Selected Essays

Selected Essays

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In Selected Essays Michael Slote collects some of the most important papers of his career, articles that were both influential as well as those that remain relevant to philosophical debates today. The papers range over a number of important topics--not all of them within or having to do with ethics. Three of the papers have to do with ways in which one might fill out or expand upon traditional utilitarian views--while remaining within the utilitarian tradition. Two of the papers focus on free will, and another pair discuss rational choice and argue that traditional views about individual rationality unduly limit our possibilities.

The papers outside ethics deal with such topics as counterfactuals; Wittgensteinian accounts of "cluster terms;" some familiar concepts we use that cannot apply to reality; and a paradox about the possibility of circumstances where it is linguistically inappropriate to assert what one believes. In addition to the previously published essays, Slote includes more recent and unpublished papers that deal with the uses of empathy in the context of global issues of justice; the limitations of the "moral reasoning" model of normal moral thinking; and the relevance of empathy to the epistemic ideal of objectivity. The final paper of the volume speaks about recent developments in ethical theory and what they may tell us about the possibilities of future progress or lack of progress in that field.

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