Required Reading

James Rachels, "Introduction: Moral Philosophy in the Twentieth Century," in 20th Century Ethical Theory, eds. Steven M. Cahn and Joram G. Haber (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1995), pp. 1-9.

Suggested Readings

On the Nature of Ethics:

William K. Frankena, Ethics, 2nd ed. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973).

David McNaughton, Moral Vision: An Introduction to Ethics (New York, NY: Blackwell Publishing, 1988).

Bernard Williams, Morality: An Introduction to Ethics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1972).

On 19th century moral philosophy:

Alasdair MacIntyre, A Short History of Ethics, 2nd ed. (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), chapters 14-17.

Bernard Williams, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985), ch. 2-4.

Study Questions

1. What is the difference between descriptive ethics, metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics?

2. Explain why many ethicists felt, at the close of the 19th century, that the integrity and independence of their subject was under threat from developments in other academic disciplines.


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