Vojko Strahovnik – MORAL THEORY

The book titled „Moral Theory. On the Nature of Morality“ by prof.dr. Vojko Strahovnik features a comprehensive outline and analysis of the theory of morality, i.e. metaethics as it developed during 20th century. After the introductory chapter, setting up fundamental questions within the framework of morality theory, the author commences with his own encounter with the philosophical challenge thorough the philosophy of G.E.Moore. He sees Moore as the one who clearly separated metaethical issues (primarily those of defining the concept of good), from substantial, or rather normative, questions – first we need to answer the questions of the meaning of moral expressions in order to properly tackle the issues of ethics in terms of the content. This is how he established fundamental trails for the development of the theory in 20th century devoted to primarily to moral semantics and moral ontology (Hare, Ayer, Stevenson, Mackie) and to moral knowledge (Pritchard, Ross), while the final chapters deal with moral psychology and moral phenomenology (Blackburn, Gibbard, Horgan, Timmons). One of the consequences turned out to be a rather strict distinction between theoretical, i.e. metaethical questions, and essential, i.e. normative, questions of ethics. The author suggests in his work that both levels are, nevertheless, significantly interconnected. The book encompasses twelve chapters and outlines viewpoints within the moral theory in both historical and topical terms. Hence the book comprises also some of newer discourses as well. The author juxtaposes his views and reasonings with a wide range of authors. In terms of the content we can recognize several common red threads stitching individual chapters together. One of them is the question of moral judgement and therewith connected challenges, such as Frege-Geach problem. An immensely important place is taken by the question of moral knowledge. The very extraction of the moral theory by the author is original in itself, as well as the synthesis of the fundamental questions and individual arguments linked with the decades of moral theory development. The index of essential viewpoints and arguments is also quite practical thus enabling readers going through individual chapters only. This monography is therefore an original and important work in the field of the theory of morality.