Is the practice of moral theorizing inherently misguided?Moral Theory and Anomaly considers and rejects the claim that moral theory is too utopian to apply properly to worldly pursuits like political office holding and business, and too patriarchal and speciesist to generate a theory of justice applicable to women and the non-human natural world.The idea that there are radical failures of application of moral theory - anomalies - might be taken to complement a very general scepticism about moral theory expressed recently by several philosophers including Bernard Williams, Annette Baier and Richard Rorty.Tom Sorell brings together moral theory and applied ethics in an unusual way, and while it is anti-sceptical it does concede that there is likely to be only slow progress from the current state of conflict between mainstream utilitarian, Kantian and virtue theories to something better that makes their different insights cohere. This volume is essential reading to anyone working in contemporary ethics and moral philosophy.
Tom Sorell is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Essex. In 1996-7 he was Faculty Fellow in Ethics at Harvard University and he has published extensively in moral theory and applied ethics, philosophy of science and the history and historiography of early modern philosophy. His previous books include Moral Theory and Capital Punishment (Blackwell, 1987); Scientism: Philosophy and the Infatuation with Science (1991); and Hobbes (1986).