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Paul Allen III PROOF OF MORAL OBLIGATION IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY American University Studies: Series V (Philosophy). Vol. 45 ISBN 0-8204-0568-X 199 pages hardback US $ 31.65 Recommended price - alterations reserved Since Plato's time, philosophers have concentrated on developing moral theories to guide our actions. They have said we ought to act to maximize happiness; we ought to act to fulfill human potential; etc. But all of them have largely ignored a key question: Regardless of which acts are morally obligatory, can moral obligation as such be proven? Early in his book, Allen clarifies what sort of demonstration or justification can suffice as a proof that we are subject to moral obligation. He analyzes some twentieth-century ethical theories which initially appear to serve as such a demonstration. Next, he examines at length the theory of contemporary English philosopher R. M. Hare. And finally, he reworks Hare's ideas into a complete proof that we are bound by moral obligation. Philosophers should value this book because it brings to light and defines a neglected but critical problem, and develops an innovative, thought-provoking solution. Serious students, too, will find it helpful because it provides a clearly written historical study of a central theme in twentieth-century ethics. PETER LANG PUBLISHING, INC. 62 West 45th Street USA- New York, NY 10036
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