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Alan Donagan, 19 April 1990

Ethics after Babel: The Languages of Morals and their Discontents 
by Jeffrey Stout.
Beacon, 338 pp., $27.50, June 1988, 0 8070 1402 8
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... Jeffrey Stout’s Ethics after Babel is, in his own phrase, a ‘philosophy of moral diversity’ – of the sheer foreignness to some people and societies of the moral thinking of some other people and some other societies. Once satisfied that moral diversity is a fact, many philosophers despair of ethics: becoming either moral sceptics, and doubting that true answers to questions about right and wrong can be found by taking thought, or moral nihilists, and denying that moral questions have true answers ...

Victors’ Justice

Alan Donagan, 16 February 1984

Justice at Nuremberg 
by Robert Conot.
Weidenfeld, 593 pp., £15, October 1983, 0 297 78360 2
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The Nuremberg Trial 
by Ann Tusa and John Tusa.
Macmillan, 519 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 333 27463 6
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... From 20 November 1945 to 1 October 1946 21 leaders of Nazi Germany stood trial before an international military tribunal at Nuremberg; all but three were found guilty, of whom 11 were sentenced to be hanged and the rest to be imprisoned for long terms. Why the trial was held at all, how it was conducted, and whether justice was done are the themes of these books ...

An Identity of My Own

David Pears, 19 January 1989

I: The Philosophy and Psychology of Personal Identity 
by Jonathan Glover.
Allen Lane, 207 pp., £15.95, April 1988, 0 7139 9001 5
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Choice: The Essential Element in Human Action 
by Alan Donagan.
Routledge, 197 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 0 7102 1168 6
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... Surprisingly, philosophers also disagree about the very centre of the concept of agency. Alan Donagan argues that to say, ‘He chose to do it,’ implies that, even if nothing else had been different, he could have chosen to refrain. On that analysis of the concept, it would atrophy if universal determinism came to be generally accepted. The ...

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