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Moral Knowledge and Ethical Character

Robert Audi (Oxford University Press: September 1997), 320 pages.

This book offers a unified collection of published and unpublished papers by Robert Audi, a renowned defender of the rationalist position in ethics. Taken together, the essays present a vigorous, broadly-based argument in moral epistemology and a related account of reasons for action and their bearing on moral justification and moral character. Part I details Audi’s compelling moral epistemology while Part II offers a unique vision of ethical concepts and an account of moral explanation, as well as a powerful model of moral realism. Part III extends this account of moral explanation to moral responsibility for both actions and character and to the relation between virtue and the actions that express it. Part IV elaborates a theory of reasons for action that locates them in relation to three of their traditionally major sources: desire, moral judgment, and value. Clear and illuminating, Audi’s introduction outlines and interconnects the self-contained but cumulatively arranged essays. It also places them in relation to classical and contemporary literature, and directs readers to large segments of thematically connected material spread throughout the book. Audi ends with a powerfully synthetic final essay. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Introduction: Four Dimensions of Ethical Theory    3
  • I    Moral Epistemology
    • 1    Internalism and Externalism in Moral Epistemology    11
    • 2    Intuitionism, Pluralism, and the Foundations of Ethics    32
    • 3    Skepticism in Theory and Practice: Justification and Truth, Rationality and Goodness    66
  • II    Ethical Concepts and Moral Realism
    • 4    Moral Epistemology and the Supervenience of Ethical Concepts    93
    • 5    Ethical Naturalism and the Explanatory Power of Moral Concepts    112
  • III    Character, Responsibility, and Virtue
    • 6    Self-Deception, Rationalization, and the Ethics of Belief: An Essay in Moral Psychology    131
    • 7    Responsible Action and Virtuous Character    157
    • 8    Acting from Virtue    174
  • IV    Practical Reason and the Foundations of Ethics
    • 9    Autonomy, Reason, and Desire    195
    • 10    Moral Judgment and Reasons for Action    217
    • 11    Intrinsic Value and the Dignity of Persons    248
    • 12    Conclusion: The Moral Justification of Actions and the Ethical Character of Persons    276
    • Index    299