Reclaiming the History of Ethics

Essays for John Rawls

Reclaiming the History of Ethics

The essays in this volume offer an approach to the history of moral and political philosophy that takes its inspiration from John Rawls. The distinctive feature of this approach is to address substantive normative questions in moral and political philosophy through an analysis of the texts and theories of major figures in the history of the subject: Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, and Marx. By reconstructing the core of these theories in a way that is informed by contemporary theoretical concerns, the contributors show how the history of the subject is a resource for understanding present and perennial problems in moral and political philosophy.


"...a rich and...thought-provoking collection." Susan Dwyer, Philosophy in Review

"This book fulfills its promise to reclaim the history of ethics. Each of the essays throws light on the present and, directly or indirectly, on Rawls's thinking." Charles Kelbley, International Philosophical Quarterly

"...offers an impressive picture of the flourishing end-of-millennium Harvard-trained writing in the history of moral philsophy." Martino Traxler, Review of Metaphysics

"This is a first-rate collection whose publication should spur Rawls to publish his own writing on the history of philosophy, which have been circulating as samizdats for many years now." Daniel M. Weinstock, Canadian Journal of Political Science