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The Ethics of Our Climate Hermeneutics and Ethical Theory by William L. O'Neill

The Ethics of Our Climate Hermeneutics and Ethical Theory


The Ethics of Our Climate Hermeneutics and Ethical Theory by William L. O'Neill

In this book, William O'Neill, SJ, offers an interpretation of the nature and scope of practical reasoning in light of postmodern philosophical criticism. He charts a via media between the abstract formalism of neo-Kantian morality and relativist interpretations of neo-Aristotelian ethics. The three parts of the book treat the eclipse of the classical Aristotelian conception of practical reason; the Kantian heritage in the modern moral theories of John Rawls and R.M. Hare; and, the hermeneutical retrieval of a moral interpretation of the world. Drawing upon the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer, modern analytical philosophy, and the discourse ethics of Jurgen Habermas, O'Neill offers a critical reconstruction of practical reason which upholds the primacy of moral community while recognizing the ethical import of historical and cultural difference. The final chapter applies the preceding hermeneutical critique to the question of the distinctiveness of Christian ethics in the writings of Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Josef Fuchs, and Bruno Schuller. This original contribution will be of special interest to students and teachers of moral philosophy and theology.

About the Author

William O'Neill, SJ, is an associate professor of social ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology and Graduate Theological Union.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st November 1994


William L. O'Neill

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Georgetown University Press


176 pages


Ethics & moral philosophy



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