John Rist surveys the history of ethics from Plato to the present and offers a vigorous defence of an ethical theory based on a revised version of Platonic realism. In a wide-ranging discussion he examines well-known alternatives to Platonism, in particular--Epicurus, Hobbes, Hume and Kant, as well as contemporary "practical reasoners". His accessible study is enhanced by a strong sense of philosophical history, and will be of interest to students and scholars of ethics.
"His study...is of interest not only to philosophers, theologians and, in fact, all those concerned with moral theory but also to classicists interested in ancient ethics...this book is well-written, the argument is clear and discussions of other views are mostly accurate." Joachim Lukoschus, Netherlands "Rist proposes to do battle with contemporary moral relativism and nihilism by first reviewing classical ethical views, particularly Plato's, and then widening the argument both historicaly and systematicaly." Choice "To say that this work is profound is almost an understatement. Real Ethics is the work of a mature scholar steeped in history who is also an acute observer of contemporary manners and morals." -Modern Age, Jude P. Dougherty, Catholic University of America "To say that this work is profound is almost an understatement. Real Ethics is the work of a mature scholar steeped in history who is also an acute observer of contemporary manners and morals." - Jude P. Dougherty, The Catholic University of America