Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy

Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy

Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy

Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy

Synopsis

"Foot stands out among contemporary ethical theorists because of her conviction that virtues and vices are more central ethical notions than rights, duties, justice, or consequences--the primary focus of most other contemporary moral theorists....[These] essays embody to some extent her commitment to an ethics of virtue. Foot's style is straightforward and readable, her arguments subtle..."-- Choice

Excerpt

Two of the papers in this volume, 'Virtues and Vices' and 'Are Moral Considerations Overriding?', are published here for the first time. The others were written between 1957 and 1976, and are mostly reprinted as they originally appeared. I have, however, added footnotes here and there; and as well as a short Postscript to 'Reasons for Action and Desires' there is a long footnote to 'Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives' containing material from an earlier version of that essay. Furthermore I have made some changes in the paper called 'Approval and Disapproval' which originally appeared as part of the Festschrift for Herbert Hart. I included this last essay after some hesitation, and I hope it may be read not as a finished product but rather as an indication of the direction in which I should like to go after the publication of the present volume. I am sad that even after much work I did not have something more complete to offer for the Festschrift.

The volume falls into two parts. Papers I-VI are on various topics and authors, and not presented here in the order in which they were written. Papers VII-XIV do, however, represent the development of a certain line of thought on the theory of moral judgement, and the General Editor of this series has suggested that I should say something here about the way in which my views changed over the period of time in which these papers were written. Two themes run through many of the essays: opposition to emotivism and prescriptivism, and the thought that a sound moral philosophy should start from a theory of the virtues and vices. It was reading Aquinas on the individual virtues that first made me suspicious of contemporary theories about the relation between 'fact' and 'value'; and I have thought about virtues and vices

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