Following the Rules: Practical Reasoning and Deontic Constraint Hardcover – Bargain Price, Oct 30 2008
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"Following the Rules brings together in a provocative and interesting way various literatures that moral philosophers should consider. It makes many novel proposals worth some thought. And it propounds as a basic moral motive something no more edifying and ennobling than a tendency to conform and punish non-conformers. It seems to me that this proposal deserves serious contemporary consideration. I think that this is an excellent book."--Joseph Mendola, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"Ethicists and social theorists skeptical of strictly consequentialist explanations of human behavior should read this penetrating book. Highly recommended."--C.A. Striblen, CHOICE
"Establishes a wholly new standard for books of this kind... Heath's book truly advances our understanding of the normative dimension of human life." -- Jaroslav Peregrin, International Review of Pragmatics
About the Author
Joseph Heath is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.
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From the layman on philosophy matters that I am, this title naturally required more attention and looking up of terminology and references than the popsci category of things, I've gone through in the past, but boy, it sure was that much worthier!
One of the main payoffs for me was that, even though the primary objective of the book is to articulate a convincing argument for the existence and persistence of the uniquely human normative tendencies, along the way of doing so, it brought a tremendous amount of food for thought (and expanded FOV) on such diverse topics as psychology, economics, social justice, nature of consciousness and AI development challenges.
As the review theme suggests, the one unfortunate side-effect, reading this book has is to make starker the contrast between this kind of discourse, brilliant elucidation and cut-through long standing philosophical arguments, and the common denominator public sphere conversation we're gradually forced to accept as normal. Still; easily the most satisfying and (I suspect) important non-fiction work I've read in a while.