chapter  8
Prospects for a Return of Moral Knowledge
ByDallas Willard, Steven L. Porter, Aaron Preston, Gregg A. Ten Elshof
Pages 41

This chapter presents a critique of some general features of ethical theory in the Western philosophical tradition, and offers a sketch of an alternative approach to building a “Science of Ethics.” Western ethical theory has failed to focus on a single subject matter, and has focused too much on trying to do ethics on the model of a deductive science like geometry. To address these problems, Willard first proposes that ethics should take as its central subject “the good person,” and by taking a phenomenological approach develop a general theory of the good person. Willard illustrates how this might work by providing an insightful account of the good person, and explaining how that knowledge might become the unifying hub of a broader science of ethics whose unity is not logical (like geometry) but thematic (like medicine). The chapter, and the book, closes with some broader considerations about the possibility of reversing the disappearance of moral knowledge on the social and institutional level.