential features of important moral philosophers, provide a critical evaluation of these ideas, lead readers through the process of critically evaluating ideas, and sketching an outline of what would constitute an acceptable moral theory. The last is an aim that is well beyond the confines of most textbooks and is quite interesting. The book falls into 3 parts; the work of the Ancients - Plato and Aristotle; the now classic moderns - Hume, Kant, Mill, and Hegel (seen largely through the lens of his British disciple Bradley); and 20th century work, mainly the Anglo-American tradition. There is a chapter on Nietsche, which serves as a reminder of other possible perspectives. Norman's explications of the Ancients and 20th century work is particularly good. I find the sections on Hume and Kant less satisfactory. The quality of explanation is not as good as the other chapters. This is the one section of the book where Norman's aims of providing a critique of ideas and outlining the characteristics of an acceptable moral theory tend to overpower the strictly explanatory aim. This is not a major flaw. I think Norman also makes some small but significant errors. In his discussion of Hume's views on property, he ignores the fact that historians suggest that property had a somewhat different meaning in the 18th century, including not just possessions but also aspects of character, reputation, and even rights. I think as well that Norman is incorrect in some of his statements about the important contemporary philosopher John Rawls. Norman wants his readers to be actively engaged in thinking about this issues and his goal of outlining the grounds for an acceptable moral theory is a challenge to readers. This is an unusual but effective teaching method.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Challenging Introductory Text for most Undergraduate Level Philosophy Readers 7 Sep 2005
By cvairag - Published on Amazon.com
Richard Norman is an interesting moral philosopher in his own right. His work on just war theory in this nuclear age is of note. This book, which purports to be an introductory ethics primer, is written at a rather sophisticated level - really, at one step beyond some of the more popular introductory texts - However, the thicker prose does not obviate its value.

The book focuses on the major moral theorists (which is where, I believe, the focus ought to be in an introductory course) and gives a brief - but reasonably sufficient history of the development of moral theory. While Norman does not ignore metaethical (moral epistemic and psychological) issues, he does not delve too deeply, and he barely touches on specific applications of theory (applied ethics).

I personally, much prefer his work on the Moderns and compared with the Ancients. The chapters on Hume and Mill, where the development of utilitarianism is discussed are first rate. Also, an unsual bonus, and rather prescient on the writer's part, is the inclusion of a full chapter discussing Hegel's moral theory, rarely found in such general history of ethics approaches. Norman presents a cogent and important argument for such an inclusion. The last two chapters on contemporary ethics provide a solid and useful, if clipped and, at points, somewhat superficial, quick overview of issues in moral theory in the twentieth century.

When all is said and done, one can find better introductions to the moral theories of the Greeks and Kant, but the readings on the Utilitarians, Utilitarianism, and their contemporary crtics, make the book more than worth reading, and a useful classroom text for more advanced students.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book 8 Jan 2014
By Penelope - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book came in a reasonable amount of time and was very helpful with material needed for a course I took. The supplier did indeed have it in good condition so my expectations were met. The price was also affordable and I would consider purchasing from this supplier again.
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