`Choices can be wise or foolish, and feelings can be apt or off the mark.' Since this is how we judge, it would be good to know what content these normative judgements carry. Gibbard offers an answer, and elaborates it. His theory explores what is at issue in narrowly moral questions, and in questions of rational thought and conduct in general. It helps to explain why normative thought and talk so pervade human life, and why our highly social species might have evolved to be gripped by these questions. Gibbard asks how, if his theory is right, we can interpret our normative puzzles, and thus proceed toward finding answers to them.
What claims to objectivity could we make for these answers, if once we had them? Gibbard maintains that normative philosophical inquiry is a refinement of a central human activity: working out in discussion how to live, and how to feel about things in our lives and in the lives of others.
Not available from OUP in the USA, Canada or the Phillippines.
'no one who cares about ethics can ignore Gibbard's book with impunity'
Times Literary Supplement
`Every so often, though not often enough, a philosophical book is written that addresses a deep problem with profound insight, subtle argumentation and captivating style. Allan Gibbard's Wise Choice, Apt Feelings: A Theory of Normative Judgement is such a book. It is an important book; it is a beautiful book'
'this book commands respect on many counts ... It is an impressive exercise in system-building and a deeply serious contribution to the theory of peaceful co-existence under conditions of "unsocial sociability".'
Sabina Lovibond, Worcester College, Mind, Vol. 101, No. 402, April 1992
`Allan Gibbard enters the fray on the side of the emotivists, and the great value of his book lies in the unprecedented depth, rigor, and plausibility that he brings to that point of view ... Gibbard's far-reaching discussions are subtle, ingenious, and well argued. The book is integrated and comprehensive, and provides a strong case for the emotivist perspective ... a must-read, in my view, for anyone concerned with normative issues.
Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 1
'First published to cosiderable acclaim Allan Gibbard's book is now available in paperback. It addresses the relationship between rationality and morality.'
Explorations in Knowledge
I. Analyses: 1. The puzzle; 2. Nature and judgment; 3. Analyses broached; 4. Normative psychology; 5. Normative logic; II. Psyche in nature: 6. Natural representation; 7. Moral emotions; III. Normative objectivity: 8. Objectivity: first steps; 9. Normative authority; 10. Parochial judgment; 11. Rationale and warrant; 12. Pragmatic support; 13. Communities of judgment; IV. Moral inquiry: 14. Moral concern; 5. Assessing feelings; 16. Structural questions; 17.
Moral system; References; Index