About the Book



The Why and the What of It
February 2012
Trade Paperback · 264 Pages
$28.00 U.S. · $32.50 CAN · £18.99 U.K. · €19.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780813346816
Westview Press


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This book invites philosophers and their students to consider two of the most fundamental questions in moral and political philosophy: Why be moral? And, what does morality require? Distinguished philosopher James P. Sterba presents his unique views on these topics. Sterba first argues from rationality to morality and then from morality to substantial equality. Prominent scholars Charles W. Mills, Candace A. Vogler, Anita Superson, Russ Shafer-Landau, Allan F. Gibbard, Gerald Gaus, and Tibor Machan provide thought-provoking critical responses. In the final part, Sterba addresses these critiques, inviting readers to explore the various arguments and reach their own conclusions on these fundamental questions of moral and political philosophy. Morality: The Why and What of It is an essential text for all students and scholars of ethics and political philosophy.

About the Author

James P. Sterba is professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Are Liberty and Equality Compatible?, The Triumph of Practice over Theory in Ethics, Ethics: The Big Questions, Justice for Here and Now, and Morality in Practice. Sterba is also past president of the American Philosophical Association (Central Division), the North American Society for Social Philosophy, Concerned Philosophers for Peace, and the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (American Section).