Essays on Ethics and Method is a selection of the shorter writings of the great nineteenth-century moral philosopher Henry Sidgwick. Sidgwick's monumental work The Methods of Ethics is a classic of philosophy; this new volume is a fascinating complement to it. These essays develop further Sidgwick's ethical ideas, respond to criticism of the Methods, and discuss rival theories. Other aspects of Sidgwick's thought are also illuminated, in particular his interests in method, verification, and proof. The essays show Sidgwick to be a forerunner of twentieth-century analytical philosophy: they illustrate his emphasis on common sense and ordinary language, and exemplify not only his care, clarity, and precision, but also the wit and humour that are not prominent in his longer works. Marcus Singer provides a substantial editorial introduction to Sidgwick and his intellectual context. The volume will be a rich resource for anyone interested in moral philosophy or the development of modern analytical philosophy.
Professor Marcus G. Singer is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Madison.