AbstractAgainst Theory is unique in that it puts disparate thinkers from both the analytic and continental traditions into conversation on a central topic in moral philosophy. It also addresses the issue of the impact of postmodernism on ethics, unlike most of the literature on postmodernism which tends to deal with social and political issues rather than ethics. Dwight Furrow's Against Theory is a spirited assessment of two main alternatives to the theoretical approach. One approach, Furrow argues, posits moral life has the form of a narrative and emphasizes the role of historical understanding or imaginative identification in recognizing moral obligation. The second postmodernist alternative, stresses that moral obligation is a feeling of being bound by a presence the source of which cannot be identified through reason or understanding. Furrow's position compellingly negotiates the tension between the living practice of ethics on the one hand, and normative ideals of equality and justice on the other. Furrow questions whether it is possible to resolve this seeming contradition. In doing so, he provides lucidly detailed examinations of such major thinkers as Bernard Williams, Alasdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Rorty, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jean-Francois Lyotard. Against Theory 's is a compelling examination of the continental and analytical philosophical ethical traditions. It is one od the few available books that thoroughly considers the impact of postmodernism on the subject and practice of ethics.
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