Morality and Action

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Warren Quinn was widely regarded as a moral philosopher of remarkable talent. This collection of his most important contributions to moral philosophy and the philosophy of action has been edited for publication by Philippa Foot. Quinn laid out the foundations for an anti-utilitarian moral philosophy that was critical of much contemporary work in ethics, such as the anti-realism of Gilbert Harman and the neo-subjectivism of Bernard Williams. Quinn's own distinctive moral theory is developed in the discussion of substantial, practical moral issues. For example, there are important pieces here on the permissibility of abortion, the justification (if any) of punishing criminals when no particular good seems likely to result, and on the distinction between killing and allowing to die, a distinction crucial to the subject of euthanasia and other topics in medical ethics. The volume would be ideally suited to upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on the foundations of ethics.