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Moral Reality [Hardcover]

By Paul Bloomfield (Author)
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Item description for Moral Reality by Paul Bloomfield...

We typically assume that the standard for what is beautiful lies in the eye of the beholder. Yet this is not the case when we consider morality; what we deem morally good is not usually a matter of opinion. Such thoughts push us toward being realists about moral properties, but a cogent theory of moral realism has long been an elusive philosophical goal.
Paul Bloomfield here offers a rigorous defense of moral realism, developing an ontology for morality that models the property of being morally good on the property of being physically healthy. The model is assembled systematically; it first presents the metaphysics of healthiness and goodness, then explains our epistemic access to properties such as these, adds a complementary analysis of the semantics and syntax of moral discourse, and finishes with a discussion of how we become motivated to act morally. Bloomfield closely attends to the traditional challenges facing moral realism, and the discussion nimbly ranges from modern medical theory to ancient theories of virtue, and from animal navigation to the nature of normativity.l
Maintaining a highly readable style throughout, Moral Reality yields one of the most compelling theories of moral realism to date and will appeal to philosophers working on issues in metaphysics or moral philosophy.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Moral Reality by Paul Bloomfield has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Choice - 04/01/2002 page 1434

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.66" Width: 5.92" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   0.92 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 27, 2001
Publisher   Oxford University Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  0195137132  
ISBN13  9780195137132  

Availability  149 units.
Availability accurate as of May 27, 2017 03:59.
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More About Paul Bloomfield

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Paul Bloomfield was born in 1962.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Moral Reality?

Original and provocative  Aug 3, 2004
This book provides an original and provocative defense of moral realism. While I certainly don't agree with all of its conclusions, Bloomfield is clearly in the first rank of the new moral realists.
normative ethics resurrected  Jul 4, 2004
When I was an undergraduate student in philosophy in the 1960's, ethics culminated with Professors Moore, Hare,and Von Wright, and the assignment was how to describe what we are doing when we use the language of morals. It was a given that we are NOT making statements which could be true or false. Ethics was tolerated in philosophy departments, but the sense was that it really belonged in the anthropology or mythology departments. When you surveyed philsophers' writings on ethics, the purpose seemed to be how to understand mistaken thinking. Normative ethics were finished.
Since my college days, it seems some writers of philosophy have had the temerity to attempt normative ethics anyway. Books on virtue ethics, applied ethics, practical ethics, bioethics, and medical ethics are pretty common on the philosophy shelves.
And a phrase, moral realism, describes a school of thought, which stands in opposition to the sentence from Shakespeare that says, "There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so."
Moral Reality by Paul Bloomfield is a readable, clear survey and rejection of those arguements that say ethics is but emotion and feeling, and therefore outside the true boundaries of philosophy. It says that moral claims CAN be accurately described as true or false. In doing so, the book operates on two levels: as survey of a host of past writings on ethics and as defense of a particular model of moral realism. The core belief defended is that actions do have objective moral properties, to be discovered by philosophical investigation. The model or metaphor is biological health.
One thing I would maintain regardless of who is right about the language of morals: excursions into normative ethics are more interesting to read than descriptions of the varieties of goodness. Paul Bloomfield's book presents it all: how the battle was joined, who were the effective proponents and opponents of the move to junk normative ethics, and a new offering that says, take a swing at me.
The book is readable by non-academics and non-"ethicists" (an awkward word to me still). The book uses contemporary language and references, giving it a friendly tone. I find it a little gem.

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