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On Sidgwick's Demise: A Reply to Professor Deigh


In ‘Sidgwick's Epistemology’, John Deigh argues that Henry Sidgwick's The Methods of Ethics ‘was not perceived during his lifetime as a major and lasting contribution to British moral philosophy’ and that interest in it declined considerably after Sidgwick's death because the epistemology on which it relied ‘increasingly became suspect in analytic philosophy and eventually [it was] discarded as obsolete’. In this article I dispute these claims.

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John Deigh , ‘Sidgwick's Epistemology’, Utilitas 19 (2007), pp. 435–46

G. von Gizycki , Review of The Methods of Ethics, 4th edn., International Journal of Ethics 1 (1890), p. 120

T. H. Green , Prolegomena to Ethics, ed. David Brink (Oxford, 2003)

G. F. Barbour , ‘Green and Sidgwick on the Community of the Good’, The Philosophical Review 17 (1908), p. 149

H. A. Prichard , ‘Manuscript on Morals’, Moral Writings, ed. Jim MacAdam (Oxford, 2002), pp. 114–62

F. H. Hayward , ‘The True Significance of Sidgwick's “Ethics”’, International Journal of Ethics 11 (1901), pp. 175–87

F. H. Hayward , ‘A Reply’, International Journal of Ethics 11 (1901), pp. 360–65

Ernest Albee , ‘An Examination of Professor Sidgwick's Proof of Utilitarianism’, The Philosophical Review 10 (1901), pp. 251–60

Henry Barker , ‘A Recent Criticism of Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics’, The Philosophical Review 11 (1902), pp. 607–13

E. E. Constance Jones , ‘Professor Sidgwick's Ethics’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 4 (1903–4), pp. 3252

W. R. Sorley , ‘Henry Sidgwick’, International Journal of Ethics 11 (1901), pp. 168–74

A. C. Pigou , ‘Some Remarks on Utility’, The Economic Journal 13 (1903), pp. 5863

Thomas Hurka , ‘Moore in the Middle’, Ethics 113 (2003), pp. 599628

Oliver A. Johnson , ‘Ethical Intuitionism – A Restatement’, The Philosophical Quarterly 7 (1957), pp. 193203

P. F. Strawson , ‘Ethical Intuitionism’, Philosophy 24 (1949), pp. 2333

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  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
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