Review Of "The Philosophical And Theological Foundations Of Ethics: An Introduction To Moral Theory And Its Relation To Religious Belief" By P. Byrne

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The major part of this study is devoted to an extended argument for ethics conceived in the Aristotelian manner, leaving the two concluding chapters to investigate the relationship of this ethical tradition to classical Western theism. The book begins with a critical discussion of subjectivist theories of ethics and then moves to an examination of the structure of moral action. The central chapters explore the major ethical theories in contemporary debate--deontological, consequentialist, and aretaic, or virtue centered, views--before proceeding to relate this latter theory to religion. Byrne's discussion is informed, thoughtful, and illuminating. The argument for an Aristotelian perspective in ethics is clear and well thought out and the conclusions persuasive. This is an extremely useful study and it makes a significant contribution to the contemporary debate. Recommended for upper-level undergraduates as well as graduate students and faculty. Byrne (philosophy of religion, Kings College, London) has edited several books in medical ethics and is the author of Natural Religion and the Nature of Religion (CH, Jun'90).


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