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ISBN 0-8126-9646-8
ISBN-13 978-0-8126-9646-2


300 pages

(Spring 08)

This Is Ethical Theory

Jan Narveson

So what is ethical theory? Everybody occasionally thinks or says that something is right or wrong, ought or ought not to be done, is a good or bad thing to do; or that someone is a good or bad person. Almost all of us have a bundle of more or less definite moral beliefs. But, almost anyone can also notice that every now and then there is serious disagreement about what actually constitutes right and wrong actions. When that happens, it quite possibly has occurred to you to wonder how such disagreements might be settled. How do we figure out who's right?

In This is Ethical Theory Narveson examines this question about right and wrong and the thinkers that have attempted to answer it. In this book, Narveson explains all the major theories and also puts forth his own theory.

Narveson distinguishes between a more general subject that may be called ethics and moral theory in particular. Readers will find that Narveson is at once clear and precise in his treatment of the many explanations of right and wrong. This book serves as both an introduction to ethical theory for first-time readers and an exposition of Narveson's own theory.

Jan Narveson is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo. He is the author of Morality and Utility (1968), Moral Matters (1999), and Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice (2002).

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