Morality in a Realistic Spirit : Essays for Cora Diamond book cover
1st Edition

Morality in a Realistic Spirit
Essays for Cora Diamond

ISBN 9781138479968
Published September 19, 2019 by Routledge
266 Pages

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Book Description

This unique collection of essays has two main purposes. The first is to honour the pioneering work of Cora Diamond, one of the most important living moral philosophers and certainly the most important working in the tradition inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein. The second is to develop and deepen a picture of moral philosophy by carrying out new work in what Diamond has called the realistic spirit.

The contributors in this book advance a first-order moral attitude that pays close attention to actual moral life and experience. Their essays, inspired by Diamond’s work, take up pressing challenges in Anglo-American moral philosophy, including Diamond’s defence of the concept ‘human being’ in ethics, her defence of literature as a source of moral thought that does not require external sanction from philosophy, her challenge to the standard ‘fact/value’ dichotomy, and her exploration of non-argumentative forms of legitimate moral persuasion. There are also essays that apply this framework to new issues such as the nature of love, the connections of ethics to theology, and the implications of Wittgenstein’s thought for political philosophy.

Finally, the book features a new paper by Diamond in which she contests deep-rooted philosophical assumptions about language that severely limit what philosophers see as the possibilities in ethics. Morality in a Realistic Spirit offers a tribute to a great moral philosopher in the best way possible—by taking up the living ideas in her work and taking them in original and interesting directions.

Table of Contents


Andrew Gleeson and Craig Taylor

  1. Ethics and Experience

  2. Cora Diamond

  3. Cora Diamond and the Uselessness of Argument: Distances in Metaphysics and Ethics

  4. Reshef Agam-Segal

  5. The Importance of Being Fully Human: Transformation, Contemplation and Ethics

  6. Sarah Bachelard

  7. How to be somebody else: imaginative identification in ethics and literature

  8. Sophie Chappell

  9. Different themes of love

  10. Christopher Cordner

  11. A Brilliant Perspective: Diamondian Ethics

  12. Alice Crary

  13. The Riddling God

  14. Andrew Gleeson

  15. Shakespeare, Value and Diamond

  16. Simon Haines

  17. The asymmetry of truth and the logical role of thinking guides in ethics

  18. Oskari Kuusela

  19. Difficulties of Reality, Skepticism and Moral Community: Remarks After Diamond on Cavell

  20. David Macarthur

  21. Comparison or Seeing-As? The Holocaust and Factory Farming

  22. Talia Morag

  23. Two conceptions of "community": as defined by what it is not, or as defined by what it is

  24. Rupert Read

  25. Thinking with Animals

  26. Duncan Richter

  27. Diamond on Realism in Moral Philosophy

Craig Taylor

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Craig Taylor is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Flinders University. He is the author of Moralism: A Study of a Vice (2012) and Sympathy: A Philosophical Analysis (2002); a co-editor of Hume and The Enlightenment (2011) and A Sense for Humanity: the Ethical Thought of Raimond Gaita (2014).

Andrew Gleeson has taught philosophy at the Australian Catholic University, the University of Adelaide, and the Flinders University of South Australia. He works mainly in ethics and philosophy of religion. His book A Frightening Love: Recasting the Problem of Evil was published in 2012.


"This is a rich collection, containing a great deal of beautiful philosophy . . . The (comparative) unity of themes serves to bring into relief the difference of style and intellectual temperment of the different contributors . . . The beauty comes from the deep reflectiveness of many of the essays, as well as their use of powerful examples." Lars Hertzberg in Philosophical Investigations