Ethics and Experience: Life Beyond Moral Theory

Chappell, Timothy (2009). Ethics and Experience: Life Beyond Moral Theory. Durham: Acumen Publishing.



Ethics and Experience presents a wide-ranging and thought-provoking introduction to the question famously posed by Socrates: “How is life to be lived?” An excellent primer for any student taking a course on moral philosophy, the book introduces ethics as a single and broadly unified field of inquiry in which we apply reason to try and solve Socrates’ question.
Ethics and Experience examines the major forms of ethical subjectivism and objectivism - including expressivism, “error theory”, naturalism, and intuitionism. The book lays out the detail of the most significant contemporary moral theories - including utilitarianism, virtue ethics, Kantianism, and contractarianism – and reconsiders these theories in the light of two questions that should perhaps be asked more often: Is moral theory, with its tendency to regiment ethical thought and experience, really the best way for us to apply reason to deciding how to live? And, might it not be more truly reasonable to look for less system and more insight?

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