Virtues and Vices

Philippa FOOT

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Item#: 127165 price:$1,800.00

Virtues and Vices

"A PRINCIPLE THAT DRAWS A MORAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN DOING AND ALLOWING": IMPORTANT FIRST EDITION OF PHILIPPA FOOT'S VIRTUES AND VICES AND OTHER ESSAYS IN MORAL PHILOSOPHY, FEATURING THE FIRST APPEARANCE IN BOOK FORM OF THE CASE OF THE "TROLLEY PROBLEM"

FOOT, Philippa. Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, (1978). Octavo, original blue paper boards, original dust jacket. $1800.

First edition of a seminal volume of essays, together in print for the first time, by eminent philosopher Philippa Foot, with the first publication of the title essay and the essay, Are Moral Considerations Overriding?, along with her work that introduced the "Trolley Problem," a splendid copy in the original dust jacket.

"A prominent and respected figure in moral philosophy," Philippa Foot is "one of the best critics of the assumptions and vocabulary of earlier Anglo-American metaethics," and is esteemed for her meticulous application of "common moral views, and the principles she thinks implicit in them" (Ermazen, Philippa Foot, 117). Born in England, the granddaughter of President Grover Cleveland, she studied, wrote and worked in both England and America, teaching at Princeton, Stanford and other universities, as well as UCLA, where she became the first to hold the Griffin Chair in Philosophy. Her considerable achievement represents "what Wittgenstein says is the work of the philosopher…. to 'command a clear view of our use of words'; the particular purpose in Foot's case has always been to get clearer about our use of words when we are making moral judgements" (Hursthouse, Philippa Ruth Foot, 183).

This important volume contains the first appearance in print of the title essay, Virtues and Vices, and Are Moral Considerations Overriding?, along with pivotal works written between 1957 and 1976, together in print for the first time. In addition to some of Foot's most consequential works, Moral Arguments, Moral Beliefs, Goodness and Choice, A Reply to Professor Frankena and Euthanasia, this collection notably includes The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect, where she first raised what is known as the "Trolley Problem." There Foot posed the case of a "runaway trolley… headed toward five people who will be killed by the collision, but it could be steered onto a track on which there is only one person. Intuitively, it seems permissible to turn the trolley to hit and kill one person, but the problem is that it does not seem permissible to kill one to save five." By altering an common opposition of "negative" and "positive" rights, Foot here presents a situation that "pits the negative rights of the five against the negative rights of one, and both choices involve violating someone's negative rights… On Foot's view, we are generally not permitted to do something to someone that would interfere with someone's negative rights, for example, we may not steal someone's property; yet we may not be required to actively secure their possession of it, that is, we may allow them to lose their property. Foot thereby defends a principle that draws a moral distinction between doing and allowing; she also defends a version of the doctrine of double effect, which states that it is sometimes permissible to bring about a result that one foresees as a consequence of one's action but does not intend that it would be impermissible to aim at either as a means or an end. Foot believes that this principle is necessary because the principle of doing and allowing does not cover some morally significant distinctions" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). First edition, first printing: with Foot's Introduction and 14 essays: some earlier appearing in journals or anthologies. Owner signature.

A fine copy.

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