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Sidgwick's The Methods of Ethics

A Guide

David Phillips

14 October 2022

ISBN: 9780197539620

272 pages

In Stock

Price: £19.99



Author David Phillips has produced a clear, concise guide to Henry Sidgwick's masterpiece of classical utilitarian thought, The Methods of Ethics, setting it in its intellectual and cultural context while drawing out its main insights into a variety of fields.

  • Written in a clear and accessible style
  • Features section-by-section commentary of Sidgwick's original text and his peers and predecessors
  • Offers a synthesis of secondary literature on Sidgwick

About the Author(s)

David Phillips, Professor of Philosophy, University of Houston

David Phillips is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston. His research interests are in ethics and the history of ethics with a particular focus on British moral philosophers. He is the author of Sidgwickian Ethics (OUP, 2011) and of Rossian Ethics: W.D. Ross and Contemporary Moral Theory (OUP, 2019).

Table of Contents

    Chapter One: Introduction (Methods Prefaces)
    Chapter Two: Sidgwick's Project and the Three Methods (Methods I.I and I.VI)
    Chapter Three: Meaning, Motivation, and Free Will (Methods I.III, I.IV, and I.V)
    Chapter Four: Intuitionism and Goodness (Methods I.VIII and I.IX)
    Chapter Five: The Method of Egoism (Methods I.VII and Book II)
    Chapter Six: The Critique of Common-Sense Morality (Methods III.I-III.XI)
    Chapter Seven: Philosophical Intuitionism (Methods III.XIII)
    Chapter Eight: Hedonism (Methods III.XIV)
    Chapter Nine: Utilitarianism: Meaning and Proof (Methods IV.I and IV.II)
    Chapter Ten: Utilitarianism and Common-Sense Morality (Methods IV.III, IV.IV, and IV.V)
    Chapter Eleven: The Dualism of Practical Reason (Methods Concluding Chapter)


"A beautifully written and expertly curated aid to studying Henry Sidgwick's The Methods of Ethics...Phillips covers Sidgwick's non-naturalist meta-ethics, his intuitionist epistemology, his argument for utilitarianism and for hedonism, his dismissal of common-sense morality, and his dualism of practical reason...In every case, Phillips's discussions are excellent." - Anthony Skelton, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews