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Ethics and Philosophical Critique in William James

ISBN: 9781137541772
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Edition: 1st ed. 2015
Publication Date: 2015-08-26
Number of pages: 291
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In Ethics and Philosophical Critique in William James Marchetti invites the reader to radically rethink James's seminal contribution to moral philosophy. Contrary to the standard interpretation of his work as a moral philosopher, Marchetti argues that James was not interested in defending a moral theory but rather aimed at problematizing the very methods and goals of a philosophical investigation of ethics. By giving prominence to this metaphilosophical feature of James's writings - grounded in his distinctive pragmatic mode of philosophizing aimed at the clarification, rather than at the foundation, of our human activities - Marchetti presents James's moral thought as an ambitious and imaginative attempt to set moral philosophy on different reflective rails. Against the attempt to advance disengaged meta-ethical accounts of what morality consists in and normative prescriptions about how to best implement it, James rethinks ethics as the critical elucidation of our ways of thinking and conducting ourselves in the midst of our ordinary practices for the sake of their amelioration.

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